Financial Lessons I’ve Learned in 34 Years

Brent Pittman —  03/14/2012

A few days ago I turned 34. Wow! That sounds like a big number, but I’m just getting started.

I’ve learned a lot about life and money over these 34 years through making mistakes, observing others, and reading a lot.

A Few Financial Lessons I’ve Learned in 34 Years

1. Money Won’t Bring Happiness– I’ve had money and been scraping by at times, but at the end of the day faith and family are more important than money.

2. Save Early and Save Often- I’ve always been a saver ever since I had my first piggy bank. I’ve saved for cars, trips, plane tickets…etc. It is a habit that has paid off literally for me. I even have an emergency fund and an allocated savings fund for upcoming expenses.

3. A Monthly Budget is Key- Budgeting is a cornerstone to financial success and stability. The times I didn’t know where my money was going were times when I wasn’t moving forward financially. Now I know how to budget like a pro.

4. Work Hard-  My first jobs taught me how to work hard. This has always kept me employable and helped me to start my own businesses. Life is to short not to do what you enjoy.

5. Keep Reading after School- I read a good bit as a kid and I’ve kept this habit as an adult. I generally only read nonfiction books, which helps make me an expert in field. This year I plan to read at least 15 nonfiction books this year about money and personal finances.

6. Turn Off the TV- I don’t need no stinkin’ TV. The only time I made the Dean’s List in college is the summer I put my T.V. in the closet and took a full load. This showed me that watching T.V. can harm your performance and suck up your limited time.

7. Keep on Giving- What good is having money if you can’t give? Some of the best moments I’ve had with money, involve giving to people and good causes. I’ve given through having lots of money and when I was a poor student.

8. There is No Such Thing as “Good Debt”- As a financial coach and personal financial writer, I’ve seen a lot of budgets and heard a lot of horror stories. Debt of any kind is a disease that can harm the whole family and county as in the housing crisis of 08.

9. Marry Up- For most of us guys this is easy. I certainly did marry up and to a wonderfully frugal gal I must say. We went through some premarital exercises to see if we were right for each other before we tied the knot.

10. Live Within Your Means- I was reminded of this once again after watching the movie Moneyball (7 Lessons for Life and Personal Finance)

What are the most important lessons about life and money you’ve learned so far? 

Photo credit Theresa Thompson (Creative Commons)

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.