financial lessons http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/15848/all en-US 7 Personal Finance Lessons Women Learn in Their 30s http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-lessons-women-learn-in-their-30s <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-personal-finance-lessons-women-learn-in-their-30s" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000063115979_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="woman couch thinking" title="woman couch thinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The 30s have been my best decade yet. I've taken risks, experienced great accomplishments, and picked myself up from quite a few failures and tragedies. I've also learned a lot about personal finance in this decade, and these lessons from my 30s will carry me through all the years to come.</p> <h2>1. Manage Your 401(k)</h2> <p>Compounding is an important concept to learn and use. Putting away even small amounts of money now in a 401(k) or IRA can be your savior once you decide it's time to retire. Contributions lower your current tax liability by being deducted from your paycheck pre-tax, and target-date funds allow you to select an investment bundle based on the target year you'd like to retire and your risk tolerance. For example, at age 35, I'd choose a 2045 target date fund, such as this&nbsp;<a href="https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=1487&amp;FundIntExt=INT">fund from Vanguard</a>. Using the target retirement date, the account will adjust the risk of its investments automatically. If you can, max out your personal contribution and get your employer to match a percentage of your contribution.</p> <h2>2. Now Is the Time to Take a Professional Risk</h2> <p>If you have a professional risk you want to take, your 30s are the time to go for it. You still have plenty of time to work and save if the risk doesn't pan out, you're young and energetic, and you've got enough experience under your belt to have the confidence you need. I'm so glad I stepped away from my corporate career to work as an independent consultant and freelance writer. The projects I've worked on, skills I've gained, and portfolio I've built have put me in a strong position to continue doing the work I love as part of a larger organization.</p> <h2>3. Cash Is King</h2> <p>Having cash on-hand is crucial whenever you take a professional risk. I keep a nine month emergency fund for those unexpected (and unwanted!) events, and I also have another savings account as a float as I manage the invoices from my freelance clients. Having this cash on-hand has helped to keep worry at bay, so that I can focus on high-quality work.</p> <h2>4. It Pays to Have a 1099 Gig</h2> <p>A gig that pays you on a 1099 &mdash; whether it's your full-time job or a side venture &mdash; can result in a lower tax burden. Depending on the 1099 gig, part of your rent or mortgage, utility bills, cell phone bills, travel, and entertainment expenses may be tax deductible. Talk to your accountant to determine what's realistic and what records you need to keep for tax time.</p> <h2>5. Insurance Is Worth the Price</h2> <p>Whether it's health insurance, renter's or homeowner's insurance, or pet insurance, by my 30s I learned that emergencies happen. Being insured against the unknown has a cost, but the peace of mind and the help it provides in the event of an accident are far more valuable than any of the premiums I pay. Life is unpredictable; protecting yourself from financial ruin isn't.</p> <h2>6. To Own Your Place Is Divine</h2> <p>I've now lived in three states and moved nine times in my 30s, and I've still got over a year to go! Some of these times I moved by pure choice, and other times I moved because I had to. I am tired of moving, so I can't wait to actually own my own place and everything inside of it. From a financial perspective, owning your own place provides tax advantages, often allows you to build equity (rather than just paying rent), and you can avoid the expense of all of the costs of moving on a regular basis.</p> <h2>7. Play the Long Game</h2> <p>The most valuable thing we learn in our 30s is that our very best investments are long term, and involve making ourselves the best people we can be. Reduce your stress, make yourself happy, and you'll see huge benefits in the quality of your life and your longevity. Investing in your education, buying things you love that will last, and taking small steps to secure your financial future everyday will pay off in the long run.</p> <p>The 30s are a fun and interesting decade. We're experienced and still hopeful. We're energetic and wise. We're grounded and still dreaming. Use these financial lessons above well and you'll find the financial foundation you've laid in your 30s fuels all of your days ahead.</p> <p><em>What personal finance lessons have your 30s taught you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-lessons-women-learn-in-their-30s">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you">The 5 Most Important Financial Lessons People Learn in Their 20s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-lessons-from-its-a-wonderful-life">Financial Lessons From &quot;It&#039;s A Wonderful Life&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-in-their-30s-did-you">5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn in Their 30s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-these-5-financial-lessons-most-people-learn-in-their-40s">Do You Know These 5 Financial Lessons Most People Learn in Their 40s?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-lessons-from-breaking-bad">7 Financial Lessons From Breaking Bad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial lessons thirtysomething Thu, 12 Feb 2015 14:00:05 +0000 Christa Avampato 1288487 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things Play Teaches You About Personal Finance http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-play-teaches-you-about-personal-finance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-play-teaches-you-about-personal-finance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-roleplaying-178431199-small.jpg" alt="family roleplaying" title="family roleplaying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know anyone who can't wax poetic about playing as a child. Even my friends who had difficult childhoods remember playing, somewhere and with somebody, with fondness.</p> <p>There's something about remembering our childhood games, whether they were pickup games of baseball in the middle of the street or tag or imagining we were pirates deep in the woods, that makes us happy. Even as adults, with jobs and responsibilities and families and so much to do, we relish the hours that we can spend resting, relaxing, and enjoying our hobbies &mdash; also known as playing. That's because <a href="http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/11/15/the-importance-of-play-for-adults/">play is important</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-fun-games-that-make-you-smarter-too?ref=seealso">11 Fun Games That Make You smarter, Too</a>)</p> <p>Whether you are child or adult, play brings joy. It makes us excited and happy. And it all makes me wonder: What if we could bring even a little bit of that joy into tasks that can seem difficult or frustrating, like managing our personal finances? Could even these things become more like games?</p> <p>Try some of these ideas and let me know what you think!</p> <h2>1. Play Is Practice</h2> <p>More than anything else, <a href="http://www.journalofplay.org/sites/www.journalofplay.org/files/pdf-articles/5-3-interview-play-as-preparation.pdf">play seems to be practice for life</a>. The thing is, little kids don't like to practice. In fact, most of them don't have the focus to be able to practice in the same ways adults can. So they play. They play house, they play fireman, they play mommy and daddy and teacher. And in doing this, they learn about taking on different roles, conflict resolution, and so much more. Their practice prepares them for real life.</p> <p>As adults, we can remember that practice is at least as important as studying a topic. While there's nothing wrong with researching what investments to make next, we might find ourselves more engaged if we actually jump in and practice. <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/simulator/">Trade with fake money</a> or create sample budgets based on different salaries, to figure out how to make things work for you in real life.</p> <h2>2. Play Is Fun</h2> <p>As adults, we make personal finance into work. We get serious about the budget, or study hard to determine how to invest our money. We feel like we need to buckle down and get serious about our finances. Again, there's nothing wrong with this, but what if we could make the whole process less painful?