If **math is the answer**, what was the question? What one class in school is the most helpful in life? There are thousands of jobs that require mastery of math, but that is not why! More specifically, what classes will help you be more successful with your personal finances? Learning math skills was never intended to just help you with your personal finances, but it is important for that and more.

Engineering, computer science, animation, forensic science, architecture, medicine, designer, astronomer, meteorologist, stockbroker, economist, manufacturing, insurance, astronaut, and accounting to just name a few professions or industries that need math. What if you are not interested in those careers or industries? Math is necessary for auto mechanics, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and welders to name just a few careers that do not require a college degree.

Too often, students focus on the rudiments of algebra or geometry, but miss what they are really learning. Many students who do not have math skills or just not interested come up with many excuses why they do not need math skills. For example, cash registers tell us what change we should give or calculators are everywhere even on phones. Unfortunately, these reasons miss the point!

Yes, math teaches us to solve problems! What you do not realize is problems are not limited to what you find in a math textbook! Math teaches us to solve problems using a particular method or approach. It can start with simple arithmetic and progress through algebra, geometry or more. We start with simple operations and progress to complicated formulas and equations. It prepares us for bigger things such as how to think!

Life is filled with problems and they do not always have a mathematical solution. Problems have something in common with math we study in school. All problems require steps and a strategy to solving them. They require attention to detail and patience. You have to do the steps in order to achieve the right answer. Practicing with small problems builds skills to tackle more complicated problems. Evaluating or reflecting on your results is also important in problem solving.

It teaches us skills such as logic, organization, problem solving, critical thinking, discipline, generating solutions, pattern recognition and computational skills. Whether you aspire to become a computer scientist or electrician, math is necessary. Math skills are necessary for fundamental thinking and lack of those skills will impair your future. It is one of the reasons that **math is the answer** for what you need to for personal financial success.

If success were just a destination, you could find a simple roadmap that just tells you what to do. Success is reaching your goals and math seems to affect every step you take. The naysayers will disagree with this, but those are usually high school students who do not realize all the implications. Successful people are confident in their skills because they spent years honing their skills. Math and all the skills you can learn from it help you become confident in your problem solving skills.

Simple things such as cooking, driving a car, shopping, sports, playing games or using technology and the list goes on. Doing routine things that most of us take for granted requires skills you learn in math. You make decisions on a daily basis and it will cost you money. In your career, you also make decisions that will either make or lose money. Your problem solving skills are used in just about everything you may do personally and professionally.

**Final Thoughts**

*Education* is the process of acquiring general knowledge, developing powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally preparing oneself intellectually for life. Needless to say, math is one of the most important parts of that education. Without our problem solving abilities, we would have a very different world. Personal finance is just one example of where math can help, but not the only one! If **math is the answer**, what was the question?

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{ 12 comments }

Yikes, then I’m in trouble. I hated math in school, it was the worst (and still is). I love the concepts behind math and what math can help you do though.

Math affects so much more than just the nmbers and you need to brush up on your skills.

I didn’t mind math so much but I’m worried about when my kids get to high school. I haven’t done advanced math for so long…I’ll have to relearn to be able to help them with homework!

It is a little like learning to ride a bicycle, it comes back pretty fast.

I’ve always been great and math, up to the point where it’s numbers and algebra. I can add/subtract/multiply/divide very easily in my head, as well as come up with ‘x’ pretty easily. Thankfully this helps in budgeting, calculating remaining funds available and such.

Get past that to things like geometry and calculus and I’ve struggled, but from an everyday life perspective, this doesn’t really hamper me.

Math is much much more than numbers! It is how we think, problem solve, look for patterns, logic, etc. It is not as obvious as not using a particular formula or understanding an equation. It may come up when you have to develop a logical presentation or learn something new in a technical area.

Maths was always an easy-score subject for me and I think it honed my logic skills quite a bit and I’m constantly trying to run mental math calculations in my head because I know they contribute towards a healthier brain during old age.

We used to do a lot of sums using the calculatory back in school (our syllabus was just designed that way) so my mental math is a bit weak. And that’s why I think schools should alter their teaching methods a bit because we become too dependant on calculators for everyday math problems. Even if you don’t have a professional degree, you still need math in a million things at home, like using the right proportion of ingredients when cooking…so even housewives have to rely on math everyday.

Recently, I have been teach math classes and too many of the children have not even learned their multiplication tables. Math like language needs to be used to retain their skills.

I am alarmed at the amount of people who don’t understand basic math. We try to let people know that their insurance is going to cover for glasses, and you have to be able to determine 20% of whatever amount you go over $120 for frames on most plans. Most people have no idea how to do that and just go with whatever we tell them. Luckily we are honest, but I wonder how many people aren’t?

Basic math is needed for checking your change, know what you owe and othe rbasic things. Most people do not realize how math affects our thing, reasoning, logic, judgment, critical thinking problem solving and organization skills.

I think you really nailed it. It’s not so much the numbers part of math that is so important, but the process behind it. Learning that line of thinking and reasoning is extremely important in almost any job you’ll have.

Very true! It is not just for careers either, it will affect every fact of your life.