I have learned a lot of things about money. Some lessons are good, some are bad. For some of them, I had to reach rock bottom in order to learn. I value the lessons greatly and I hope you can too. Here are 9 Things I’ve learned about Money.
1. Money Literacy is Key
As the saying goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Basic financial concepts were not taught at home or school. Thus, a lot of my money mistakes were caused by ignorance.
Sometimes I wonder much further along I would be in life if I knew what I know now at a younger age. I’m grateful to now be in a position where I am financially literate and I want others, especially women to be the same.
2. Fixating on a Money Goal Can be Bad
I wanted to buy a house, get married and have kids with my ex. To me, being a homeowner would be a sign to the world that I had “made it”. I was desperate for this vision to come true. Unfortunately, my ex had other ideas.
I ended up tolerating behaviours from him which I shouldn’t have. I also did things with money that I look back on in disbelief. This was all because of the vision I had for my life. After he disappointed me for the millionth time, there came a day when I no longer wanted that life. I knew I wanted a mortgage, marriage and children in my future but that would not happen, as long as he was in my life. I simply let go.
It was the most freeing feeling. Almost overnight, A weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was able to dream of a bigger, better life and it motivated me to leave that relationship. If you are in a place where a certain goal or vision is holding you back, letting it go can be freeing.
3. Having The Latest Gadget Doesn’t Matter!
Like many people, I valued having the latest version of any gadget. I used to upgrade and renew my phone contract every year. Then my ex forced me to sell my gadgets and I was left without a phone. I eventually bought a cheap Nokia just to communicate.
As horrendous as this experience was, It taught me that I didn’t need the latest gadgets. A cheaper, affordable gadget can do the same things as the latest version. I also discovered how much money I was wasting on the contracts. Today, my phone, laptop and iPad are all paid for and they are not their brand’s latest versions.
4. Becoming Debt-Free Isn’t Impossible
I was surprised when I finally calculated the amount of debt I owed. The best thing I did was to just start making payments. I remember at one point, I was paying £1 a month to my creditors. Eventually, I started a Debt Management Plan and was able to increase my repayments.
It felt like it was an impossible task. I utilised 18 small habits that eventually led me to becoming debt-free. It showed me that no matter the amount, with consistency, it’s possible to become debt-free.
5. Being Debt-Free is a Wonderful Thing!
For me, it’s the best feeling in the world. I can save, invest and just enjoy my money. What I value the most is the freedom and flexibility I have when it comes to money.
I understand that not all debt is bad. But for me, I enjoy not owing anyone money.
6. Money and Mental Health are Connected
This lesson was leant the hard way. I became suicidal when I first got into debt. This made me feel overwhelmed and deeply ashamed. I didn’t think there was a way out. It’s only when I reached out to Payplan and started counselling that things got better
I was signed off sick from work a couple of months ago. I had been overworking for a few months . The work allowed me to reach a financially comfortable place. But my mental health struggled as a result and I experienced Burn Out.
Even though they were at extreme ends of the spectrum, the two events further highlighted the link between money and mental health. Both need to be taken seriously, no matter the current financial position you are in.
7. Any Day Can Be Payday
I was first introduced to this concept by Emmanuel Asuquo. He said that people have a Payday mentality, where they get excited for payday. They treat it like a special occasion. He said that when you create multiple sources of income, any day can be pay day. I had never thought of it like that and it changed how I viewed “Paydays”.
8. Always have an Emergency Fund
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that an emergency fund is important. Emergency money allows you to support yourself if you experience a financial setback. 1 in 5 people in the UK don’t have an emergency fund.
During the pandemic, people who didn’t have immediate access to emergency cash were more likely to be unable to pay for essentials like mortgage and rent payments, utility bills and food. You can start with saving £1000. This can eventually be increased to 3-6 months worth of expenses.
9. Insurance Is Important
Having insurance can financially protect you and your loved ones, especially in the event of illness or death. There are so many types of policies to pick and choose from.
What you need to do is evaluate your life and current circumstances and determine what kind of cover you would need if the worst happens. I currently have life, gadget, travel and income protection insurance. How many types of insurance do you currently have?
The 9 experiences taught me a lot of money. I am happy I was able to overcome a lot of the struggles I faced. I continue to use the lessons in my everyday life. What are some lessons you’ve learned about money? Let me know!