Money, Money, Money – 10 Mistakes to Avoid

Money, money, money.

Few things in life generate as much interest yet demand more responsibility. And while money itself will not bring happiness, mismanaging it can surely ruin a peson’s chances  for success and cause a lot of UNhappiness.

The principles of wise financial management aren’t that tough to master. You simply need to know the basics and abide by the disciplines and key principles. It also pays to understand and avoid these ten most common financial mistakes:

  1. failure to set goals and plan for major purchases and retirement
  2. spending more than you earn and failing to budget and monitor expenses
  3. incurring too much debt, including excessive credit card usage
  4. investing too little and starting too late
  5. incurring significant fixed expenses that can’t be reduced in difficult economic times (e.g., spending too much on housing and cars)
  6. ill-timed investment decisions (“buy high, sell low” habits and market timing)
  7. poorly diversified investment portfolios (overly concentrated in high risk stocks)
  8. impulse buying and lack of value consciousness when shopping
  9. inadequate financial knowledge 
  10. lack of discipline and personal responsibility    

We all need to keep these principles in mind both now and in the future. Periodically review how you’re doing in each of these areas, and encourage the young people in your life to do the same.

If we can all successfully avoid these traps, we’ll be in excellent financial shape!

What are some ways you’ve learned to avoid–or overcome–costly money mistakes in your own life? Do you ideas for passing these principles on to young people? Please share your suggestions and comments below.


Needed: Hope and Solutions for Young People

Been watching the news lately?  Seen the riots in London–and elsewhere? 

I believe we are witnessing a growing epidemic of young people who are living rudderless lives without purpose, passion, or honor. It is shown in increasingly bold public displays of anarchy and the reasons are multi- faceted and deeply rooted. Many are wondering if it’s too late to reverse course. While the scenes from inner cities and even state fairs make one pause, we must promptly seek out bold solutions because the problem is escalating.
I also believe there are three segments that will determine the course of events and potentially turn the tide. The first involves our cultural drivers, primarily corporations whose messages, creative artists, athletes, and products heavily influence our impressionable youth. The second involves parents who are creating and guiding our children. 

Finally, our schools and universities have a profound impact on our children, notwithstanding the fact that many are deemphasizing ethics and values in their programs. By not being willing to take a stand on strong absolute values, our institutions and leaders are not providing the moral compass our generation needs to advance our culture and reach their full potential. Too many young people are left to create their own definitions of morality and the results are entirely and tragically predictable. 

It strikes me that two things must change for our generation to thrive. One is that the key influencers: parents, schools, and culture drivers must come to define a universal vision for an honorable and productive life and promote this repeatedly (through messages and actions) to our young people. The second is that our children need to be equipped with practical, before-the-fact life wisdom for the key decisions they will face as adults. By doing so, they will be more apt to make the right decisions the first time rather than losing hope and “taking it to the streets.” 

I sincerely hope the What I Wish I Knew at 18 resources will be increasingly viewed as part of the solution by sharing an honorable success vision and practical life pointers. If you agree, will you join us by passing along the word–and the resources? Whom do you know that could use these resources in their work with young people?  A coach? A teacher? A counselor? A friend or family member? 

Let them know about What I Wish I Knew at 18. Better yet, buy them a copy yourself and let it speak for itself!

What are your observations of (and possible solutions) for the challenges facing our young people today?  Please post your comments below.