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Personal finance stories and experiences

Personal finance stories and experiences
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Personal finance stories and experiences


I’ve been working on personal finance for a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of highs and lows. There are some things that just don’t change no matter how much experience you have. The basics still apply, such as saving money and spending less than you earn. But there are also plenty of new challenges to be faced every year. Like credit card debt is back in vogue (and I’m here to tell you that it never went away); college costs keep going up; technology can sometimes cause financial chaos (for example, when your phone stops working). That said, there are also lots of ways to improve your personal finances when things get tough! here is our guide on personal finance stories and experiences:


  • What is your biggest financial success?
  • What are your biggest financial challenges?
  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about money, and how has it helped you in the past year?
  • Have you tried any budgeting programs (e.g., Mint, Personal Capital)? If so, what have they done for your personal finances?
  • How do you feel about spending limits? Do they help or hinder your ability to manage money effectively?
  • Are there any other tools that might help with budgeting and planning ahead that I should know about when we meet up next month at our local coffee shop?

What’s the best financial advice you’ve ever received?

What’s the best financial advice you’ve ever received?

  • It’s important to be specific about your situation. If you’re making $10,000 a year and have no debt, then that advice doesn’t help much. The same goes for someone with an emergency fund and a large student loan balance who needs help paying down their debt quickly. It may not matter how much money they make or how much debt they have. If someone has bad credit or doesn’t understand how credit works, then even the most detailed advice won’t be helpful at all.
  • Advice should be actionable! “Don’t spend money on things that aren’t important.” is not necessarily actionable! Unless there are specific steps that follow this statement. For example “Buy less expensive clothes”. If someone says this kind of thing and doesn’t give any suggestions as far as what else people could do instead of buying things they don’t need (or vice versa), then they haven’t done their job correctly yet!

Have you tried any budgeting programs?

I’ve tried a few budgeting programs, and they all have their pros and cons. Some are better suited for long-term planning and some are better for short-term goals. Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Tracking your spending is key to staying on track with your finances. You should track every dollar that goes out of your pocket whether it’s for groceries or coffee at Starbucks. If a product costs $5 more than usual but it’s worth it to purchase it because you’ll save money in the long run, then go ahead! But if not… wait until next week when there’s an even better deal on something else!
  • Tracking income gives insight into how much money has been coming in each month. So we can see whether or not we’re making enough money per month before bills arrive. Or if our expenses outweigh what we bring in through working full-time. Somewhere like an office job where most people don’t receive raises unless they get promoted up through management ranks. It doesn’t happen often enough anyway since most jobs only offer one promotion after years of working towards reaching “the top”.
  • Tracking investments allows us all know exactly what percentage each investment represents within total assets held by our bank accounts (checking accounts), 401k plans/401K investments made by employers through payroll deductions made monthly once taxes have been paid during each tax season.”

What are your biggest financial challenges?

  • Unexpected expenses.
  • Bad spending habits.
  • Not saving enough for the future, or knowing how to save or invest well.

What are your biggest financial successes?

The most important thing to remember is that it’s never too late to start saving money. If you’re currently in debt and feel like you can’t afford to save, then it might be time for a fresh start.

If you’ve been saving for retirement or a house and have been able to put away some extra money each month, great! But even if not, there are other ways of making your hard-earned cash work harder for you:

  • Pay off credit card balances as soon as possible! It’s easy enough for anyone who has an interest rate of around 8 percent (the average) or higher on their cards. Just make sure whatever amount is due is paid off before paying any additional charges (like interest).
  • Put aside money every month into savings accounts instead of spending it all at once. This will stop temptation from getting the better of us when we get our hands on something shiny that costs less than $100 (or whatever amount matches how much we should save each month).


  • Start saving early. You don’t have to be rich or even close to it, but you should strive for financial independence as soon as possible.
  • Make a budget and stick with it for at least six months before you make any changes in your spending habits or the way that money flows through your life.
  • Don’t buy things just because they’re on sale—that’s impulse buying at its best! Instead of going into debt when something catches your eye at the store (or online), save up for it until then and avoid holiday gift-gifts from family members who won’t appreciate having one more thing around them all year long…or ever again!


You’re probably thinking, “Great, but how do I know if I’m making a mistake?”. Well, it’s easy to tell when you’re doing something wrong. Just ask yourself: “Do I feel good about this decision?”. If the answer is no, then maybe it’s time for a change!


“I think the best advice for saving money is to make sure that you’re getting a good return on your investments. You want to make sure you’re getting a return on your hard work and not just sitting around waiting for the next piece of information about how well this stock or bond might do.”

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