Asking better money questions is one of the keys to getting the future you want, says Veronica Karas, author of the new book, Money Matters: Everything You Should Have Learned in School but Didn’t.
On The BIGG Success Show today, we talk with Veronica Karas, CFP, about her new book, Money Matters: Everything You Should Have Learned in School, but Didn’t*. Here’s a summary of that discussion…
What didn’t we learn in school?
Veronica says this book is a passion project, because there is so much we were never taught. For example, how do you pick the right partner to spend your life with? How do you deal with the emotions of major decisions and life events? There’s a lot of financial know-how we never learn in school.
What’s the #1 money question?
A lot of people ask Veronica what stock to buy. But she says the most common question she gets is:
How do I start getting my finances in order?
First, figure out what you spent. She offers this advice to everyone – regardless of where you are in your financial journey, or how old you are.
She adds that so many people don’t know where their money goes. Our society is completely credit-driven. It’s so easy to just swipe. Now you don’t even need a credit card. You just turn your phone around.
Veronica points out that it’s getting easier and easier to pay for things, and not be mindful about where your money is going. So answer the question:
Where does your money actually go?
Once you write this out, you’ll see what your priorities actually are. Is buying a house your most important financial goal? Or is it Starbucks? Make sure your cash flows reflect your priorities.
She offered another example – a person who says putting their kids through college, but they have four or five gold club memberships. The priority is obvious – it’s playing gold, not funding their kids’ college. That’s fine. But you have to be honest with yourself before you can make the necessary changes. Veronica adds:
The more honest you are with yourself, the more productive your future changes will be.
A common mistake by first-time home buyers
When considering buying a home for the first time, many people tend to compare the rent at their current place to the mortgage of the new place. Owning a home brings a whole lot of other things with it.
You have to budget in everything with a home purchase. You have property taxes. If you rent, you don’t.
If you rent, and there’s a maintenance issue, you just call the landlord or superintendent. If you buy, you’re responsible for all of it. If you don’t think ahead about these expenses, it can throw off your whole financial plan.
For example, Veronica notes that she bought her first house about eight months ago. Last weekend, her dishwasher caught fire. Our washer and dryer broke down soon after we bought the house. When you buy a home, you never know. You always have to be prepared for the next thing.
The key habit to save more
Veronica says the key to saving more money is:
Pay yourself first.
She adds: Not only is it a good financial habit, it is a mental and emotional habit as well. Figure out how much you can save. Then put the savings away first, before you do the rest of the spending. By doing this, you demonstrate to yourself that you put your goals first, ahead of immediate needs and wants. Veronica notes that she has found that everyone finds a way to make it work.
The power of asking better money questions
In her book, Veronica emphasizes the importance of asking better questions. For example, picture asking the question: How can I make sure I can maintain my lifestyle in retirement, or maybe even increase it – without ever having to worry about principal? This question leads to a very different answer than a question like: What stock will make me the most money? It just shows:
Better questions lead to better results.
How language can sabotage the future you want
Near the end of her book, Veronica talks about limiting beliefs. The answer is to create new beliefs. To do that, she suggests writing down the answer to these questions:
What do you want to do with your money? What does your ultimate life look like? Maybe you want to retire early and retire.
Will what you say to yourself get you to this goal? If not, what are the beliefs you need? Open your mind to new beliefs, for your BIGG success!
We highly recommend Veronica’s book to you. Check out Money Matters: Everything You Should Have Learned in School, but Didn’t.*
Here’s to your BIGG success!
George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success
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