</p> <p>Try <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304330904579137410675036086">setting aside some money for &quot;fun investing,&quot;</a> or make budgeting a game by coming up with creative ways to spend less in different categories.</p> <h2>3. Play Promotes Counterfactual Thinking</h2> <p>Counterfactual thinking means thinking outside the box of what is, or in many cases, what seems to be. People who are good at thinking counterfactually are the ones who, when solving a problem, ask us to reexamine our assumptions, rather than just suggesting new ways to work within them. This sort of thinking can offer huge benefits in so many areas, because we often make assumptions that aren't true, or that aren't necessary. And <a href="http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/let-the-children-play-its-good-for-them-130697324/?no-ist">pretend play seems to help children improve their counterfactual thinking</a>.</p> <p>Most adults would be embarrassed to be caught pretending. We can, though, pretend within a certain context. I have an example of this from my own recent history. For a long time, my husband and I assumed that we could not afford grass-fed beef, even though avoiding antibiotics and hormones is important to us. Recently, though, we researched different ways to purchase this meat, and found that, if we buy wholesale rather than from a store, it's much more affordable. We had assumed we'd be buying from Whole Foods or Costco, but now we're purchasing direct from a rancher.</p> <p>To learn to examine your assumptions, or &quot;pretend&quot; in the context of your own finances, start by writing down your assumptions. For instance, you might assume that you don't have enough money for something, or that you have to keep a certain percentage of your assets invested in stocks, or that there's not another method for buying something. Then ask around and do some research to see if your assumptions are, in fact, correct.</p> <h2>4. Play Is Social</h2> <p>When kids play, they are learning social skills. Even when they are not playing with other kids, play itself seems to help the brain socially, so that those who play function better socially than those who do not. And adults seem to play in order to enhance their social interactions, to build community and find friends who they can connect with on a deep level.</p> <p>We can reclaim our sense of play in personal finance by making aspects of our financial life social. If you live with roommates or a significant other, make sure you are both involved in budgeting. Even set aside some time to enjoy a meal together and go over finances in a less stressful environment. You could also <a href="http://www.fool.com/investmentclub/investmentclub05.htm">start an investment club</a> or, at least, talk through some of your financial questions with trusted friends or family members. All of this is likely to make finance more enjoyable, more like play and less like work.</p> <h2>5. Play Encourages Self-Regulation</h2> <p>The more kids play and the higher the maturity level of their pretend play, the more they learn to regulate themselves. Self-regulation touches on many aspects of life &mdash; we should be able to regulate ourselves emotionally, to keep desires (even strong desires) in check, and to make choices focused on long-term benefit rather than short-term pleasure.</p> <p>Self-regulation seems to tie naturally to personal finance. Most of us want to be able to resist spending money when we don't have money to spend or when we are saving our money for something else. We also want to be able to leave our investments alone if we believe the investment is a sound one, even when the market is fluctuating and we feel unsure.</p> <p>Again, it will help us to &quot;pretend&quot; in the context of our finances. If we are tempted to make a purchase that we really shouldn't make right now, we can envision how we will feel in two days (or even two hours!) if we make the purchase, and then again if we don't. If we are trying to leave an investment where it is, we can imagine ourselves using the money in 30 years, happy that we left it where it was.</p> <p><em>What do you do to make personal finance more like play? Does that help keep you on track financially?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-play-teaches-you-about-personal-finance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you">The 5 Most Important Financial Lessons People Learn in Their 20s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-in-their-30s-did-you">5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn in Their 30s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-these-5-financial-lessons-most-people-learn-in-their-40s">Do You Know These 5 Financial Lessons Most People Learn in Their 40s?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-lessons-from-breaking-bad">7 Financial Lessons From Breaking Bad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-high-school-did-you">9 Financial Lessons People Learn in High School — Did You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Personal Development financial lessons games money lessons play Thu, 06 Nov 2014 14:00:06 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1251282 at http://www.wisebread.com Do You Know These 5 Financial Lessons Most People Learn in Their 40s? http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-these-5-financial-lessons-most-people-learn-in-their-40s <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-you-know-these-5-financial-lessons-most-people-learn-in-their-40s" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-paying-bills-86479709-small.jpg" alt="man paying bills" title="man paying bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>By the time you hit your 40s, you're supposed to have figured everything out, right? Then suddenly you're 40, and guess what? Life is still pretty confusing. Join the club!</p> <p>Luckily, learning doesn't stop when you hit the <em>big four-oh</em>.</p> <p>First, let's review what you've already learned.</p> <p>In your 20s, you (hopefully) learn and apply financial lessons like the value of compound interest, the difference between good and bad debt, savings strategies like dollar cost averaging, and more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you?ref=seealso">The 5 Most Important Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn in Their 20s</a>).</p> <p>In your 30s, you learn about balancing the budget between big-ticket items like kids, retirement, and home ownership, you choose debt (including mortgages) wisely, align yourself with financial experts, and learn to live within your means. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-in-their-30s-did-you?ref=seealso">5 Lessons Everyone Should Learn in Their 30s</a>).</p> <p>Now you're in your 40s, and things are changing (again). Some of the ground rules you lived by in your 20s and 30s may not serve you anymore. Here are five financial lessons that generally come to light in your 40s.</p> <h2>1. Risk Tolerances Change Over Time</h2> <p>With some investment experience under your belt and retirement still a long way away, you might be feeling a little more gutsy with your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/asset-allocation-for-all-markets">asset allocation</a>, and want to rejig your portfolio to be more aggressive. In other cases, you might have survived a few market (and life) downturns, and are feeling more risk averse.</p> <p>This is why it's important to have regular financial reviews (ideally with your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-you-need-to-fire-your-financial-planner">financial planner</a>) to ensure you're feeling good about your investments, and can track your progress towards your life goals.</p> <h2>2. You're Not Invincible</h2> <p>I remember as a child, falling off my bicycle was a no-brainer: get back up and keep going. Falling off a bicycle in our 40s isn't so easy; we don't bend any more &mdash; we break!</p> <p>You might have had a health scare or serious illness or injury, and if you're lucky it didn't hurt your finances as well. In your 20s, hopefully you took advantage of good health and low premiums to insure yourself. Now it's time to do an insurance review to ensure you're properly (but not overly) covered.</p> <p>To get started, check out these Financial IQ Tests:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-disability-insurance">Financial IQ Test: How Healthy is Your Disability Insurance?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-life-insurance-plan">Financial IQ Test: How Healthy is Your Life Insurance Plan?