Financial literacy is scarce amongst kinksters, and it's not uncommon to find them practising BSDM on a budget. This is despite many being business-savvy with kinky ventures.
How do I know this? Because there is nothing unique about kinksters that makes them need help – financial illiteracy is a problem across the board. According to that financial literacy quiz's data, only about a third of US participants can correctly answer 4 or 5 questions on a 5 question quiz of basic topics.
Besides quiz results, there is also a significant amount of debt amongst households, particularly car loans and credit card debt.
This is a shame since kinksters have so many opportunities to practise finance. There are blatant examples where Dominants explicitly control finances, like my own lifestyle dynamic.
There are many, many more kinksters who practise small economies. "Going without" is one all-too-common skill. Then there's hand crafted toys, which are great for kink on a budget: from PVC floggers to recycled bamboo paddles to home-riveted leather cuffs.
Business-savvy kinksters also get in practise with finances through their endeavours: running workshops, hosting spaces, selling their photography, or selling crafts.
Despite the practise, few kinksters succeed in turning a profit. Their market niche is slim at best, and most kinksters do it for passion rather than money and fame. It's questionable whether this practise results in improved financial literacy or not.
What develops discipline with finance skills?
One bit of advice for improving financial literacy has always irked me: "make a budget." It's an unhelpful line that pads out lists of tips, followed closely by its kin "stick to the budget."
This 2003 IRS publication found that significant amounts of financial advice boil down to "pay your bills on time and track your budget" despite most budgeting in practise being informal – only 46% of respondents used a budget. Those budgets tend to be short-term, i.e. only forecasting a month.
Which is pretty much what we do within my household – we don't set any formal budget, but have a loose idea of how much we should be spending because we track our cashflow to make sure that we don't go overboard. The IRS' publication also found that strong cash flow management correlated with more financial knowledge.
I would recommend adopting the "pay yourself first" strategy, where your debts/investment spending is deducted immediately each paycheck. This is the simplest way to improve your cashflow, coupled with avoiding overspending money you don't have with credit cards.
The publication also had some key takeaways for good debt management:
Three common indicators of credit management are a household's debt-payment-to-income ratio, the timeliness of credit card payments, and payment in full of credit card balances.
– Household Financial Management
Besides that, the study speculated about several methods of learning: self-service informational media on the internet, through personal experience, from friends and family, and via school courses.
For instance, personal experience might be the main way of learning with tangible results. However, motivated people may seek out information, then apply that in their lives to gain experience. This suggests that a good way to grow literate is to read (or watch!) financial media often and find ways to tie it into your life.
To that end, I of course recommend continuing to read this blog. I'm devoted to covering financial topics both basic and more advanced, and I strive towards continual improvement.
Ultimately I encourage the same in you: embrace adversity, try new things, and develop your own experience. With time your memories and proverbial war stories will stack up to greatness.