Money Matters: Finance Refresher

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As our kids prepare to hit the books again, it’s time for a needed refresher on finances. It’s easy to forget the basics, but they are key to financial stability.

In terms of lessons many people still need to learn related to money, Barry Bigelow of Great Waters Financial says to select your lifestyle.

“Particularly for young people, we tend to fall in love with the generation ahead of us or our parents,” he said. “And so whether you’re coming out of college or in jobs, thinking, ‘Well, I should live like my parents live. I should have a nice house, I should have a nice car.’ And we fail to remember that our parents were walking uphill both ways to school.”

He also suggests tracking your money. He said doing a budget gives freedom.

Bigelow also suggested comparing purchases to time.

“Like hey, if I go out to eat, this is two hours’ worth of my workweek, so maybe I don’t want to spend that kind of money or spend my time that easily,” he said.

One of the most common misconceptions, Bigelow said, is that a budget is restrictive. He says a budget gives the freedom to understand where your money is going and when you can spend it freely.

Bigelow suggests continuing financial education. He says resources are everywhere and recommends people “study the end game.” For example, make sure you understand how payments and insurance will work before buying a car.