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“You will make some money and you will lose some. It’s OK. It’s part of learning. It is important to take the lesson and keep going.” Daniel Kertcher

A recent post in a Facebook group I belong to asked for ideas she could share with her readers in a blog she writes geared to younger readers. Her question: “What do you all wish you knew about money when you were a teenager?” It got me reflecting on my own life so, without further ado, here is my list of things I wish I’d known about money when I was younger…

  • Having checks in your checkbook (back when we paid everything with checks) does NOT mean you have money! There actually needs to be a balance on the register! OK-this was never an issue for me but it amazed me to see these commercials on Armed Forces Television when I lived in Germany. Apparently it needed to be said.
  • The “rush” you get from a shopping spree is fleeting. The credit card debt and regret, as well as the house full of stuff you have absolutely no use for, lingers for a very long time. Who needs 5 electric coffee makers, anyhow?
  • When you get married, if you have any size wedding, you’ll receive cash gifts. Don’t go to the mall on your honeymoon and spend that cash on stuff you’ll have absolutely no use for 6 months from now when the cupboard is bare and payday is 5 days away.
  • Put together not only a written budget but also some kind of bill tracking system. It makes it MUCH easier for you when you have everything in one place and you know what is paid and what isn’t.
  • Shop around-don’t take the first offer you’re given because something better will inevitably come along sooner rather than later.
  • Impulse shopping is a recipe for disaster. Step away from the credit cards!
  • Being in debt is one of the worst possible situations you can ever put yourself in. Some debt is necessary, especially if you want to buy a house, but more often than not it is TOTALLY unnecessary to go into debt for what you need.
  • While it has always existed, social media has made the concept of “keeping up with the Joneses” much more prominent these days. Just because you neighbor has the latest and greatest doesn’t mean you need it, too. Be happy and satisfied with what you have.
  • It is NEVER fun to be down to your last nickel. 
  • Anticipate the rainy day and be ready for it. There’s not much certain in this world but you can be absolutely certain of this.
  • Know how insurance works. Never, EVER let it lapse. Same with your termite bond.
  • Invest early and often. Compound interest is a very good thing.
  • Money is a tool. You are a human. YOU have control over money, not the other way around. Humans are at the top of the food chain for a reason…

OK, what did I miss? I’m sure I haven’t included everything I wish I’d known about money when I was younger! Please leave a comment saying what YOU would tell your younger “you” about money if you were given the chance. I look forward to reading your comments-thanks!!

Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…

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