What’s Your Best Money Advice? Be Prepared For That Rainy Day

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2011-11-2920

Do you have great sayings that you ponder over and reflect upon every so often? I actually have a few pieces of advice that I hold near. I actually try to live by a few of these “adages”. The first is a very common cliche which I’ve adopted and taken to heart as I cruise through life. It’s something I always keep in the back of my mind to help me focus on my goals:

“Make hay while the sun shines.”


Yep, it’s a classic saying that’s resonated with me which translates to: don’t waste time; take advantage of a brief opportunity while it is still there. Plan for a rainy day by seizing the opportunity that you are presented today. I kept it in mind all the way throughout the dot com boom, when I thought, “this can’t possibly last long, so I’m going to be careful with whatever I earn.” Those were the glory days when I was easily earning twice what I do now, and I doubt I’ll ever see such days again. So I made sure I took good care of my savings, so I know that I’m prepared for anything.

My One Money Advice

And this together with my second motto,

“Don’t take anything for granted,”

are some of the rules by which I live my financial life. What this means to me is that no matter what happens, I’m always aware of where I’m going (by keeping focused on my goals and seizing the day!) AND where I’ve been (to learn from past experience). I will never take anything for granted and will always be grateful for all things and all blessings that I’ve received.

I’ve admitted before that I’m a bit of a neurotic, so I’m keen on being ready for anything. And I firmly believe that no matter how successful you are, you still need to be on your toes since things can change on a dime. Unexpected things happen, but with sound financial planning and hard work, you can handle whatever comes your way.

financial advice

Finally, since we are on the topic of financial advice, I wanted to share what I deem is the best financial advice passed on to me by someone I greatly respect: my father.

I grew up in a household that didn’t really talk about money that much — at least, to the extent that I would have liked to. To this day, my father doesn’t really like it when I talk about money; whenever I bring the subject up, he is quick to remind me that “money isn’t everything”. I guess it’s never really been an exciting topic for my parents, who are both hard-working people who have a pretty relaxed view about finance. All I can say is that while growing up, I noticed that my parents never fussed or worried about money (regardless of how much or how little they had of it), which took a backstage to everything else. Money came second to faith, family and community.

But I’ll have to say that one of the most meaningful pieces of financial advice I’ve ever gotten, actually came from my dear old Dad. He told me to study well and to get into the field of technology and computer science.

“Pursue a career that is in high demand, that you also enjoy.”

He advised me to be practical about my career; if I did so, then I shouldn’t have an issue about keeping a job or making enough bucks. Well, I guess he was right. :) I have to say thanks to my Dad for the awesome advice!

Now it’s your turn. Won’t you share with us the best advice you’ve come across?

 
Image Credit: Tandem umbrella by designer Marc Owens, Digital Sextant

Created August 24, 2007. Updated November 29, 2011. Copyright © 2011 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Escape Somewhere October 5, 2008 at 2:23 am

To be honest some of the best financial advice is from this blog. And I am not just saying that to be nice. The problem is that I think people don’t talk about finances enough in the “real world”. There is a perception it should be a private matter. I think this lack of communication and education is one of the reasons so many people face financial problems.

I have one “real world” friend. And we have been pretty open about our finances and its been helpful to talk about what they are doing and what we are doing. And kind of sharing tips as well as past financial mistakes.

Rick October 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Rough financial times in life teach the best way, you gotta experience it to “get it”. The best advice for me has been to keep trying to make money even if you don’t need it at the moment.

Curious Cat Investing Blog October 5, 2008 at 4:21 pm

1) The power of compound interest (start saving early)
2) The risks of debt (avoid debt, but be willing to take it out when practical – home loans…).
3) Take the time to learn about personal finance. So many people are ignorant about personal finance matters (and make very little effort to change this state) and the costs of ignorance in this area are very high. Personal financial matters are not interesting or fun to some but the cost of not making the effort to learn is very high so unless you plan on making a huge amount of money that you can afford to waste you should make the effort to educate yourself.

t-luck October 5, 2008 at 6:27 pm

What is some of the best financial advice you’ve received?

Since I was brought up in an environment where ‘Money is not everything’ and ‘Money is the root cause of all evil’, you can’t expect much of financial advice. Instead, focus was given on education of oneself to secure a promising job and hence, a bright future. (Reminds of of the famous book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad).

However, if you ask me what is some of the best financial lessons I’ve learnt, then, I can point out one or two.

Compounding interest will definetely be an eye opener for me to the financial world. When I was about to purchase my house, I started to look into all places where I may possibly have stashed away some cash.
My search revealed a mix of good news and bad news.
The good news – I had some amount of cash stashed away.
The bad news – I had it for a few years and it was all kept in a normal savings account!

Savings account only gave a miserable 0.2% interest per annum. At least if I had the initiative to transfer them to Fixed Deposit account, I would have made a 3.5% – 4.0% per annum. Hmmm.. looks like my money was resting in a corner without doing any work for me. My mistake!

Aoi October 5, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Two pieces of advice from my family:
1. Save before you spend.
2. Work hard to get into a position where you make as much as you need, then enjoy any extra you happen to get, share it, and get on with life.

