When I first met Zach I thought he was a super-tough dude. He was an Army solider at the time, with a face full of scars.
Little did I know it’s just because he’s too damn tall and keeps hitting his head on things.
That got me thinking though—as a society, we celebrate scars. They’re a sign of toughness, of someone who’s bumbled about a bit. Someone with scars is stronger than the rest of us mere smooth-faced flowers.
Why don’t we do the same thing with our financial mistakes? Why don’t we consider our mistakes to have made us stronger? Why do we hide it shamefully from the world?
Financial Mistakes: Worse Than The Time You Farted In Gym Class
Alright, so I get it. Mistakes are shameful.
In a world where we’re supposed to be right, it sucks to advertise that you’re wrong.
I’m here today to tell you that I call bullshit.
Financial Mistakes: The Scars Of The Financial World
It’s time we stopped shaming people for financial mistakes. The whole damn reason we suck at money as a society is because we don’t talk about it.
Why don’t we talk about it? Because it’s “rude,” because everyone’s different, and because 95% of us never really received any education on the topic.
Of course everyone makes mistakes. But because we don’t talk about it, we don’t learn from them.
Announcing your financial mistakes is not the same as raising a giant flag high into the air proclaiming your failure as a human being. It’s an opportunity to learn—and that’s very precious in a world where we like to be comfortable.
Your financial mistakes are a powerful tool that can teach you what no amount of book learnin’ or patronizing finger-wagging can. Use them to grow financial scars (not as cool as actual scars, sadly).
Learn what you did wrong, and how you can come back with a swingin’ fist at The Man.
My Financial Mistakes Have Made Me Stronger
I can’t even count the number of ways my financial mistakes have helped me and my family.
For example, my student loans. I took out $50,000 in private student loans when I probably could have gotten by with half that. I bought so much useless shit with that money it’s not even funny.
When it came time for Zach to go to school, did we bother with private student loans? I’ll let this guy tell you (he’s from the Exploding Kittens NSFW pack [affiliate link], which is totally my favorite card game ever):
I made the mistake of buying the worst house ever in existence when I had no money. Will I be buying a house without a down payment or emergency savings again?
I always thought you had to have a car regardless of your circumstances. I thought it was your ticket into the Grownup Pants world. But now, I’m saving a ton of money by sharing a truck with Zach. Will I buy another car when I can get by with just one?
How about spending $800/month on restaurants alone?
When Are Financial Mistakes Not OK?
Here’s one of the reasons why I think people hide their mistakes: they don’t actually take the opportunity to learn from them.
You have a valuable resource here, people, don’t squander it! It’s not every day you’re given the best motivational lesson of all. Use this resource to get better! Grow financial scars!
If you don’t well then you’re just being silly. You’re just poking more holes in yourself than the Black Knight from Monty Python. It’s not just a flesh wound!
I’m Better Off For My Financial Mistakes
Being in debt sucks. You know what sucks more? Being in debt for the rest of your life.
If nothing else, all of my mistakes have given me the swift kick in the ass I needed to take control.
Since deciding to learn more about how to manage my money, I’m also consciously saving up for retirement for the first time ever. I’m learning how to budget, and save up for travel so I can afford things that I thought were only in the realm of the Rich Folks.
There’s a hell of a lot of people that don’t need to make as many mistakes as I did before they woke up. Some of them have always been good money-managers.
I was not lucky enough to be one of them. I needed to be hit over the head with a metaphorical financial 2×4 before my money-management switch was turned on. I suspect that most others are like me too—and if so, welcome!
Related post: How much does this cost in Taco Dollars?
Celebrate Your Financial Mistakes!
It’s time to end the stigma on financial mistakes.
Proclaim your combined glory/failure, loud and to the world! Check out my sidebar—I’m paying off more than a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of debt! Tell people what you learned, and how you’re getting better! Shout to everyone how you’ll be a stronger person with financial scars in the end!
What financial mistakes have you learned from? Have you come out better in the end for it, or not? Leave a comment below!