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-health-care-plan">Financial IQ Test: How Healthy is Your Health Care Plan?</a></li> </ul> <h2>3. Your Finances Aren't Invincible Either</h2> <p>Think of your finances in the same way as you and that bicycle. There is less room for mistakes and slack savings strategies the older we get, given that we have an ever-decreasing amount of time to take advantage of compound growth in order to recover. Make sure your financial health is in tip-top shape; recovering from &quot;broken finances&quot; is no easy task.</p> <h2>4. Inflation Sucks</h2> <p>Once you reach your 40s, you understand the real effects of inflation. When you were a kid a candy bar only cost about 25 cents &mdash; now it's 500% more at about $1.50! Carry this forward another 30-40 years when you're retired, and that same candy bar will be even more expensive. The money you save for retirement right now needs to go further than you think. Take inflation into account when planning for the future, and ensure your investments are structured to (at least) keep up with inflation.</p> <h2>5. 40 Is Not Old!</h2> <p>40 used to be &quot;the new 30,&quot; and now 50 is &quot;the new 40.&quot; As we age (and also live longer and longer) we realize that our younger preconceptions of certain ages has been skewed. In your 20s you might have thought that you'd have it all sorted out by your 40s (since you'll be old by then, right?), and suddenly here you are, and you're alive and kicking and still trying to figure life out like everybody else.</p> <p>Forgive yourself. You're still young. You can change careers, embark on new adventures, and make a few mistakes like the rest of us. Not only that, but you have a long time until retirement yet, so under the premise of asset allocation (and keeping up with inflation), it behooves you to keep a long-term vision for your portfolio.</p> <p><em>What crucial financial lessons did you learn in your 40s? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-these-5-financial-lessons-most-people-learn-in-their-40s">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-high-school-did-you">9 Financial Lessons People Learn in High School — Did You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you">The 5 Most Important Financial Lessons People Learn in Their 20s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-in-their-30s-did-you">5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn in Their 30s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-by-kindergarten">5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn by Kindergarten</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-lessons-from-breaking-bad">7 Financial Lessons From Breaking Bad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial education financial lessons money lessons Thu, 02 Oct 2014 13:00:06 +0000 Nora Dunn 1225626 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Financial Lessons People Learn in High School — Did You? http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-high-school-did-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-high-school-did-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/high-school-student-78741584-small.jpg" alt="high school student" title="high school student" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether it be in the classroom or via real life experience, high schoolers get the chance to learn and apply a lot of the basic tenets of personal finance and money management. Some of them apply and retain the information, while others ignore, forgets or simply misunderstand it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you?ref=seealso">The 5 Most Important Financial Lessons People Learn in High School (Did You?)</a>)</p> <p>Which way did you go?</p> <p>Check below for the nine financial lessons most people learn in high school, and then ask yourself: are you (financially) smarter than a 12th grader?</p> <h2>1. Money Is Difficult to Come By</h2> <p>Many people who grow up with loans, credit cards, and other forms of debt have lost their understanding of the value of money. Money is valuable for a reason; because there is a finite amount of it. With a culture that relies so heavily on credit and debt to compensate for the finite nature of money, we tend to lose sight of the value that it really holds. High schoolers learn this by having to work for their spending money, or by receiving an allotted sum from Mom and Dad, and once it's gone, it's gone.</p> <h2>2. Budgeting Is a Weekly Task</h2> <p>Budgeting for your expenses is not a one-and-done proposition. In fact, budgeting on a weekly basis is the most prudent way to handle money, since expenses (and sometimes income) can change from week to week. Teens and young adults have to do this to pay for their gas, entertainment, or other activities they want to participate in. As adults, our approach should be no different.</p> <h2>3. Saving Money Is a Slow and Consistent Process</h2> <p>High schoolers who do try to save money learn that it's a slow and incremental process, where small contributions add up over time. Trying to put large sums of money away all at one time will be difficult, and though possible at times can cause morale to sink whenever the process can't be repeated. The trick to saving money is putting away just a little bit at a time over a long period. Consider an automatic transfer from your checking to savings account every week, set to something small like $20.</p> <h2>4. It's Not Always Easy to Get a Job</h2> <p>Teens with little experience and low job-skills know the difficulty of finding good work. Jobs, though widely available in most cases don't exist in a vacuum. They exist because someone else is making money and needs people to help them make more money. Otherwise, neither you or anyone else would be getting hired. That means in reality, a job is a precious commodity that's difficult to come by.</p> <h2>5. Frivolous Spending Should Be Limited (and Cash Only)</h2> <p>When the money set aside for going out on the weekend is gone, that's the end of the fun. At that point, most high schoolers need to go home and do something that they don't have to pay for. That's a lesson that's harder to learn when you're an adult, especially when a swipe of the credit card makes you feel like you never run out of money. But it once again highlights the importance of living by a budget and within your means.</p> <h2>6. A Cheap Car Can Be a Good Thing</h2> <p>Remember when you were happy to have any car that would get you from point A to point B? Those were good times (good enough for Brad Paisley to write a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTF6UZbq9Lk">song about them</a>),and highlighted the practicality of avoiding a car payment and paying for your car in cash.</p> <h2>7. Saving for Retirement Can and Should Start Early</h2> <p>Many teens have money put away in a long-term savings account by their parents. Starting a long-term savings plan that early in life means that their money (if invested wisely) will grow at a steady rate and become a significant amount depending on the amount of cash and investment type. The key though is to understand the <a href="http://www.teensguidetomoney.com/Saving/individual-retirement-account-ira/">retirement savings options</a> and start early.</p> <h2>8. Personal Finances Are Closely Tied to Personal Freedom</h2> <p>The less you're in debt and the more you're able to stretch your money and budget for the things you want, the more personal freedom you'll have. Teens learn this quickly as they begin to drive and take on small financial responsibilities. If they carry it into adulthood the benefits are far-reaching, often helping them avoid taking on too much debt or developing lifestyles that can't be maintained by their income.</p> <h2>9. There is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch</h2> <p>Popularized by Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, this simple phrase is often echoed by fathers in the hopes of instilling a strong work ethic in their kids. The phrase itself is meant to quickly articulate the idea that nothing in this world is truly free. Though people might give you things for free, those things still required somebody to work and pay for them. Whether we agree with it or not, it's one of the harsh realities that we face living in a society built around economics and the free market. Teens learn this quickly as they begin to transition out of their parents house and into the &quot;real world&quot; where nothing is paid for, and they're now responsible for most of their own expenses.</p> <p><em>What financial lessons did you learn in high school? Do you think more emphasis should be put on real-life finances and budgeting in high school? