What’s the hardest lesson you’ve ever had to learn about money? What’s the most powerful one? For many people, these lessons come from hard-earned experience. They aren’t taught in a classroom. It’s the learn-as-you-go way to understanding personal finance. And these lessons we pick up can shape how we think about and handle money. They can also stick with us for life.
So, what are the money lessons that are never too early to know? Are there any you still have to learn? Or get better at? Let’s find out.
These essential lessons aren’t typically taught in school, but they’re still incredibly valuable to know as early as possible.
- Accountability is key. Financial accountability means responsibility, honesty, and recognizing how your choices affect your financial outcomes. It requires planning, routine check-ins, consequences, and a commitment to try again when things don’t go your way. Ask Yourself: When’s my next check-in to see how I’m doing on my financial goals? What will I do if I don’t hit my target.
- Pay Yourself First. Invest in your savings, retirement, and insurance before spending on anything else. Make them mandatory expenses. If you do, you can re-order your other spending around these financial priorities. Ask Yourself: What do my financial safety nets look like? Am I on track to retire when I want to – or keep enjoying my retirement the way I want to?
- Money Isn’t the Only Thing. Wealth gives you options, but money won’t fulfill us. Time, relationships, and our well-being can matter far more than money when it comes to long-term happiness. Ask Yourself: When and why do I prioritize money over my relationships or health? How can I change that?
- Understanding Your Money Mindset is Critical. A money mindset is the beliefs and attitudes about money that unconsciously shape financial behaviors. Knowing your money mindset can be the first step to improving it and making better financial choices. Ask Yourself: When I think about my financial future, do I feel more anxious or optimistic? When I run into a financial issue, do I procrastinate or focus on solutions?
- Don’t by Intimidated by Your Money. You do NOT need to be a personal financial pro to make smart choices for your future. A solid strategy, commitment, and willingness to learn can go a long way towards financial success. Ask Yourself: What aspects of personal finance confuse or overwhelm me? What could I learn more about – taxes, retirement, interest rates, or inflation?
Were any of these lessons new for you? Have you heard them all before? Familiar or foreign, learning these lessons about money isn’t like memorizing a simple fact. It’s not a one-and-done deal. It’s more like honing a life skill. New situations and challenges can pop up at any time. After all, in life and finance, things can change quickly. That can mean we end up facing new complex financial choices that we never expected.
If or when that happens, you don’t have to learn your next important financial lesson the hard way. And you don’t have to jump into any decision blindly or stand at the crossroads alone. Our team is always here to help you with any financial questions or concerns and help you build a solid financial plan.