So a couple years ago, a family member got stuck in a bad situation with debt, divorce, and finance. They came to me at the time, and I helped them to fix their credit, build a savings account that had a good amount in it, and basically helped them to turn things around. I considered it a great success. Then I turned my family member loose, and all of it went down the tubes.
This person decided that they were going to be a grown-up and handle their own money (yay!), get married again (yay?), and move to an expensive neighborhood while also paying for the fiancé’s expenses (boo!). They decided to buy expensive rings and worst of all—they got a credit card to finance the wedding and honeymoon. I was almost ready to write this person off as a lost cause, but I don’t toss away family quite that easily.
Lately, my family member has been approaching me again. Just the other day, they called me to ask me how best to handle cleaning up after the marriage that never happened. Chief among their questions was how to handle some paying some of the credit bills so that they could continue to strengthen their credit score and set themselves up better for the future. So right now, things are looking positive, but we’ll see.
I brought this up because I want talk about something important when it comes to starting out or continuing on the path of financial literacy. You will fail. Sometimes this failure will be really big and will shake your determination to keep going. Sometimes this failure will be relatively small, and will embarrass you. Either way, this failure doesn’t have to be permanent. We all know people who seem to be perfect all the time. That’s a lot of pressure to be under. Don’t take on that kind of pressure if you can avoid it. Just like dieters who splurge once in a while on fattening food, people who are trying to quit drinking or smoking who slip up and have a drink or a cigarette, the best thing you can do is stop doing whatever it is that you shouldn’t be doing, and re-commit yourself to getting back on the right path.