Now You Know Why it’s Called “Personal” Finance

April 13, 2007

Ask six different people for personal finance advice and you’re likely to get six different answers. Sun recently asked several other personal finance writers and his readers their opinion on a reader’s money question and experienced this first hand.

The Good News
A simple question like “what should my mom do with $1100” received recommendations for investing, creating emergency funds, buying long term care insurance, and paying off a mortgage. The good news is you always have many options on how to use your money.

The Bad News
The bad news is that after hearing everyone else give you options, now you still have to decide what is best for you. Often personal finance questions are answered with words like assumption, phrases like “it depends”, and the closing disclaimer of “consult a financial professional”. Basically every situation is different, so it’s up to you to take their advice tailor it to you personal circumstances. Hence “personal” finance.

The Money Conversation
The inevitable result of one money question is another money question. Typically followed by another, and then another. We see this in action, as Sun posed a follow up money question to the reader for more background on their situation. Sometimes the conversation is between you and a spouse. Sometimes you’re talking with a co-worker or financial planner. Other times, you may simply debate what to do with yourself, playing one scenario against another.

Being Money Smart
These money conversations are why it’s important to understand or learn financial concepts. Being money literate will allow you to evaluate all of your options and make the decision that is best for you. Notice I didn’t say “right for you” because there are so many different factors and unknowns it is hard to ever say what is “right”. In my opinion, all you can do is make the choice that seems best given the information at hand.

Making Financial Decisions
So the good news is we have options but the bad news is that it’s ultimately up to us to decide which road to take. Of course, it’s really not bad news, just a little overwhelming sometimes. After hearing everyone else’s opinion, how do you go about making tough personal finance decisions?


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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One Response to Now You Know Why it’s Called “Personal” Finance

  • Chisana

    Reading has been my passion since childhood and now that I’m approaching retirement, I have read many financial books. There is no one book or seminar, which can help you achieve extraordinary financial results. That’s the bad news. The good news is, that regardless of your age, sex, race, or social status, there is a one fantastic book that will improve your basic financial principles. If the recommendations in the book are applied, you will see great financial results over your lifetime.

    The book that is really worth reading is, The Insider’s Guide To Saving Money. It is packed full of useful tips, easy to read and understand of practical useful information. It should be on everyone’s bookshelf, including teens. This book is well written for all people. It’s about making your money work for you, and it doesn’t matter how much money you have.

    Good financial advice is hard to come by, so avoid the mistakes and get the most out of your money. When it comes to financials, I consider myself an expert. But talk is cheap. What else can I say? You be the judge. If you agree help pass the word around for everyone’s benefit.