Continuing from Part I. Read it here!

  • Be Proactive: A lot of bad spending and finance habits are reactive. That means many of us wait until something bad happens in order to fix it. Think about the dentists bill, or the car in the repair garage. The reactive spender stretches their credit limits to cover it; the proactive spender is already prepared. How so? A proactive financial mindset means preparing for the inevitable snags in life by continually setting aside for these emergencies. That way, there is always a cushion there for you to deal with surprises. Not to mention, it makes holiday and other gift shopping that much easier. If you’re not in a position to open a new account for the rainy day, that’s no excuse. If you get a regular paycheck, set aside just a bit, $20, 5%, whatever– because in this respect something is truly better than nothing. Also, set it up for automatic transfer, so you don’t even need to think about budgeting out your savings on payday. And as you get used to reduced take-home pay, maybe up the contribution to your future self.
  • Check yourself: Sometimes, we’re in the mindset that we’re destined for a certain career or position, and that other jobs are “beneath us”. But that idea couldn’t be more wrong. You must remember that in life, nothing is owed you– it’s up to you to go out there and get what you want. If you need to support yourself or a family, you should never skimp out on a job if you can land it. Pick it up, and look for what you want. Also, check your spending. Just because you feel you deserve a big purchase or investment doesn’t automatically mean you can make it.
  • Saying No: While it takes guts to say “no” to your friends when they want to have a ritzy night out on the town or dine at a pos restaurant, it takes way more to say “no” to family. If someone in the family is undertaking a very risky decision that you know may not end well, you are not obliged to go down with them. Rose recalls his mother asking him to consign a real-estate investment in Las Vegas. When Rose said “no” when keeping in mind his mother’s credit history, he must have felt really bad. But sure enough, late 2000’s real estate wasn’t great in most places in the country– Vegas included. Had Jeff agreed to his mother’s wishes, there would be two family members in the hole, and not just one.

Part of growing up means constantly educating ourselves and questions not only what we’ve learned, but the (sometimes) perceived infallibility of people who taught us, like teachers or parents. While they are important, some lessons aren’t always the right ones, and its up to each of us to continuously hunt for the truth.