Why are We Surprised "Teen Mom" Stars are Broke?
It must be a slow news week because I'm seeing headlines about the MTV Show "Teen Mom," and how much its "stars" are paid. According to The Huffington Post, the teen mom's are compensated an amount between $60K-$65K each season.
Okay, for teenagers, who in many cases have not yet graduated from college, that is a lot of money. But the truly amazing thing is that people are ranting and raving about the gull these teenagers have to "still be broke."
Money management, spending, and saving is just as emotionally driven as the behaviors that earned these "Teen Mom's" their title. Without an education to the contrary, they have as little knowledge about budgeting that they did about birth control.
A few years ago, The Street ran a column called "15 Common Reasons People Overspend." The correlation between our rationale about money, and how our "Teen Mom's" came to be, are pretty uncanny.
A Few Reasons People Overspend Money:
- Can't Buy Happiness
- Lack of Patience
- Can't Buy Love
- Keeping Up With the Joneses
- Can't Say "No"
- 7. Shame
How many of these could easily be applied into a list about "why teens have unprotected sex?" All the reasons are founded in one root cause: ignorance.
Money management has nothing to do with your age, formal education or stature in life. It's about knowledge. With it, your money can do great things. Without it, you'll always be broke. Instead of vilifying these teens for feeling that they "don't have enough," why not see the bigger problem?
Just as children need birth control education, they need education about money. Maybe we should be adding a financial planning class right alongside the health class about birth control options! If the health impacts of unprotected sex don't sink in, maybe the real cost of getting pregnant too young will give them pause to think twice.