Five “I Wish I Had Learned It Earlier” Regrets in Personal Finance
The longer you delay practicing personal finance, the harder it gets
At the EnRich personal finance training programs we conduct, many of the older attendees typically express the wish that they had learned about managing money earlier. If they had, they would have probably lived a much more comfortable family life, free from money stress. Five of the more common topics in personal finance that these training participants regret not learning earlier are as follows:
Buy as much life insurance early on.
Since many of those wishing they had learned personal finance much earlier are those already advanced in age, these people are commonly also those who did not believe in the tremendous peace of mind that life insurance brings. Now that they are much older and more often than not suffering from one or more physical ailments, buying life insurance for them has become cost prohibitive and, to a few, downright impossible. They are now worried that if they go prematurely, they would not be able to leave enough for their family.
Save not only as much as you can but also as a family.
It just makes perfect sense to save as much as you can as early as possible because you take advantage of time. A long horizon for saving affords lower cash outflows for socking away money for the future. Simply put, saving P1 million over 20 years is definitely going to be more affordable than saving P1 million over five. Plus, you get to enjoy more of the simple luxuries in life as you will have more “free cash” to spend.
At the same time, saving together helps to keep the family’s vision and mission intact while instilling the value of saving in the next generation.
Invest savings also as a family.
To make saving much more affordable, it would be best to invest it. With the advent of pooled funds, investing has never been easier. Just entrust your money to the experts who will gladly sweat it out in making your hard earned money work even harder for you. And when you invest as a family, all of the members learn the rules of wealth management. First and foremost is that R and R in investing is not rest and recreation but return versus risk.
Surround your family with other similarly minded in personal finance.
Peer pressure is not only prevalent with adolescents but also adults. It would be best to choose to spend more time with family friends who are not so immersed in material trappings. Otherwise, you will find consumerism creeping into the realm of your consciousness. Before you know it, you will be persuading yourself that your family deserves a yearly vacation abroad, a car for each child, the latest gadgets, a weekly dining out experience and many more.
Give more to charity.
It is a common aspiration to earn as much as possible first and then to begin giving some of the wealth away. For how can you give when there is nothing to give away, right? Wrong! Giving even just a little bit, especially when it hurts liberates you from the clutches of money. In fact, it makes you realize that it is you holding money by the neck and not the other way around.
Now to those who are still wishing they had learned personal finance earlier in life, please know that the longer you delay practicing personal finance, the harder it gets. But there is always hope. So stop wishing and start acting.
To know more about managing your cash, debt, risk and wealth well, call (632) 216-1541, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our web site at www.personalfinance.ph. Inquire about our EnRich personal finance training program.
Efren Ll. Cruz is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines. He is best selling book author of Pwede Na! (A Complete Guide to Personal Finance) in 2004, and is the chairman and president of the Personal Finance Advisers Philippines Corporation.
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