• Money Mistakes Vol. 1

    I am sure I'm stating the obvious when I say we've all made some mistakes with money: from spending too much, not investing enough, borrowing money for emergencies, to not saving enough in an emergency fund, or using a credit card for an emergency. We've all been there before! 

    I can speak for myself on some sub-par financial decisions I've made in the past. I remember when I graduated from college and obtained my first "career job". I had some money saved up from working internships over the summer (definitely a blessing!) and I worked during each school year. Now, here's where things took a turn... I had a car; it was a 1997 blue 200SX SE Nissan which I had since I was 16. Mom was nice enough to give me her old car for a 16th birthday gift and it was in great shape! By the time I graduated college, I believe it had a little over 120,000 miles (if that) and was running pretty well. A couple months into working I started having some car trouble...

    image by SE-R.net

    Well more like routine stuff: breaks, fluids, water pump, tires, etc. It was safe to say, I was not too happy about making random fixes of $75-$150 every month but this is the responsibility of having a vehicle which most of us who drive a car can understand. As my "car woes" began to happen people, mostly friends & family, started saying things to me like, "You should get a new car" or "You just got a good job, you are doing well for yourself go ahead & buy a new car". Those statements along with me convincing myself I should get a graduation gift led me to the decision to, you guess it, buy a new car.  When I say new, I mean a car new to me... that is a "new used car".  

    To clarify, there is nothing wrong with buying a car, used or new assuming you have the money, cash-money! The mistake I made was I got together all my reserved funds, put a little over half down on a $19k new used car that once I drove off the lot was probably worth $16K at best and I was stuck with a car payment for 4 years (note: when merchants say "Y" amount of months it sounds better to us then "X" amount of years, it's a marketing trick... don't fall for it). How in the world could I have been so careless! My three biggest mistakes in this situation were:

    1) I Didn't Count the Cost
    In Luke 14:28-30 Jesus is speaking about counting the cost when it comes to following Him in this story. If I would have applied this concept to my real life situation of taking a hard look at what I am giving up and what I'm gaining from this decision I probably would have made a better choice such as bought a car I could afford with some of my savings. I could have waited to save up more as well; it wasn't like my 200SX SE was done for yet. I was low on funds for a while after that, not to mention I still had a car to payoff and maintenance didn't magically disappear because my vehicle was upgraded. No bueno!

    2) I Took Advice From Broke People
    I mean this in the most respectful & loving way possible... if you take money advice from broke people regardless of their relationship to you... chances are you'll be broke too.

    3) I Convinced Myself I Deserved It
    This is easy for any of us to do. I'm all for celebration after a big or even small victory, but make sure the celebration doesn't come home with you in the form of interest payments.

    The good news is the story doesn't end there, Praise Jesus! I was so anxious about owing money (I'm wired like that, it's an interesting quality) I came up with a plan to pay it off in 2 years, committed it to God (see Proverbs 16:3) and knocked it out in a year and a half!  Thank God, I was free again!

    The point of the story is most of us have made bad decisions in some way with money, but Lord willing we may be given the opportunity to turn those around (if you do PLEASE take advantage).  It may take some work, some sacrifice, and some self control but financial emancipation... PRICELESS!  Here are three tips to make better decisions with your hard earned cash, please do better than me:

    1)  Think Before You Buy
    Before you buy something that's a "want" especially if it's a larger purchase take at least 24 hours and think about it with a clear mind. Use that time to count the cost.

    2)  Be Mindful of Where You Get Advice
    Speak to multiple people who really love you, by love I mean authentically have your best interest at heart & have a strong track record with money. Look for people who are not afraid to tell you the truth in love.

    3) Set Pride Aside 
    Pride is such a smooth operator and it can sneak up on us quickly. Don't be so puffed up that you can't ask for help when you know you're in over your head or be so into yourself that you feel you should have it because you deserve it. Pride can blind us during decision making for the worst!

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    F.O.F. Financial Coaching LLC
    "Where you choose Faith over Fear for your Finances"   

    1. Such a valid point! Thank you for bringing this to our remembrance.

    2. Thank you for reading. I hope it's a blessing to you and others.






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