We are all human.
None of us are born into this world with all of the knowledge, experience and wherewithal to make all the right decisions. Each and every one of us makes mistakes and learns from them. You may have noticed recently that an intern at HBO accidentally sent out a test email to a large customer base. I bet that intern thought their internship was over. What actually happened was an outpouring of support on Twitter – because we have all been there before.
We’ve all been there.
When it comes to money and personal finance, believe me when I say that we have ALL made some poor choices. Many of these poor choices have been costly. These are painful experiences and are tough lessons. The good news? They make us stronger, smarter and more mindful when we make future decisions about our money. All in all, a poor choice can certainly end up being a net positive.
Look at it as an opportunity.
If you find yourself in a situation where you got hit with a surprise fee, paid late, made a poor investment, got ripped off or any of the other money problems that inevitably surface over time, view it as a learning opportunity. Each time you run into a money problem (big or small), learn from it and figure out how to avoid it in the future.
Those older people know things.
As younger people, we often struggle with the fact that the older generations have been around for longer and probably do know a thing or two. They have probably worked through similar challenging situations in their lives. It can be really helpful to talk with someone whose opinion you trust and value. You might be surprised to find that they had made some big mistakes in their younger years that led them to learn and become more financially successful later in life. They might just let you know that mistakes happen and maybe they will share some tips or tricks you can use to work through the problem. Most importantly, they will let you know it will be okay.
It’s all about problem solving.
Money is a game of problem solving. Sometimes it works out well. Other times it is a lesson. Usually there is a solution to be found for today or in the future. Sometimes you may be the person that made a mistake and other times you might be the person supporting someone that made a mistake. Be like the HBO team that acknowledged the mistake, stood by and supported their intern and used the mistake as a teachable moment.
Learn how you can avoid personal financial mistakes.
Our free, online, self-paced Standards of Financial Literacy program is engaging, full of interesting information, and easy to navigate. Adapted from the National Standards for Financial Literacy developed by the Council for Economic Education (CEE), this robust curriculum features six short lessons on such important topics as earning income, understanding the value of saving and using credit.