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-high-school-did-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-these-5-financial-lessons-most-people-learn-in-their-40s">Do You Know These 5 Financial Lessons Most People Learn in Their 40s?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you">The 5 Most Important Financial Lessons People Learn in Their 20s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-in-their-30s-did-you">5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn in Their 30s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-by-kindergarten">5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn by Kindergarten</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-lessons-from-breaking-bad">7 Financial Lessons From Breaking Bad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial education financial lessons money lessons Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:00:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1195535 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn in Their 30s (Did You?) http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-in-their-30s-did-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-in-their-30s-did-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-buying-house-483508949-small.jpg" alt="couple buying house" title="couple buying house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="151" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Regardless of our chosen life path, there are certain financial benchmarks, lessons, and practices along the way that allow us to make the most of what we have and, hopefully, to get ahead. Here are six financial lessons everyone should learn and practice in their 30s. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you?ref=seealso">The 5 Most Important Lessons People Learn in Their 20s</a>)</p> <h2>A Preface on Lifestyle Design</h2> <p>We're generally expected to follow a certain life path &mdash; you know the deal: go to school, get a good job, get married, buy a house, pop out 1.5 kids, etc. And although the lessons below apply to this lifestyle template, they can be moulded to your own unique situation. For example &mdash; because of the financial lessons I applied in my 20s, plus the financial lessons below, I had the financial freedom to redesign my life, sell everything, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">travel the world full-time</a> at the age of 30. So take a broad view of these financial lessons and see how they best suit your own lifestyle designs.</p> <h2>1. Don't Rush Into Buying a House</h2> <p>I used to work as a financial planner, and one of the biggest mistakes I've seen clients (and friends) make is rush into buying property because they're convinced that every month they pay rent, they're throwing money away. So they buy a house with little to no money as a down payment, before realizing that the cost of owning and maintaining property is considerably more than paying rent &mdash; especially after their paltry down payment.</p> <p>One client of mine in her 30s realized her blunder when she lost her house because she got laid off and had no financial reserve (as she had sunk everything &mdash; which wasn't much &mdash; into her house).</p> <p>If you want to buy a house, save aggressively for a down payment. This will reduce your mortgage payments, insulate you against interest rate hikes, and give you a jump start on building equity. And saving for a down payment is a great exercise even if you don't end up buying a house; this money could be used to start a business, pay for additional education, or even <a href="http://www.creditwalk.ca/dear-nora-much-money-need-travel-long-term/">fund long-term travel</a> aspirations).</p> <h2>2. Budget for Having Kids &mdash; But Don't Forget About Retirement</h2> <p>When I was a financial planner, I watched new parents &quot;temporarily&quot; stop saving for retirement when they had kids, only to resume their savings when it was essentially too late (remember that lesson about compound growth you learned in your 20s? It's still very important in your 30s). Other parents simply didn't realize the cost of having kids, or overspent on unnecessary parenting items and baby gear that sunk them into consumer debt. Let's not even talk about the cost of childcare, and later on, higher education. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-afford-to-have-a-baby?ref=seealso">Can You Afford to Have a Baby?</a>)</p> <p>Having kids costs money; make sure you've got a budget for it.</p> <p>And as long as you're having kids, it's good to have a plan to help them financially get ahead in life. Include them in your financial journey, and set milestones for their own financial education that foster comfort and confidence with money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-financially-educate-your-children?ref=seealso">How to Financially Educate Your Children</a>).</p> <h2>3. Use Financial Experts to Get Ahead</h2> <p>With any luck, you already aligned yourself with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-you-need-to-fire-your-financial-planner">financial planner</a> in your 20s and sorted out your insurance needs, but this isn't a one-time exercise. Perform semi-annual financial reviews and periodically reevaluate your insurance needs. And don't try to reinvent the wheel yourself. Team up with financial experts who know their stuff and can advise you accordingly. In your 30s you already have enough on your plate; growing businesses outsource and hire employees to get ahead &mdash; your growing finances require a similar strategy.</p> <h2>4. Go Into Debt Within Your Means</h2> <p>In your 20s, you (hopefully) learned the difference between good debt and bad debt. Regardless of the kind of debt you get into, it's important that you do it within your means, so that you can continue to make payments even if life throws you a curve ball or two.</p> <p>A prime example of how people in their 30s overextend their debt capabilities is in buying property that they can't afford. Banks calculate the mortgage they'll lend you based on a simple equation that doesn't account for your other expenses and obligations. Some people get the biggest house the bank will allow them, before understanding all the other costs of owning property (like taxes, maintenance, repairs, utilities, etc), and they then realize that they're in over their heads. One unexpected financial blow can send this house of cards down.</p> <p>The higher your debt, the fewer options you have, but sometimes taking on that debt is still worthwhile. Ask yourself how your debt will help you, and how it could possibly hinder you.</p> <h2>5. Income Is Just a Number &mdash; Work With What You Have</h2> <p>My first year in the financial planning business netted me $15,000 in income. Six years later I was earning over six figures. I spent those years along the way thinking life would be easy once I hit six figures.</p> <p>It wasn't.</p> <p>In fact, I found that the higher my income was, the higher my expenses were &mdash; but I couldn't explain where the money was going. I simply didn't have the financial cushioning I expected to have with a six-figure income.</p> <p>I made two mistakes that put me behind financially.</p> <p>The first was that I got caught up in the spending curve that came with earning a higher income. I bought more expensive suits. My Honda Civic was no longer the image I &quot;needed&quot; to portray, so I got a nicer car. I took restaurant meals for granted. And my business expenses outlaid to earn more money were considerably higher (such as the need to hire employees). It stands to reason that you spend more money to make more money, but you can get ahead if you're conscious of how you spend it, instead of allowing yourself to get caught up in the whirlwind.</p> <p>The second mistake I made was to arbitrarily attach value to an income figure &mdash; for example &quot;six figures.&quot; Randomly setting that bar without truly understanding how it would make my life better made my eventual achievement of it an anticlimactic disappointment. It's not how much money you make &mdash; it's how you use it to empower your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-lot-of-people-dont-understand-what-money-really-is-do-you">A Lot of People Don't Really Understand What Money Is &ndash; Do You?</a>)</p> <h2>If You Didn't Learn It in Your 20s, There's Still Time</h2> <p>Concepts like compound growth and getting insurance while you're young and healthy still work in your favor when you're in your 30s. Take a minute and brush up on the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you">financial lessons for people in their 20s</a> to make sure you're ahead of the curve.