Manshu October 6, 2008 at 6:15 am

One of the most vivid images in my head about the stock market is seeing my grandpa watching stock quotes on CNBC.

Every time there was a major crash in the markets, I used to see him looking at the ticker, laughing loudly and calling up his broker to buy more stock.

This was really different from my dad and his brothers, who were all fussing about the losses that they made in the market crash etc. My grandpa was really cheerful about his losses and looked at these as great opportunities. It took me about five years to understand why he used to laugh. But now I understand what he meant when he said “when others are fearful, you should be greedy, and when others are greedy, you should be fearful”. That’s the best investment advice I got.

Silicon Valley Blogger October 6, 2008 at 7:11 am

Manshu,

Wow, that’s a great saying! I want that in a plaque! :) It’s another form of the contrarian thought of “buy when there’s blood on the streets”.

Many also say “buy low, sell high”. But I prefer your grandfather’s recommendation… it’s so much more colorful.

Kim McGrigg October 6, 2008 at 8:44 am

I answer an online advice column about debt and credit. The best advice I’ve ever heard (and subsequently given) is that no matter how complex things become, the basic rules still apply. Keeping debt to a minimum, paying your bills on time, and saving for your future are always smart money moves.

Squawkfox October 6, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Best financial advice? Learn to invest for myself. No one cares more about your money than you. After learning about investing I fired my “personal financial advisor”…best move ever.

Aryn October 6, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Your dad had some pretty smart advice. Thanks for sharing!

doctor S October 7, 2008 at 1:04 pm

@manshu that is the type of advice that you patent and put in books.

Best financial advice I ever received was very simple “Live below your means”. I am absolutely horrible at it but continue every day to try and discipline myself into such a mindset.

Drew October 7, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Spend less than you make, and save what you don’t spend for retirement. Learn what you can from financial analysts, but do the leg work yourself, and get rid of them once you know what is going on.

Super Dad October 8, 2008 at 11:11 am

The best financial advice I received lately doesn’t even sound financial at all. Sometime ago, I was describing my struggles to a friend whose financial expertise I have high regard for. I was telling her how difficult it was for me to be raising a family with a small income. My wife was currently looking for a job but with no luck yet. I was seriously considering a weekend job to augment my finances. We didn’t even have our own house yet and we were living (actually, overstaying already) with relatives. I felt like I was on a sinking ship. My friend simply said the following: “Things will be fine. You’re a good man!”

I don’t know why or how but this made me feel absolutely good. It actually inspired me to continue struggling because that is what life is really all about. I know that there is a time for everything. The right job for me is out there and I will eventually get it. The same goes for my wife. And I know that eventually, we will be able to get a place of our own.

TheBusyBrain October 13, 2008 at 12:37 pm

One of the best pieces of financial advice I received was the capabilities of a DAILY IRA. If you don’t have a big chunk of money, you may know, one of the best ways to save money is to put away a LITTLE Bit every day. Like 1 or 2 dollars. Try a strategy that will force you to save a dollar a day, and you won’t even have to do anything… nor will you notice it! It is automatically withdrawn from a checking account each day.

AllAboutTheNumbers October 20, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Grandpa always said, “The only two things in the world worth taking out a loan for is your home and your education”. I guess this is why I could never take out a loan to buy a fancy car. I don’t have kids but if I do, this would be the one piece of family wisdom that I pass onto them.

Kris October 29, 2008 at 1:41 pm

I have often thought about the financial advice my parents gave me. Like the author of this post, we didn’t talk about money a TON in my house. Mostly meaning that we had no idea how much or how little our parents had. I must say, I’m glad of that. But, the one thing I remember my dad saying that stuck the most was to work hard, work smart, and work honestly. That will get you the money you need and the respect necessary to continue in your field and get opportunities to produce more money and a brighter future.

London June 10, 2009 at 4:01 am

The best financial advice I’ve ever received was to draw up a budget. It doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t need accounting skills to do it. No matter how basic it is, it will be better than not drawing a budget at all!

Konstantin March 23, 2010 at 2:44 am

Always try to posses at least as much money as you need for half a year of living. I got this advice from Sim City 3000 :-)

David September 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm

The Best Financial Advice I have ever received?

As an ex practicing financial planner I would undoubtedly say the details are all in a little book called, “The Richest Man In Babylon”, by George S Classon. This is by far the best advice anyone wanting to create financial independence could ever read. The principals espoused in this great little book are EXACTLY what we all need to do to get to financial independence. I studied finance and money management for many years and I have read numerous books by many authors on how to manage money. I can say categorically that there is not a better book out there than this one. It is probably the best advice I ever gave!

If you are wanting to teach your children how to manage money you can also visit a site I came across at MoneyToolKits.com, (not my site). The two ladies who put this site up are experienced financial people and above all else they are experienced educators. There program is fabulous and easy to follow and the lessons follow the Babylon philosophy very well.

Ella December 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm

I have something to share with you:
1. Only spend money or time for things you really need. A detailed shopping list will help.
2. Try your best to spend less and save more. Some sites with coupons & deals like RetailMeNot, CouponSnapshot will help you.
3. Spend more time with ones you love and enjoy yourselves. A family meeting or party may be helpful.

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