Many people are financially hurting in America. I wanted to put a positive spin on the current financial situation in the US and in many other countries. We hear about many negative events that people have done or not done so I wanted to know what good financial decisions have made. I’ll start it off.
I would say that the best financial situation that I’ve made is to spend much less than I’ve brought in. I think a lot of other good financial decisions can spawn from this, but you have to actually have money in order to take advantages of investment opportunities. For instance, my wife and I have saved a good amount of money and are now looking to purchase some investment properties. This would not be possible if we did not make prudent financial decisions.
My best decision (financial and otherwise) was to get financial coaching. The decision has paid for itself several times over.
Even though I was making small changes (paying down my debts, etc.), I took a long, hard look at my habits over the past several years. No matter how well I applied myself in the short term, I kept finding myself in the same awkward financial state again and again. I compare it to someone always trying to lose the same 10 lbs. over and over again.
I realized I had to change my thinking, and not just my habits, in order to succeed… or else, I wouldn’t be able to retire at all, let alone comfortably. In this economy, financial security is paramount because our income can shift drastically from one day to the next.
I was coached (and still am) by a great company, Money Mastery. It has changed my life. I am such a fan of how they helped me (and continue to do so) that I now represent Money Mastery for Life. I am an advocate for financial literacy and personal financial success … my goal is to help as many as I can to get a better handle on their finances in order to find financial security, comfort or freedom, whichever they choose.
Over the course of life, we have many opportunities and rarely take the fullest advantage of most of them. In my case, business opportunities are frequently presented. I’ve overlooked some which I should not have and should have taken a closer look at some which I moved on, however to follow are the three best financial decisions I made this year:
1. Placed resources at Prosper.com
2. Focused all associated business efforts to social marketing
3. Learned about The 80/20 Fund
I wanted to put this question out to the general audience. A friend of mine asked me recently, how do you start over once your position has been eliminated, and you are no longer a Spring Chicken. After a lot of thought, I told him my story.
I had been a banker most of my life. Working for large and small banks throughout the country. It was a good living, but I was not being personally satisfied. Then, the “motivator” came. At the are of 54 , my bank went through huge layoffs, do to the impending credit crunch. I went home, very depressed, sat with my wife, who by the way was a mortgage broker, and had no business, and just about died! What can I do? Who will hire me at this age?
Well, after a couple of weeks of pity parties, and down right bottom of the barrel thoughts, I woke up one morning and hit on my future – Experience! With 30 years of experience, I know more than most of the people at the banks ever would know in their lives. Secondly – Opportunity! All of my friends at the bank, and at all the banks, were more concerned about getting out or keeping their jobs, that they lost focus on what they were there to do, lend money.
Let’s think, nobody wants to lend money, I have all this experience, in there lies the opportunity, but how to apply it? So, it’s off to networking and researching. I spent several months on line, speaking with co-workers, identifying areas that could be exploited by someone with my background. Then I found an interesting area, that I had virtually overlooked, Equipment Leasing.
When times are tough, as they are now, people don’t like to part with their cash, even when they know they need equipment. Banks, if you can even get them on the phone, want 20- 30% down on any transaction, plus your first born! Equipment Leasing on the other hand, requires a minimum down payment , and flexible repayment terms. I had it! I found my future! So, I went and got some more training that I felt I was lacking. Set up my home based office and started calling everyone I knew in the area and started getting my leases. Word spread, and before I knew it I was to the point where I needed my wife to help me in the business because I should no longer handle the volume alone!
I would enjoy hearing your story, how did you change at a “golden age” and what are you doing today?
The best financial decision I ever made was to become debt free. Life is fuller and much more enjoyable because the worry that is associated with debt is no longer an issue in my family’s life. I only hope this economic adjustment we’re experiencing now will be a wake-up call for others to learn the value of debt-free living and the freedom that is part of that decision.
My best decision was NEVER to use consumer credit of any kind. When you carry a credit card balance, the interest charges create an insidious but devastating drain on your standard of living. They represent money that is siphoned away for which you get absolutely nothing in return, not even a tax write off.
I don’t have a personal blog to promote, but would welcome if you would help the non-profit organization for which I work part time, AAFR (the American Association of Future Retirees). Its blog, to which I contribute, is located at the address given below:
Got out of the stock market in 1997, paid off debt and invested in Northern California Real Estate. Sold Northern California Real Estate prior to 2005.
Thanks for not asking about my “worst” financial decision.
The best Financial Decision, that’s a hard one. I think we all remember our financial mishaps, like shouldn’t have bought that, loaned that or invested in that.
When thinking of the current market situation I’m glad I played safe on my mortgage and the other one is that I’ve learned not to spend money I don’t have. It’s better to save and then buy, then buy and loaned and have to pay off.