</p> <p><em>What financial lessons did you learn (or re learning or hope to learn) in your 30s? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-in-their-30s-did-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you">The 5 Most Important Financial Lessons People Learn in Their 20s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-these-5-financial-lessons-most-people-learn-in-their-40s">Do You Know These 5 Financial Lessons Most People Learn in Their 40s?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-lessons-from-breaking-bad">7 Financial Lessons From Breaking Bad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-high-school-did-you">9 Financial Lessons People Learn in High School — Did You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-play-teaches-you-about-personal-finance">5 Things Play Teaches You About Personal Finance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 30s financial lessons money lessons Wed, 09 Jul 2014 13:00:04 +0000 Nora Dunn 1154563 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Most Important Financial Lessons People Learn in Their 20s (Did You?) http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_adults_000062067382.jpg" alt="Young adults standing against a wall" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your 20s is a time for living life and discovering your path. It's also an incredibly important time to create a lasting effect on your finances. Financial planning isn't something you do when you get old; in fact, due to the financial lessons I learned in my 20s, I &quot;retired&quot; at 30 to travel full-time, knowing my financial future was safe because of what I did in my 20s. Here are the five most important financial lessons you can learn in your 20s to set you up &mdash; for life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-planning-if-you-re-under-30?ref=seealso">Retirement Planning if You're Under 30</a>)</p> <h2>1. Compound Interest</h2> <p>Because of the beauty of compound interest, saving money early allows you to put away less money overall, but end up with way more.</p> <p>For example, let's look at retirement savings. Hypothetically speaking, you invest a chunk of money &mdash; $10,000 &mdash; at the age of 20, and leave it for 40 years, growing at an average of 8% per year. By the time you're 60, that $10,000 is worth $217,245.</p> <p>If you wait until 30 to invest the same $10,000, it will only be worth $100,626 by age 60. In order to get the same $217,000 at 60, you'd need to invest $22,000.</p> <p>If you wait until 40, $10,000 is only worth $46,609. To get $217,000 at 60, you'd have to invest $47,000.</p> <p>Thus, when you're in your 20s, even if you can only put away a small amount of money for your long-term goals (like retirement, buying a house, investing in business, and more), it's totally worthwhile.</p> <h2>2. Dollar Cost Averaging</h2> <p>Most of us don't have $10,000 to invest at 20. (In fact, many are inundated with debts, but we'll get to that in a minute). This is where <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-dollar-cost-averaging">dollar cost averaging</a> is invaluable.</p> <p>The technicalities of dollar cost averaging are simple. You invest a set amount of money on a regular basis. You set it up so it's automatic, ideally coming out of your account on payday, and ultimately you don't even miss the money.</p> <p>For example, let's say you invest $200 a month, starting at age 20, with an average rate of return of 8% per year. By the time you're 60, it's worth $648,361, and the money you invested totals $96,000.</p> <p>If you wait until 30, your $200 per month would be worth $283,522; to get the same $650,000 if you'd started at 20, you'd need to invest $430 per month, totaling $154,800.</p> <p>If you wait until 40, your $200 per month is worth $114,532 at 60, and to get the same $650,000 you'd need to invest $1,100 per month, totaling $264,000.</p> <p>In addition to compound interest and ease of investing automatically, dollar cost averaging is about getting a good rate of return in a variable market. Most of us don't have the time, inclination, or expertise to time the markets, nor do we have the stomach to buy at the best time &mdash; which is when the market is tanking. Over time, dollar cost averaging allows you to take advantage of all markets, without having to watch stock prices or play the (dangerous) game of market timing.</p> <h2>3. Choose Your Debt Wisely</h2> <p>Your 20s are not only a time of great opportunity to set up your finances for life, but they're also a time for making &mdash; or avoiding &mdash; the biggest mistakes. One of these mistakes (which can take a lifetime to recover from) is getting into debt, specifically bad debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/good-debt-bad-debt?ref=seealso">Good Debt, Bad Debt</a>)</p> <p>In your 20s, you're likely setting up your own home and life away from your parents, which costs money. Many 20-somethings turn to credit cards &mdash; a bad choice if you can't pay them off right away.</p> <h3>Bad Debt</h3> <p>For example, if you charge $5,000 in expenses to a credit card at 18.75% interest, and only make minimum payments of 2.5% of the balance per month, it will take you 50 years to pay it off, totaling $13,000 spent on a mere $5,000 in charges. Even flat payments of $100/month will take 7 years to pay off and $9,000 in payments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-20-somethings-can-do-about-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">What 20-Somethings Can Do About Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>But sometimes debt is unavoidable, and it can even be considered good.</p> <h3>Good Debt</h3> <p>For example, buying a house is often considered good debt; your initial down payment buys you an asset worth much more than the money you currently have, and it appreciates accordingly. Although you're paying interest on the mortgage, part of your payments also go toward equity in the house &mdash; which is your money, and your own growing asset.</p> <p>The trick with buying a home (or investing in other good debt) is to avoid committing to repayments that cripple your other financial goals and quality of life. People often buy houses they can't afford, forgetting about technicalities like property tax, utilities, repairs, and other costs of home ownership beyond the mortgage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-shouldn-t-buy-a-home-if?ref=seealso">You Shouldn't Buy a Home If...</a>)</p> <h2>4. Insurance</h2> <p>Another financial lesson you might not consider in your 20s, but which can pay off in spades, is to get insurance while you're young and healthy. Things like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-and-why-to-buy-life-insurance">life insurance</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/critical-illness-insurance-for-wise-bloggers">critical illness insurance</a> often allow you to lock in your rates based on your age (and state of health) at application. You might not see much need for insurance while you're young, but it's one of those things that you wish for the most when it's too late. Similar to dollar cost averaging and compound interest, a small investment now can save you a ton of money later.</p> <h2>5. Developing Good Habits</h2> <p>The above financial lessons involve developing good habits early on. In our 20s, we're malleable to what life offers, and if we create good habits right away, they're much easier to maintain (and build on) than if we have to readjust our ways later in life &mdash; and pay the price.</p> <p>When I was a financial planner, I loved working with clients in their 20s, because we could achieve so much and set everything up to be easily maintainable. Thus, a great way to develop good financial habits in your 20s is to align yourself with a financial planner who can help you with all the above important lessons, and so much more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-you-need-to-fire-your-financial-planner?ref=seealso">9 Signs You Need to Fire Your Financial Planner</a>)</p> <p><em>What financial lessons do you wish you had learned in your 20s?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-in-their-30s-did-you">5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn in Their 30s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-these-5-financial-lessons-most-people-learn-in-their-40s">Do You Know These 5 Financial Lessons Most People Learn in Their 40s?