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Avoid These 3 Common Money Mistakes Like the Plague

avoid these common money mistakes like this spilled ice cream

Working with people from different walks of life with varying financial situations has been fascinating.

It's incredible to see what we do with the hand we're dealt, how we were raised, and the things we've learned through our own unique experiences.

But what's been really interesting is, despite all our differences, there are some similarities that have bubbled up to the surface in terms of key learning opportunities.

Here are the 3 biggest mistakes my students make:


This was hard to pick up on at first, but eventually I saw it... especially when I realized it's something that I faced, as well.

Many of us believe we'll always struggle financially (especially if we come from a background where money was an issue), or that we're destined to stay in the same wealth class we were born into.

For me, I always assumed that because I was born into the middle class, that that's where I'd stay.

Don't get me wrong, middle class America is great; I'm grateful and would be glad to sit tight right where I'm at, but the problem here was my mindset.

Because that belief system is not true at all!

Where you end up in life is based on the culmination of the small daily decisions you make, moment-by-moment, minute-by-minute, and day-by-day.

Whether you're born into poverty, average money, or exceptionally high wealth, it's your daily decisions that will dictate whether you'll stay there, shift up - or move down.

"Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny." - Chinese proverb


A lot of us avoid taking a good, honest look at our finances - and if we are willing to do a deep-dive, we don't do it regularly enough.

Oftentimes, we go about our lives and simply wonder why it feels like we don't have much money left over at the end of each month.

Eventually, slowly or sometimes quickly, this grows into something I call free-floating money anxiety. You feel nervous all the time, and although you can't put your finger on why, it's usually (at least in some part) tied to your finances.

Many of my students have explained this feeling to me, but the moment we sit down and go through their financials, line-by-line and detail-by-detail, they immediately feel better.

Simply knowing your numbers - the specifics - and checking in on those numbers regularly (at least once a month) will leave you feeling EMPOWERED and in control.

You'll have cleared valuable space in your mind that will enable you to make better financial decisions, and live a life that's more enjoyable and intentional.

(PS - my free budget calculator can help with this one!)


Delayed gratification, simply put, is resisting the impulse to take an immediately available reward in the hope of obtaining a more-valued reward in the future.

And it can be hard...

In one study on children, researchers put a single marshmallow in front of each child and then [the researchers] left the room for 15 minutes.

Before leaving, they told the kids that if they could wait to eat their marshmallow until they returned, they'd receive an additional marshmallow.

If they couldn't wait that long, however, they'd only get the one.

Many tried; many failed.

But the studies found that children’s ability to delay gratification when they were young was correlated with positive future outcomes... and I feel this is true with money, as well.

Whatever your financial weakness (looking at you, Amazon 👀) - consciously make it a point to work on practicing delayed gratification.

Want something online? Put it in your cart and wait a day or two... then see if you still want it.

Left the house to buy 1 thing, but find yourself in the checkout line with 5? Put the other 4 back, wait a couple of days, and if you still want them - go get them.

I'm not saying don't buy things that make you happy; I'm just saying THINK about it for a while before you do.

And once you master these types of decisions, this practice will serve you very well when it comes to one of my favorite and the most powerful subjects of all: investing 🎉


When it comes to building a solid financial foundation to stand on (and launch upward from!) and avoiding common money mistakes, it comes down to 3 things:

  • Mindset

  • Intentionality

  • Organization

Keep up your positive self-talk, challenge those limiting beliefs, practice delayed gratification, and just take a beat before pulling out the credit card.

And if you want some help getting organized, my free budget tool is a great place to start.

You've got this!




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