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Financial savvy -- good luck or good decisions?

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    I don't offer financial advice to anyone unless they actively ask me for it.

    Change comes from within.


      Originally posted by Shewillbemine View Post
      I don't offer financial advice to anyone unless they actively ask me for it.
      I think that's a given.


        I think luck plays a BIG role, not so much in determining one's personality and savings behavior, but in terms of timing and when someone learns the knowledge necessary to make the right decisions.

        I was lucky. Age 18, while channel surfing, I came across a financial show that caught my attention because there was literally nothing else on tv. AND only by chance, did I come across the channel and linger long enough at the time when it talked about something that caught my attention which also was relevant to my financial situation.

        What lesson did I learn?
        I learned that I should invest my few thousand dollars in savings into a Roth IRA because saving 5k a year from age 18-25 is equivalent to saving 5k from 26 to the rest of your life. The caller received that advice which I decided was also applicable to me. So the next week I opened a Roth IRA.

        I am certain I would not come across that factoid/statistic for at least another 5 years if I had not heard it then. By then, I would have been way short on my retirement planning.


          I think that a huge component of our financial situations are how we were brought up. Sadly, children who were raised in poor households are more likely to stay poor. That being said, you are not doomed to stay poor if you were raised in a poor household. That is where personal decisions come in. People need to stop feeling sorry for themselves and assume that "it is the way it is." You are responsible for changing your situation if you do not like it.


            Originally posted by YLTL_Dan View Post
            I don't necessarily agree with this quote. It gives too much leniency and allows us to continually justify away our bad decisions.

            The key is to proactively learn personal finance and live your life like a cause, and not wait around and be effected by mistakes.

            That being said, I've been far from perfect and have learned a lot from the mistakes I've made (look at my signature!). However, now I'm much more proactive in learning so I can hopefully prevent as many future financial mistakes as possible.
            You could read it that way, or you could read it the way I did... which was:

            "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

            Second chances to make the same mistake DO NOT exist. It no longer becomes a mistake, it becomes a choice.


              Many people make bad choices, and cannot see it for themselves. The same goes for people with overspending habits, overeating habits - it is all the same - and nobody wants to look at themselves and admit that it is their problem.
              Like you said real hardships exist - medical emergency, death in the family, loss of job, and these things can certainly take a person who was on the right track and put them quickly into a bad situation. But I think more than anything poor choices for the most part are what lead people into debt.
              The best question is how to educate people well enough to help themselves. If they do not come from an enviroment where they learn to work and save for the future, develop an emergency fund, save half their paycheck, then how will they know how to avoid problems?
              It is the same for people who never learn good health habits and become obese. One can blame genetics but that has proven to be mostly incorrect. Look at the biggest loser - they all become thin people and most maintain their new weights after leaving the show and just have completely changed their lifestyle. The same goes for people with income/expense issues. There are so many ways to spend spend spend and our society encourages it. It is just a matter of fighting temptation.