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-lessons-from-breaking-bad">7 Financial Lessons From Breaking Bad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-high-school-did-you">9 Financial Lessons People Learn in High School — Did You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-play-teaches-you-about-personal-finance">5 Things Play Teaches You About Personal Finance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial basics financial lessons money lessons Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:24:17 +0000 Nora Dunn 1136133 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Reasons Why You Don't Have Financial Common Sense (and How to Get It) http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-you-dont-have-financial-common-sense-and-how-to-get-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-reasons-why-you-dont-have-financial-common-sense-and-how-to-get-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stress-1177811-small.jpg" alt="woman" title="woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you&#39;re always in the hole, you may look anywhere for financial help. You may listen to financial experts on TV, read their books, or pay to attend their seminars on money management and debt elimination. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget?ref=seealso">10 Sites and Apps That Help Manage Your Finances</a>)</p> <p>The truth is, improving one&#39;s financial outlook can be as simple as having financial common sense. It doesn&#39;t take an expert to know that spending more than you earn can trigger financial problems. And you don&#39;t need to read a book to know how excessive credit card use can result in debt, issues with creditors, and sleepless nights.</p> <p>Financial common sense is so simple, yet so hard to follow. Why?</p> <h2>1. We Believe That Things Will Make Us Happy</h2> <p>Retail therapy may be your pattern for coping with your emotions. If you feel stressed, depressed, or anxious, going to the mall and picking up a few items for yourself may be the thing that lifts your spirits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress?ref=seealso">Free Ways to Relieve Stress</a>)</p> <p>But while shopping may put a smile on your face and help you forget the day&#39;s troubles, rarely does it provide lasting happiness.</p> <p>&quot;The positive emotions associated with acquisitions are short-lived,&quot; says a study from the <a href="http://www.press.uchicago.edu/pressReleases/2013/January/jcr1301Richins.html">Journal of Consumer Research</a>. Further, although positive emotions are common after making a purchase, these emotions are less intense than before actually acquiring a product, explains author Marsha L. Richins.</p> <p>Of course, if shopping has become your biggest mood booster, you could probably care less about the psychology. At this point, you want to feel better, and if you feel that a pair of new shoes will make you happy, nothing else matters &mdash; even if you go into debt or spend bill money to acquire them.</p> <p>However, the blues or a bad day doesn&#39;t justify irresponsible spending. There are plenty of other ways to distract yourself, such as journaling, exercising, or listening to music. But if you&#39;re feeling particularly low and believe that retail therapy is the only cure, set a &quot;bummer budget.&quot;</p> <p>Give yourself a strict spending limit &mdash; maybe $20 or $30. There is no rule that says you have to spend a <em>lot</em> to feel better. The experience of a cheap purchase <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-money-really-can-buy-happiness">can provide the same lift</a> as an expensive one.</p> <h2>2. Old Habits Are Hard to Break</h2> <p>If your early adult years involved a lot of spending, no budget, and habitually late payments, looking back, you probably know where you went wrong. But if this has been the routine for years, re-adjusting your thinking and adopting better money habits is much easier to say than do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits?ref=seealso">How to Break Bad Habits</a>)</p> <p>Sure, you know the importance of establishing a budget, as this helps track where your money goes. And you know that paying your bills late can result in late fees and maybe a damaged credit score. However, it&#39;s one thing to know the mistakes you&#39;ve made; it&#39;s an entirely different thing to rewire your brain and make better choices in the future.</p> <p>First, identify why you&#39;ve been unable to change these bad habits. For example, if you pay bills late because you procrastinate opening your mail or because you don&#39;t write down your due dates, take steps to fix these issues. Open mail as soon as it arrives, and keep bills in plain view. Set payment alerts on your phone or schedule recurring payments. Likewise, if you don&#39;t know how to budget or manage your money, hire a financial planner or get help from a relative or friend who&#39;s good with finances. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-habits-of-highly-responsible-credit-card-users?ref=seealso">12 Habits of Responsible Credit Card Users</a>)</p> <h2>3. We Didn&#39;t Learn Good Money Skills</h2> <p>The fact that you have a hard time following simple financial common sense may not be entirely your fault. Although you may have developed some bad habits of your own as an adult, much of what you know about money probably came from your parents. If your folks aren&#39;t the best money managers, you may have inadvertently adopted some of their bad habits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-stupid-things-my-parents-taught-me-about-money?ref=seealso">Stupid Things My Parents Taught Me About Money</a>)</p> <p>According to the 5th Annual Parents, Kids, and Money Survey conducted by mutual company T. Rowe Price, nearly 97% of kids surveyed said that they learned money habits from their parents.</p> <p>If your parents didn&#39;t save, used credit cards excessively, paid their bills late, and didn&#39;t budget, you&#39;re likely to imitate this behavior. And if you observed these habits for the first 18 or 19 years of your life, following financial common sense may require erasing everything you&#39;ve learned about money and acknowledging that your parents&#39; way isn&#39;t the right way.</p> <h2>4. We&#39;re Trying to Impress Others</h2> <p>With credit cards and home equity, just about anyone can live the good life. You know, designer clothes, nice shoes, lavish vacations &mdash; basically a life that says, &quot;I have it all.&quot;</p> <p>The problem, however, is that some of those people flaunting the good life are up to their noses in debt. We live in a materialistic world where success is determined by bank accounts and where many feel the need to have the best and biggest of everything. And while some people see this as nothing more than false security and fake happiness, others fall for the hype and spend their lives trying to keep up with others. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-peer-pressure-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso">Is Peer Pressure Keeping You Poor?</a>)</p> <p>This thinking and attitude makes it difficult to follow financial common sense, because while your bank account says you can&#39;t afford a particular item, your brain says you need the item to fit in and maintain a certain status. For many habitual overspenders, no amount of financial education will correct the behavior &mdash; usually the correction only comes after a serious financial crisis.</p> <p><em>What are your thoughts on why it&#39;s so hard for us to observe financial common sense sometimes? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-you-dont-have-financial-common-sense-and-how-to-get-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you">The 5 Most Important Financial Lessons People Learn in Their 20s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-in-their-30s-did-you">5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn in Their 30s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-these-5-financial-lessons-most-people-learn-in-their-40s">Do You Know These 5 Financial Lessons Most People Learn in Their 40s?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-lessons-from-breaking-bad">7 Financial Lessons From Breaking Bad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-high-school-did-you">9 Financial Lessons People Learn in High School — Did You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial lessons money lessons Fri, 17 Jan 2014 10:48:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1111397 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Financial Lessons From Breaking Bad http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-lessons-from-breaking-bad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-financial-lessons-from-breaking-bad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4421434228_3e1766e92d_z.jpg" alt="Breaking Bad poster" title="Breaking Bad poster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The hit TV show "Breaking Bad" will leave a lasting legacy as one of the most intense and popular shows on television. Watching Walter White and associates descend deeper into meth madness week after week has been truly entertaining. