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  • Skyler Fleming

Understanding the Personal Part of Personal Finance



Why is money so difficult?

That is because we are the problem! The hardest thing about personal finance is the personal part. That’s what makes it so difficult. It can bring about a lot of emotions and different reactions from everyone. This is why we can’t be too hard on ourselves. We have to be willing to give ourselves some flexibility to learn and adapt. Especially if you are managing your money with someone else.


Understanding how our behavior and emotions impact our financial decisions will be an eye-opener for so many.


Perhaps look at how you handle money and how you react to different financial situations. Perhaps you find yourself wanting to make sure you have more saved than you really need because you had some emergency happen to your parents that ruined them financially for years. Perhaps you don’t save enough money because your parents were very well off and you didn’t have to worry about anything when it came to money as a kid.


These sorts of stories can impact all of us and how we act and react to money.


But also, 1+1 isn’t always two when it comes to managing your money. If it was, that would make it much easier.


Money is more than just math

The simple formula is just spending less than you make. But if that is all it takes then why is it so hard?


It’s impossible to calculate human behavior every single time. We don’t know how we are always going to feel and react. That’s why it’s more than just math.

It’s because we all have different takes on how to handle money, different relationships with money and spending, and different challenges when it comes to handling money.


  • For me, it’s not being able to be patient and sit still with my money and trying to chase the best returns.

  • For others, it can be spending too much

  • For others, it can be saving too much and not having any fun.


Learning how we act with money is an essential ingredient in managing it better.


Money can’t buy happiness

People often say that money can’t buy happiness and while this is true. If you don’t have money it will surely leave you unhappy. That was one of the main points of episode 42 of the podcast. The fact that not having any money or not managing your money well will leave you unhappy.


This is because we need money and a stable financial foundation to be able to afford basic necessities of life. When those are hard to come by it piles on the stress. I will often talk about how stress will impact more than just our mental health. It can lead to physical ailments and problems. Those physical struggles can lead to you not being able to go to work. Which can lead to more financial stress and so goes the cycle of unhappiness.


Automation

One thing that I love to talk about is automation. It can help take the human out of managing our money. Which can sometimes be a good thing. It can help make it easier to save.


Simple things like automating part of your paycheck to go to a separate unseen bank account can be a big win when it comes to saving for that vacation you’ve always wanted to take.


But especially when it comes to really long-term savings like retirement. Automation can be the difference between retiring or not. When you set up automatic deposits to a retirement account. It makes it so that you have to learn how to live on the remaining amount of money. It is very likely that you are going to be just fine and your lifestyle will adjust. Just like your lifestyle will adjust when you make more money and lead to you spending more. If you automate some retirement savings, you are going to naturally figure out a way to spend less money.


This is the principle of one of my favorite books. The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. He teaches all about how you can easily become a millionaire just through the power of automation. A small percentage of your income can go a very long way when it comes to long-term savings. This is where Albert Einstein's idea of compound interest comes into play. When you save money for a very long time, it will begin to grow and grow.


But what are some of the tips that can help you learn how to control and get betting with your behavior around money? I have 6 tips that can help!


The 6 Behavioral Finance Tips

There are 6 key behavioral tips that I really want to share. I created a wonderful resource for The 6 Behavioral Finance Tips. Be sure to check it out at moneytalk.skylerfleming.com/resources


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