3 Money Failures You Should Avoid


I am in the spirit of full transparency lately. THIS IS REAL LIFE MAN! There is no fairy tale to living on a budget and it’s not sunsets and unicorns, no this stuff is hard.

Sometimes you will have to make sacrifices, you may make a mistake or two, and that is okay. Why is it okay? Because we all do it. If I stood here and said I did everything right with money, then I would be lying. I failed several times with money and learned a different lesson from each of them.

3 Money Failures You Should Avoid - Phil’s Money Fails….so far 🙂 

1. Not Budgeting

16 Year Old Phil

If you have listened to any podcasts I have done, everyone asks me, “How did you learn this stuff?” Oh that is easy, I failed horribly with money when I was 16.

In high school, before I started working, I asked my Mom for money all the time, maybe you can relate? My mom and I decided that she would give me $100 per month to spend as I wanted, but I couldn’t ask her for any more money. I thought I was rich :)!

As you can imagine I start spending money like crazy, and then that dreaded day came. I was at a pizza place with my friend and my debit card declined. Talk about embarrassing, my friend had to spot me $5 …wow.

I went home and told my Mom the card did not work anymore and she laughed…I had over-drafted my account, now I owed the bank $30 for an overdraft fee and had no money.

From that point forward, I took that mistake and learned how to budget and be a good steward of money.

Create your budget here

2. Never Stop Learning (Get Educated about Money/Investing)

18 Year Old Phil

I made it to college. YAY! I knew there were alternatives to taking out student loans, like community college (still could need loans), but I still chose to take on debt anyways (not really a mistake, but something to point out).

My first semester in college I was not working and I thought I was going to be the next successful entrepreneur, whatever that means. In my bank account I had about $1500 of savings at the time. I decided to “invest” $500 of it into an “online business”. LOL Yeah that was a “get rich quick scam”.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is right? At 18 years old I spent 1/3 of my life savings on a scam. I was embarrassed and ashamed that I fell for it. After all, I was good with money and had learned from my mistake 2 years prior.

This lesson taught me that anything worth having requires hard work and there are rarely overnight success stories. If I wanted to learn about money and investing I had to get educated, so I started reading.

3. Don't Buy Shiny Stuff You will Never Use

24 Year Old Phil

Yes, while I was saving for my first condo I had a money fail! I got that “good ole” tax return and did not account for that in my yearly budgeting goal. 🙂 YAY!

I could either use the money to get closer to my goal or splurge on something I really wanted…What did I do? DUH! I splurged, I went and got the new Microsoft Surface Tablet. Fast forward 3 years…I don’t even use that thing lol.

This lesson was a tough pill to swallow because, I was “debt free” and I felt like I should treat myself to something I wanted, I wrote this post about 4 Questions to ask before spending, specifically for this reason.

What I found, is that, for me, money and things cannot buy happiness. I saw this shiny new thing and wanted it without really assessing if it would add value to my life, or if I would even use it…which I don’t. SMH...Face Palm

Phil of the Future 

I have a feeling that my future self will fail with money too. Why? Because if you never fail you rarely learn. One key to my success has been failing and learning from those mistakes and growing.

Have you made a money mistake you feel ashamed of? Take the mistake and turn it into a lesson and keep moving in the direction you want to go.

When I share blog posts or social media posts, at times it can feel like a highlight reel of all of the cool things I have done.  Yes, I hope my story motivates you, however please know that I am a normal human being who makes mistakes and falls down at times.

Have you made a money mistake that other’s may be able to learn from?