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-lessons-from-sons-of-anarchy">Financial Lessons from &quot;Sons of Anarchy&quot;</a>)</p> <p>But it's also been educational from a personal finance standpoint.</p> <p>Suffice it to say, Walter White made a lot of questionable decisions. And while we're probably never going to make a foray into making crystal meth, many of his choices can offer helpful lessons in money management for the average, law-abiding citizen. From preparing for disaster to investing your money and how to deal with unexpected wealth, there is much to learn from the craziness of Breaking Bad. Here are seven lessons to take away from the madness. [Caution: Spoilers Coming]</p> <h2>1. Practice Good Estate Planning</h2> <p>Walter White began cooking crystal meth because he got an unexpected cancer diagnosis. He wanted to pay off his medical bills and make sure his family was taken care of.</p> <p>There are obviously better ways to plan for a bad event.</p> <p>Life insurance is something everyone with a family should have. Do you have enough coverage? Look into setting up an annuity or other vehicle that can result in consistent payments to your family if the worst should happen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-affordable-life-insurance">How to Buy Affordable Life Insurance</a>)</p> <p>Another big piece of estate planning is your emergency fund. Do you have enough cash in the bank to get through a tough period? Many financial advisors suggest putting away at least six months of salary.</p> <p>A Roth IRA is a great way to save for retirement due to its tax advantages, but it also comes in handy in an emergency because any deposits you make can be withdrawn without a penalty.</p> <p>Take time to review your financial plan. Are you prepared to handle any bad news that comes your way?</p> <h2>2. Get Quality Health Insurance</h2> <p>Health insurance is a vital part of your financial plan, and it's important to review your policy to ensure you're properly covered.</p> <p>Walter White lived in a pre-Obamacare world. That means his medical expenses may not have been capped. Under the new Affordable Care Act, his expenses would have been capped at $12,700 annually, even if he had the low-cost &quot;Bronze Plan&quot; purchased through one of the new health insurance exchanges. (He also would not have been turned down by insurers for any pre-existing conditions.) (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/understanding-the-affordable-care-acts-health-insurance-exchange">Understanding the ACA&rsquo;s Health Insurance Exchange</a>)</p> <p>But even under Obamacare, it's still important to find coverage that won't leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars that you may not have budgeted for. If you get insurance through your employer, review it closely to ensure you're properly covered. If you do purchase coverage through a health insurance exchange, <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/how-do-i-choose-marketplace-insurance/">take a look at the Gold or Platinum plans</a>, which have higher premiums but more comprehensive coverage. Being underinsured can still lead to financial hardship.</p> <p>If you do come down with a medical condition, your employer may offer a health spending account, which allows you to deposit money tax free to help pay medical bills. Keep in mind, too, that unreimbursed medical expenses are often tax-deductible.</p> <h2>3. Talk About Money With Your Spouse</h2> <p>Walter thought he was best off hiding the truth from his wife, Skyler, but he'd have been better off being honest with her from the start.</p> <p>According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, <a href="http://www.nefe.org/press-room/news/marrying-your-money-2011.aspx">31% of American adults who combined assets with a spouse or partner say they have tried to conceal</a> the truth about their finances. Nearly 60% of these adults say they hid cash from their partner or spouse. But that same report also pointed out that in most cases, spouses end up finding out the truth, anyway.</p> <p>Once Skyler knew about Walt's &quot;business,&quot; she was &mdash; surprisingly &mdash; able to help him. But their relationship was irreparably damaged. The lesson here is that hiding financial truths from your spouse can strain a relationship and cause you to make bad choices. A family's finances are always better off when everyone is aware of the full picture.</p> <h2>4. Do Something With Your Money</h2> <p>Since most of Walter's money was obtained illegally, he had trouble investing it through traditional means. That's why he kept most of his cash under the floor, in storage units, and in barrels in the desert.</p> <p>But for the rest of us, it rarely makes sense to follow the &quot;under the mattress&quot; philosophy of saving. Most bank savings accounts and CDs will pay you interest and are FDIC-insured. There are also plenty of other safe investments, including bonds, that will protect your initial investment and offer a return. Even stocks are generally safe if you invest in index funds and don't need your money for a decade or more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-steps-to-getting-started-in-the-stock-market-with-index-funds">How to Get Started With Index Funds</a>)</p> <h2>5. Manage Your Risk, and Don't Get Greedy</h2> <p>Walter White's downfall may have come when he continued to cook crystal meth even when he had more money than he'd ever need. He let ego and pride get in the way of sensible thinking, and continued taking big risks when he didn't have to.</p> <p>It's tempting to always go after the highest return on investments. But investments with the highest returns often have the highest level of risk.</p> <p>The lesson here is that if you are ahead of the game in achieving your financial goals, consider taking a more conservative investment approach to protect what you have. This is especially true for folks who are approaching the age at which they plan to retire.</p> <h2>6. Don't Buy Flashy Things, Especially for Your Kids</h2> <p>After Walter's drug money started rolling in, he went and bought Walt Jr. an expensive sports car. This was, of course, a terrible idea for someone trying to keep a low profile.</p> <p>Even if you come into a lot of money legally, there are better things to do than blow it on an expensive material item. (Especially a car, which declines in value the second you drive off the lot.)</p> <p>Even ultra-rich people should take time to teach their children about good financial habits. If you feel the need to get a car for a teenager, take them to the car lot and have them learn about how cars are marketed and priced. Let them help you negotiate the best price on a small, reliable, and fuel-efficient sedan. Once it's bought, set up a plan for having them pay you back.</p> <p>And set a good example &mdash; parents who spend money irresponsibly have kids who spend money irresponsibly.</p> <h2>7. Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help</h2> <p>When Walter needed to launder his drug money, he called Saul. When he needed some bad guys to disappear, he found Mike or some other henchmen. Without some help, there's a good chance Walt and Jesse would have been caught or dead before Season 3.</p> <p>It never hurts to consult with experts when you are in over your head. If you are confused by how to invest your money, find a good financial advisor. If you have home or auto repairs that you can't handle yourself, hire a guy. It's OK to get help.</p> <p><em>Any other financial lessons to be learned from Breaking Bad? Please share them in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-lessons-from-breaking-bad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you">The 5 Most Important Financial Lessons People Learn in Their 20s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-in-their-30s-did-you">5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn in Their 30s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-these-5-financial-lessons-most-people-learn-in-their-40s">Do You Know These 5 Financial Lessons Most People Learn in Their 40s?