What Should You Do With Your Money – Lessons in Personal Finance

June 13, 2008

Are you worried about doing the wrong things with your money? Do you ever avoid making a money decision because you simply don’t know which option is best?  If so, you’re in the same boat as most of us.

So how can you solve this problem?  Why not just ask hundreds of people what they would do or how they handled it?  That may sound time consuming & unrealistic until you realize that there are hundreds of people already sharing their personal finance lessons online every day.

Personal Stories
One of the things I’m discovering in our reader survey is that people just love personal stories about money.  I started thinking more about this trend and realized there are several reasons why you why get a lot out of personal stories.

Personal stories make it more intereresting.  Let’s face it, personal finance isn’t the most exciting topic on the face of the planet.  Wrapping a story around a money lesson or tip makes easier to digest.

It’s hard to find people who share their money details.  You probably don’t hear a lot of detailed personal finance situations from friends, co-workers, or family because many people are somewhat private about money matters and don’t like to share.

Money stories can can be inspiring.  It’s nice to hear about someone who quit their day jobis getting rid of their debt, or had a financial meltdown and recovered.  If they can do it, so can you!

Stories can give you ideas.  Humans can be pretty creative, reading about how other people solved a money problem can get your own wheels turning.

Action, not theory.  It’s one thing to read a book that says cut your spending or save more money.  In my opinion, it’s much more useful to read specific steps someone took to spend less money.

Learn from their mistakes.  Everyone makes mistakes.  You can try and avoid some of them by reading about the missteps others have taken and reminding yourself not to do the same.

Learn about a product or service. Many of us find new products or services through referrals from friends or family.  It’s alot easier to buy or signup for something if you already know about how someone used a product or service and what they thought of it.

Steps to Benefitting from a Money Lesson
After reading an article or tip about money the first thing you should do is determine whether the idea or method makes sense for you.  There are many variables in personal finance that can have an impact, that’s why it’s called “personal” finance.  Check several sources to see if they all come to the same conclusion on a topic and look for reasons why it may not apply to you.

After you’ve done your research the most important thing to do is take action!  It won’t do you any good to read personal stories and learn money lessons if you never do anything about it.

Take the Reader Survey
Let me know what types of personal finance topics you’d like to hear more personal stories about.  Click here to share your ideas in the reader survey.  I’d tried to address the reasons why you might decide not to take the survey.

So share your thoughts on what you could learn the most from.  Even if it’s something I don’t have experience with, I can probably find someone in the the Money Writers, Money Blog Network, or M-Network that’s had a similar situation or question.  Click here to ask us your questions or share your ideas.

I’m going to announce the first $50 winner this weekend so fill out the survey below and email me the Prize passcode for a chance to win the money.

Take the Surveyhttp://moneysmartlife.survey.sgizmo.com


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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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5 Responses to What Should You Do With Your Money – Lessons in Personal Finance

  • Madhavi

    I like the post.

    Sharply focused on stocks, mutual funds, careers, consumer rights plus enterprise & smart spending, MoneyLIFE, a personal finance magazine delivers a stellar mix of unbiased, credible, unique & relevant content with sharp analysis.

    Sucheta Dalal, among the best known financial journalists in India (awarded Padma Shri in 2006) is the consulting editor.

    It empowers the individual to invest & spend wisely by offering hard facts, insightful opinions, wider options, useful tips from the world of money.

    To have this excellent personal finance manager, advisor or mentor
    visit http://www.moneylife.in

  • Tricia

    Thanks for the mention 🙂

    I personally like reading stories. You can take what someone else did in their situation and try to tweak it to fit your own.

  • Brian

    Great post! It has a lot of information that I can can definitely incorporate in my personal finance blog. Personal anecdotes also give a certain credibility to a writer/blog. It turns a textbook concept/idea into something more plausible and applicable to real life.


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