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4 Financial Mistakes I Hope Our Son Avoids

When it comes to money, I believe you “live and learn.” From what I’ve learned in 39 years, I’ve made at least four financial mistakes that I hope our son avoids in his lifetime.

4 Financial Mistakes I Hope Our Son Avoids ~ MommyTalkShow.com

  1. Not saving for retirement in your 20’s. My first corporate job was working for a bank as a telemarketer while I was in college. We had the opportunity to start contributing to a 401 (k) then and I didn’t. Huge mistake! Most of us weren’t think about retirement in our 20’s. But we should. If you’re wondering how to cut back now and find money for retirement Fox Business News has advice on how to make your retirement cheaper.
  2. Supporting yourself on College Loans. Although I worked part-time in grad school, I still supported myself with student loans and I’m paying the price now. My husband is in the same boat since he transferred from a state school to attend college in Hawaii. To keep our son’s “loan load” to a minimum, I’m looking into a college savings program where family and friends can make deposits into his account for birthdays and holidays.
  3. Juggling several credit cards. I have my old credit cards wrapped in a rubber band. It pains me to look at them. Back when I was working full-time in TV news with a 700+ credit score, I got tons of credit card offers. At one point I had as many as four major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, Discover and Amex) along with store credit cards. I’ve scaled back considerably, closing and consolidating accounts. 
  4. Renting instead of investing real estateAlthough I moved around a lot in my career, I only owned one home. When I think back on how I could have benefitted from the rental income and tax credit from owning just one more home it makes me cringe.  When I sold my home in 2009, I regret not watching the market more closely.  I would have sold my condominium in Jackson, MS a few months sooner I would have made an additional $20,000 on the sale.

What are the financial lessons  you want to teach your children?

Do you share your mistakes with them?

Take a look at Genworth Financial’s Plan for Living Work to help you evaluate your financial future.

Disclosure: This post in inspired by Genworth Financial. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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12 comments

  1. HIndsight is 20/20…these are such important points to teach our children. The hard part will be convincing them that they will not be forever young.

  2. These are all very important mistakes to avoid. I have a friend who took out the max in student loans while she was going to school to be a teacher. She has more debt than most law school students on a preschool teacher’s salary! She’s completely overwhelmed.

  3. Great tips!! I also paid off all my credit cards at age 26 when I got married so I wouldn’t have to worry about that debt!

  4. Definitely all mistakes to avoid…

  5. I am definitely interested in the College Fund!!! It is unbelievable how expensive your child education is now and twenty years from now. So staring today makes a lot of sense.

  6. The college thing is a big one here. My husband and I are still paying for our education. I also want to instill the importance of having a budget in my son. We’ve been using a simple one in Microsoft Excel for a few years now, and it has made a difference in our finances!

  7. Great post, Joyce. We were lucky to start paying attention to the few mistakes we made in our early 20s, so we stopped that foolishness early. I don’t want my kids to take out school loans at all. They will start looking for scholarship money as early as possible. That is, if they decide to go to college.

  8. Live BELOW your means. Avoid purchasing on credit. And if you do have student loans (or other debt), don’t just pay off the minimum each month. Live simply and put as much toward your loan each month to get it paid off sooner. You’d be amazed at how much you save in interest.

  9. I’ve made similar mistakes – can definitely relate to getting late to the 401k savings game, and the living on loans. For home ownership – I do have rental income now and fyi, on your taxes, that rent your collect adds to your income, and for me, is just the little bit that shoves us into the next tax bracket – boo! and you don’t get to claim the taxes and interest the same way you do with a primary home; the gov’t sees investment as an entirely different ballgame – don’t kick yourself too much for that one… though rentals are good investments there are some drawbacks you don’t necessarily benefit from right away

  10. We have all made some big financial mistakes one that I am so glad I didn’t fall into was the credit card one. I am proud to say I have never had a credit card in my life and people will tell you to get one to establish credit its lies I have credit and all without a credit card. The only thing holding me back is these mountain of student loans that will never get paid because I made the wrong career choice. I will teach my kids to make sure they go to school for something that will benefit them in the long run. Unless their college is going to be paid for cash I want them to think long and hard about what they choose to do after high school.

  11. I will definitely teach my daughter about credit card use. In college, I signed up for multiple cards to get free tee shirts, meals, hats, etc., which led to debt–because I couldn’t keep up with the payments! I would get her one main card that she could use anywhere, like Visa or Mastercard, versus cards for the chain stores. Her grandmother also started a savings account for her, in which she can pay cash for a car in college if she likes!

  12. Great advice, Joyce! I will admit to using student loans for financial support. We’ve been paying them off for four years now, and have barely made a dent! We are also renters, but we enjoy the freedom to move and having someone else to fix our appliances and do our yardwork. My parents always fuss at me about not being a homeowner, but we will get there one day. You’ve got some great tips for your son here. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about him falling into these traps 🙂

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