…. well, in retrospect, I guess it was putting so much of my retirement into CD’s. I’m not saying I won’t move out of them, but they have provided a comforting amount of ballast, given present circumstances.
The best financial decision I made was to pay the credit cards in full each and every month.
Leveraged 10K to build a log cabin in Branson,, MO in 2007
Location, Location, Location.
Right in the middle of the strip, overlooking a mountain with a creek view
The mortgage is 978.00 month, and the rental per night has gone from 190.00 per night to over 500.00 night and remained booked solid from month to month. There is a current hotel deficit in Branson of 17%, so homes of my size rent quite well and often. My monthly checks are in excess of 4K month.
Over 44million visitors per year through Branson.
Leveraged the 10K down, the home was built at 400K.
To get out of debt. Also, to sell my Fannie Mae stock at $62 right before it dropped to bailout status.
Bought, and paid off a house. Nothing like being mortgage free.
I made a desicions to become apart of the Columbus Financial Group, Inc. My time with the Columbus Financial Group has allowed me to understand how money really works and to now pass it to my clients and the new people that come to join CFG.
Susan Shwartz PhD
Sold Citigroup at 42.
Bought a house I could actually afford for a low, fixed interest rate. Unlike so many. soooo… many…
Also, worked my way through college, generally live within my means, got rid of my credit card, and decided never to buy a brand-new car. I may break that last promise some day, but for now I see no reason to even consider it. My Beetle’s mpg kicks most hybrid’s butts. Gas being what it is, I guess I could even consider that a sound financial decision. Not having kids so far – most parents I know wouldn’t complain about them much, but I hear they’re more expensive than pets…
I agree with a lot of what the other folks here have said…the answers trend to playing it relatively conservative, making good, long-term investments, and minimizing debt.
But I think the best decisions I’ve made were in how I’ve spent money. Not that I spend a ton of it, but some really good ways to spend money usually involve (for me) experiences, often traveling, and often involving my kids.
Just saying that smart spending can be as good a financial decision as smart investing.
Bought a huge Victorian house at 32 with a 15 year mortgage at 10% interest. Mortgage is paid I am a happy guy. Recently paid off Visa/MC.
Final brillant financial decision – became self-employed. Work is interesting, my employee (the dog) is great, make all my own decisions, and less stress (less hospitial bills from stress related illnesses). Salary is okay but dependent on amount of marketing done.
I went long on the major Banks in 1992.
Bringing a school bag for my brother from my first salary….
Nothing more and nothing less !
My best financial decision has been to take responsibility for my and my family’s financial well-being.
My wife and I decided to become professors at the same university, the world’s highest paying university.
Thats easy, my wife and I have worked very hard to pay for the college tuition of our four children, when we get them all paid off then I will be satisfied and happy with this investment choice.
Buying an engagement ring for my fantastic amazing wife
To only take financial advice from those whose net worth and cash flow is larger than mine.
It’s very difficult to name the one, ‘best of’ financial decision. I believe most of us can name several of them. Making long story short I am happy getting out of AIG on 9/11 for almost $25 with my clients just before the big crash, I can even mention some option trades with 100 per cent gain in one single day, but that is the details only and not answers your question.
As for my best financial decision I am mostly proud of I’d like to stick to the one I decided to start my professional carrier in finance and investments and investing a lot in my professional development and knowledge building be it initial trading losses or investment in high level education.
The best decision I made was to stop relying on investing in things I have no control over and begin investing in my Soul Purpose where it has a greater potential for returns anyway.
Investing in myself via education. I am pretty sure that over the course of my life, the $100K I spent getting my BA and MBA will result in essentially leveraging that $100K by a factor of at least 50 (i.e. I am confident that over the course of my life, I am adding at least another $5 M to my earning potential on a cumulative basis). And the quality of life and opportunnities beyond the money spent are even more rewarding, albeit more difficult to quantify.
BTW, I owe no debt from either of these endeavors, and due to salary increase post MBA, I basically reduced the MBA payback period to slightly over 1 year.
Buying a townhome in Scottsdale in 2003 was the best financial decision I have ever made. Granted, I have made financial choices that have proven to return a higher percentage, but they weren’t exactly calculated, and they were high risk.
Buying a home, in my opinion, is the absolute best decision most people can make.
Started investing young, built a retirement investment strategy, and continued with the plan while many others are letting fear cause irrational financial decisions.
Started saving for retirement in my early 20s. I sent in $166.66/month to my IRA– remarkable in that my husband was in grad school full-time and I only made 21K. Needless to say, we didn’t go out much.
What’s the best financial decision you’ve made?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
photo by Jasonedward
Posts You May Enjoy