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-high-school-did-you">9 Financial Lessons People Learn in High School — Did You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-play-teaches-you-about-personal-finance">5 Things Play Teaches You About Personal Finance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance breaking bad finance financial lessons money money lessons Tue, 01 Oct 2013 10:00:04 +0000 Tim Lemke 993574 at http://www.wisebread.com Financial Lessons From "It's A Wonderful Life" http://www.wisebread.com/financial-lessons-from-its-a-wonderful-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/financial-lessons-from-its-a-wonderful-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5686208886_a8b9c9690f_b.jpg" alt="George Bailey" title="George Bailey" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You may have seen the classic film <a href="http://www.filmsite.org/itsa.html">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s A Wonderful Life&rdquo;</a> that is often played over the holidays. Set on Christmas Eve in the 1940s, the story is told through a series of flashbacks, an alternate reality of what the world would look like if main character George Bailey had never been born, and, finally, a happy resolution in the present day.</p> <p>Described as a <a href="http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-eve-story-of-alternative.html">reverse &ldquo;A Christmas Carol&rdquo;</a> with George&rsquo;s nemesis Mr. Henry F. Potter playing a Scrooge-like role, the movie has many financial lessons that are relevant today. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-personal-finance-lessons-from-harry-potter">21 Personal Finance Lessons From Harry Potter</a>)</p> <h3>Financial Crises Can Cause Tremendous Stress</h3> <p>George Bailey went berserk and contemplated suicide in a financial crisis. As the top executive of a local financial institution, Bailey Bros. Building and Loan Association, he was responsible for regulatory compliance. But when his Uncle Billy, a key employee, lost an $8,000 bank deposit on Christmas Eve (which coincided with a visit from the bank examiner), he faced criminal charges for embezzlement unless he could repay the money immediately. Though he was innocent, George questioned all of his life, career, and financial decisions that led to this situation.</p> <h3>Some Business Owners Don&rsquo;t Have Your Best Interests at Heart</h3> <p>Mr. Henry F. Potter, a wealthy business owner who gained control over the local bank, didn&rsquo;t care about those who lived and worked in the community. George seemed to be one of the few people who recognized the potential long-term effect of Potter&rsquo;s power over the local economy. As a result, he spent a lot of energy protecting residents from Potter&rsquo;s plans to control real estate and business development in the area. When his guardian angel showed George what the town would have looked like if he had never lived, you get an idea of the social and economic conditions that might exist if Potter's evil intentions went unchecked.</p> <h3>A Family Member May or May Not Be Your Best Employee</h3> <p>Uncle Billy, the brother of George&rsquo;s father, nearly ruined the business. He drank on the job and didn't seem to be a productive employee even in the best of times. George could have hired a better employee or given him lesser responsibilities, somehow finding a way to show generosity in a way that didn&rsquo;t compromise the business.</p> <p>On the other hand, George's younger brother Harry Bailey seemed to be a valuable asset to his father-in-law&rsquo;s glass manufacturing company. So, managing a successful business means being discriminating about your choice of employees.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Build an Emergency Fund</h3> <p>George was thrifty but didn't have an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">emergency fund</a>. He worked for years to set aside the money to travel and attend college, so he was capable of saving. Though he didn't spend needlessly, he also didn't pay himself first, but rather put others' needs ahead of his own. As a result, he didn't have the means to save his company from disaster.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Not All Financial Institutions Are Run Alike</h3> <p>There was a significant difference between the lending policies of Potter&rsquo;s bank and Bailey Bros. Building and Loan Association. When making a decision about financial services, compare interest rates, fees, etc., as they may vary widely among institutions. &nbsp;</p> <h3>Resourcefulness Can Save Money</h3> <p>Mary, George's wife, saved money by buying a fixer-upper and making repairs herself while she was raising their family. Even though this process was time consuming as well as frustrating to George at times, she was able to help provide shelter for herself, George, and their four children.</p> <h3>Progressive Lending Policies Can Fuel the Local Economy</h3> <p><a href="http://www.answers.com/topic/building-and-loan-associations">Building and Loan Associations</a>&nbsp;provided real estate loans to families at a time when short-term mortgage loans were the norm. When these loans were called, often after five years (as opposed to a more typical 30-year term today), most people couldn&rsquo;t afford to pay the outstanding balance. As a result, banks foreclosed on many homes. The types of loans that George&rsquo;s business provided gave the working class a better opportunity to own a home and helped to create a thriving local economy. &nbsp;</p> <h3>Companies Often Purchase the Competition to Gain Market Share</h3> <p>Potter attempted to buy members&rsquo; shares of the local building and loan association as a way to stifle competition. Later, he tried to lure George from the financial institution by offering him a compensation package that far exceeded the business valuation. Potter&rsquo;s goal was to eliminate cheaper alternatives for area residents so that he could gain market share and later raise prices.</p> <h3>Welcoming New Industries to Town Can Help the Community (and You)</h3> <p>When Mary's former beau, Sam Wainwright, mentioned that his company was going to build a factory in Rochester, George asked him to use a vacant facility in Bedford Falls instead. Later, employees of Sam&rsquo;s business were likely among those who helped bail out the Baileys.</p> <h3>Investing in New Technologies Could Increase Your Wealth</h3> <p>George turned down Sam&rsquo;s offer to invest in his new plastics venture, which later made Sam very wealthy. He may not have had the extra money at the time, but just because he personally wasn&rsquo;t going to leave Bedford Falls for a higher-paying and more exciting job shouldn&rsquo;t have excluded the possibility of investing in a potentially ground-breaking business.</p> <h3>In Marriage, a Financially Compatible Spouse Is Crucial to Happiness</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-happy-and-married-24-tips-from-a-24-year-old-marriage">Husband-and-wife team</a> George and Mary agreed on decisions that impacted the family&rsquo;s financial status. They stood together as they made career and money moves that focused on community betterment rather than personal wealth, such as staying in their hometown and forgoing a honeymoon to keep the family business open. Most importantly, though, Mary understood the financial consequences of the couple&rsquo;s priorities and was not bitter or regretful about the path that they chose.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Relationships Are More Valuable Than Money</h3> <p>When George saw the reality of life in his hometown without his presence, he realized that the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you">investments he had made in relationships</a> were worthy of setting aside travel plans and career ambitions. And, ultimately, he was redeemed by these relationships. Mary alerted friends and family to his troubles, and people brought cash to reconcile the building and loan association's shortfall.</p> <p>The big take-away is that we can use our financial resources as well as our talent and time to lead impactful lives. Not only can we inspire and encourage our family and friends but we can influence the direction of our local communities and global events.</p> <p><em>What financial lessons have you learned from &quot;It's a Wonderful Life&quot;?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-lessons-from-its-a-wonderful-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-stream-tv-and-movies-for-free">The 8 Best Ways to Stream TV and Movies for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-movies-about-money">25 Great Movies About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40">6 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making by Age 40</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Entertainment emergency fund financial lessons mortgage movies Mon, 24 Dec 2012 11:24:30 +0000 Julie Rains 959732 at http://www.wisebread.com