Our financial values should reflect what we think about money, how we value it, or what it can provide.  While money doesn’t have to control us or impact our happiness, it’s easier to do nothing because change can be hard or very uncomfortable. Also, if we are truly thankful for what we have, rather than focusing on what we don’t have or want, many of us might be more committed to learning about good money management choices.  Unfortunately, many of us get caught up in a selfish agenda, worrying about ourselves and what we want. It can be a great exercise to write down everything that we are thankful for, such as your family, friends, food on the table, a roof over your head, a job, God, etc. While money doesn’t necessarily buy those things, it can help us realize how much more important they are to our lives. Our paycheck takes on greater importance than simply getting paid to perform a task, but a means to help the many other people in our lives.

Our lifetime earnings can amount to millions of dollars and that should translate into easily covering our expenses, being financially comfortable, and making more than enough to be financially fit.  Chances are that most of us would be just fine if we were handed one big check for everything that we were going to make over our working years.  We could conquer any financial challenges so why do we still hear stories like these?

78% of NFL & 60% of NBA players go bankrupt 5 years after they retire, according to Sport Illustrated.  Numerous movie stars and famous athletes have gone broke, like Mike Tyson and his estimated $300 million of earnings; Nicolas Cage, who made over $40 million in 2009 alone; or Wesley Snipes and his 3 years of tax evasion. 70% of lotteries winners go bankrupt. 20% of Americans are counting on winning the lottery for their retirement.


It can be pretty amazing when we actually figure out how much money we make over a lifetime. With all that earned income, why aren’t we financially independent?  As we discussed earlier, there are a lot of reasons, and lots of excuses, as to why we are struggling. Putting our money to work through careful planning gives us greater control over our financial futures. Many of us fail to take control, instead blaming ourselves for not making enough money: If I earned more, my financial problems would go away.  Almost everyone thinks that they should be making more than they do, or that they are underpaid.  However, very little seems to do with how much we actually make. Instead, it’s what we do with our money that matters; like making good decisions on how to spend it, and putting it to work as hard as we worked for it.  Remember, as mentioned earlier, there are only two sources of income: People at Work and Money at Work.


Change starts with a desire to do things differently; a commitment to learning and practicing some basic financial concepts. We must practice good money habits to truly make a positive financial change. Ironically, it really isn’t that difficult to manage our finances. It’s like tying our shoes, or brushing our teeth. It has nothing to do with how much money we make; rather, it’s what we do with what we have. We should focus on incorporating the right habits and acknowledging what we value most. Take small steps and remember that our decisions can lead to a life-long commitment of positive change. Trying to do it all at once can be very overwhelming and discouraging. Focusing on money too often can also create problems. The goods news is that changes in our behavior can fix our money problems. What we ultimately do with our money is a personal matter. However, by being engaged and committed to improving our finances, we feel measurably better about our future, attitudes, jobs, and stress levels. Financial literacy is more than just managing your checkbook–it’s learning all aspects of personal finances like budgeting, saving, and even using debt responsibly. Lacking these basic money skills can lead to poor decisions with destructive consequences. Through change, we can head down a path towards financial security. Ask yourself: “Do I feel good about my finances?” “Am I happy with the choices that I have  been making with my money?” “Is my financial plan working for me?” If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then it’s time to make changes. We need to be open and honest with ourselves on a regular basis, or everything will stay the same. If we aren’t happy and feel stressed, why stay on the same course?

How Having an Addiction to Stuff Could Affect the Bottom Line of Your Finances

The word addiction when it comes to finances is not used to often. But when related to your buying habits and the problems that persist because of it there is a time to reflect on your needs vs. wants when it comes to stuff. When you analyze your finances and a disproportionate percent of your income goes towards floating your lifestyle instead of providing the necessities of everyday living and forming a solid retirement and college savings plan than you should consider deeper reflection on what is important to you when it comes to money and spending it.


  • Stuff needs to be stored, and as your pile of stuff grows, you will need an ever larger space to store it. That will likely see you looking to buy a bigger house every few years, with all of the expenses that come with it1
  • Stuff is a capital trap – it ties up your money, but generally provides no financial benefit1
  • Any money that goes into stuff, is money that is not going into productive investments1
  • While stuff can make you more comfortable, only income producing or growth oriented investments can improve your station in life1
  • During times of financial turmoil, you may become obsessed with protecting and maintaining your stuff, which is not at all what you need to focus on1
  • Stuff has a way of eating up time, so that you have less of it to spend on more productive activities1


1 – (7) End Any Addiction to Stuff That You May Have


The costs of going to college is rising, so much as 8.3% last year or about $5,200 more. States have cut funding for higher education by almost 11% last year, as well as, parental contributions have decreased by 10% covering on average, 27% of their child’s tuition. This is due to in part because of the 2008 financial crisis, but it also does not help that overall the cost of college has increased by almost six-times since the 1980s. By these statistics alone and the fact that the average student is coming out of school $38,000 in debt means that you should consider everything you can while in school to keep that down, considering that on average a college graduate is landing a job that pay’s $50,000 a year, which could keep your student debt looming for years.

There are many experiences to be had while in college, but one of them that students seem to put off until junior or senior year is getting a job. But there are many benefits to getting a job while in school that will pay off in the long run. As discussed above it will help you pay off your debt quicker, or if it is a minimum wage job it could help reduce the stress of monthly family contributions to pay for living expenses, or save up for summer trips, or a car. As well, working while in school provides valuable job experiences. Why wait until senior year to start knocking off the 1,000 Starbucks runs, or creating spread sheets, start your experience now and look for a company you can grow with to not only experience real world situations, but also build up your role over four years of school.

While school can sometimes be enough to fill up your plate when it comes to your free time, college is structured much differently than high school, in such a way where you have a lot more flexibility with your schedule and can set it up in a way where you can still work a few days a week or certain hours every day. There are many companies out there that are looking for young talent to handle social media, technology, design and an array of skills that millennials are inherently well versed in, so approach a company with a desire to give them a disproportionate amount of value and you will receive a great experience and grow your career at the same time. Having that job and managing your schedule properly will create great management skills that will benefit you throughout your career.

Many students find that in taking on a part-time job while in school your grades rise, because just like high school, when you had your schedule filled with sports, and clubs you only had a set time to accomplish school work, as well as, kept to a higher standard and already in the mindset to get work done. Finally, when working full-time many companies will offer benefits such as a 401k plan, health insurance, and tuition assistance while attending college. There are many reasons to consider working while in school, but the best thing to do is start early and work hard, define your future do not wait for college to be over to say – hey, should probably throw together a resume – the entire purpose of school is to prepare yourself for your future so why wait?