For one reason or another I’ve recently had a lot of time to reflect on some of the personal finance lessons I’ve learnt throughout my life. I am extremely lucky to have a father who is somewhat “financial literate”. Growing up I found this frustrating, especially in my teenage years! I wasn’t allowed to indulge in spending loads and my family always insisted on saving.
Whilst it may have meant I missed out on the latest “must-have” it set me up for the student lifestyle I’d experience at university. Although I have another two years until I qualify as a dentist, alongside my degree I am being more pro-active in teaching myself about the world of finance. Having a boyfriend who works in the investment industry and a father with a key interest in managing his own stocks and shares, I’ve had plenty of advice. I am proud to say that as of a few months ago I too have entered the world of investment.
It is one of those things that many people put off because they don’t know enough about it. Others feel that they don’t have any money too invest. As a woman in my early twenties with absolute no financial background or interest in finance, I fell into both of these categories. Hopefully this post will offer some guidance and help you work towards your financial goals.
Finance Lessons to Live By:
1. Must Read Books:
I think this is the first time sharing this with you guys but I am OBSESSED with the podcast “What You Will Learn“. I’ve changed my life in numerous ways since listening to it and recommend it to everyone. It is created by two Australian guys (both named Adam) who give an upbeat, insightful reflection on a variety of books. They cover a range of books that can influence your outlook on life. Being pushed for time, it means that you can often get the key life lessons from a book within twenty minutes. They recommended the following books which gave me my first insight into financial lessons:
Rich Dad, Poor Dad – This book teaches you several financial lessons by comparing the fathers of two children. One is highly educated and works purely for money but spends his life struggling. The other Dad makes money work for him and nurtures entrepreneurial skills. Key Take Home Message – No one ever gets rich from working. Don’t work for money, look beyond that. Work to develop your skills and look at the long term picture.
The Richest Man in Babylon – Whilst this book is written in a slightly dubious style, the financial lessons it gives are a necessity. It is written as a series of parables and is highly accessible to anyone wanting to learn about finance. Key Take Home Message – “Control thy expenses”, even those who earn the most money live to their means and save nothing. Start the habit of saving now no matter how little that might be.
2. Speak to Others:
Now this is a strange one. I think all us British can agree that we don’t like speaking about money. I’m not saying you have to tell people exactly how much you earn or how much you save. However, speaking to different people about their attitudes to money will teach you a lot. Everyone has varying strategies on investments, the use of ISAs and whether to buy into property. Learning about their reasoning and doing your own research will educate you about varying areas of finance. It will also open up your awareness to areas you might have never come across before.
3. Know Your Limitations:
This one is so important. There’s no two ways about it, everyone thinking about investments for the first time are concerned about risk and quite rightly so. Don’t dive into anything, I’d recommend getting advice from an expert the first time you invest or setting up fake stocks and shares to practice with.
““You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.”
Note – Just because I’ve scratched the surface in terms of financial lessons and agree with them myself, doesn’t mean that I always follow them! It is very much a work in progress and I’m sure along the line I’ll make numerous financial slip-ups, but isn’t that how we learn?
I apologise for how wordy this post has become. Hopefully you found it useful, especially in the materialistic world we live in today!