An incredibly incorrect assumption made in our society is that people who have financial problems must be uneducated. However, most of my clients are very well educated and manage much responsibility, but they have problems getting bills paid on time every month.
What do you need to pay your bills? Enough money? Enough brains? Enough time? The truth is - all three! However, having money and brains can't do it alone. So many people I know don't allocate enough time to the task of managing their personal finances. In addition to assuming this is common sense, is the assumption that it's simple and will take a minimal amount of effort.
Many people don't want to spend a lot of time thinking about paying bills, so they put their energy elsewhere. The little consequences can really add up for some people. And intelligence has nothing to do with it.
True Story - A friend of mine was the personal assistant for a successful Investment Advisor. She had told me about how her boss had gone on a one week trip out of the country with his family to invest in a real estate opportunity. While he was gone he received the third notice on a $66 water bill he had been neglecting. His family returned on a Saturday morning to find that their water had been turned off. He called the Water Company who explained that they couldn't turn the water on until Monday morning. So on Monday my friend received instructions to drive the money to the Water Company and pay the delinquent bill. On the way, her boss's wife called her to find out how much longer before the water would get turned on. "This is ridiculous," she complained. "He's buying five million dollar condos, and I can't wash my hair!"
Don't make the assumption that sending your kids to a good college will teach them how to get their bills paid. Schools don't teach these topics and they are not common sense!