By James Schupp
Money has a lot of connotations and emotions attached to it. We all know we need money to survive. The process of obtaining and managing money can be a stressful or burdensome activity but it doesn’t have to be. It can be both enjoyable and rewarding. To generalize “money is bad” is missing the point entirely. Money is simply an exchange mediumto get the things we require to live and to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. As a young person embarking on a responsible life it’s an activity that will become very much a part of your reality.
Generally the biggest obstacle to effectively managing your money is the fear you’ll do a poor job or make mistakes. This is a common and somewhat expected reaction. Over many years working with students I find the most common fears are: Will I make enough money to live on my own? How will I ever pay back all these student loans? Will I be able to invest wisely? When might I feel financially secure? I am scared I’ll have to live with my parents after college? All of these and many more are valid and real concerns. However, there is absolutely no reason you have to play the fear game.
Fear is an illusion created in our minds. Notice when we succumb to our fears they tend to expand and take up more and more of our thoughts to the point where we might not sleep or we can’t concentrate on anything else. This can be terribly debilitating. Hopefully the chapters that follow will help you realize you don’t need to be afraid – with some diligence and a willingness to learn it will all become second nature to you.
The very best way to fight fear is with action. You will make mistakes – it’s inevitable. Learn from them and move on. Managing your financial life doesn’t have to be a big stress. I identify fear as an illusion to help myself realize I’m the only one that can allay my own concerns. Therefore, taking constructive action is a first step in developing the confidence to be financially independent. As you develop simple and effective systems you may even find some enjoyment in building wealth for yourself and your family.
James Schupp (Scoop) has worked as a Registered Financial Advisor for over 30 years with a National Brokerage firm in Corvallis, Oregon. As a Courtesy Faculty at Oregon State University he has had the pleasure of assisting countless students in all aspects of personal finance and other life issues for many years. James lives with his wife, Karen, dog Verdell, and cat Daisy, in Corvallis, Oregon.