Topics We’re Talking About: Overcoming Financial “Oops”


I’m no stranger to making mistakes in my personal and financial life. The other day, I wore my cardigan inside out until I caught sight of the tag mid-afternoon. It was a live and learn moment except for the fact that two days later, I got home from work only to realize that my shirt had been on backwards for the entire day. Oops.

Then there was the time in college that I overdrew my checking account 19 times within the span of 20 minutes. Turns out that purchasing 19 separate Justin Timberlake songs on iTunes was highly effective for putting me in the red. Another kind of oops. But the important part of that story is not that I have a deep, abiding love for solo artists hailing from N’Sync. It’s that after the initial freak out and frustration, it presented me with an opportunity to learn. In fact, because of that little snafu I learned several important financial lessons:

  • how to call a bank and negotiate for what I wanted (I was successful in convincing them to lift 18 of the 19 overdraft fees).
  • how to set up overdraft protection.
  • the importance of balancing a checking account.
  • why you should set up calendar reminders if you have any fees set to automatically deduct from your checking account (I initially went below zero because I was charged an automatic, annual subscription fee I hadn’t been expecting).

In other words, though it wasn’t exactly a shining example of my financial savvy at the time, living through it and learning from it had its pros.

If you’re frustrated by past financial mistakes or feeling regretful of choices that landed you in a financially challenging situation – don’t beat yourself up! Instead, take a moment to reflect and to use information about the experience to guide you as you move forward.

Here are the top picks for articles to help you overcome any kind of “oops” moment – even the ones pertaining to musical taste.

Money Mistakes – The Best Way to Recover Fast –  Wealth Pilgrim
Sometimes it’s not making a mistake that gets you into trouble, it’s letting it dictate the way that you proceed with other decisions. An excellent post showing the value of knowing when to cut your losses so that you can pursue other, worthy endeavors!

You Will Be Stupid – Lifehacker
Maybe the title is a little bit harsh but the sentiment showcased in this post is all sorts of motivating. Featuring a graduation speech made by none other than Ira Glass (he still sounds the same on video, don’t worry) it’s a great piece reminder of the value in new experience (and the mistakes that go along with it).

Bouncing Back From Early Career Meltdown – Money Side of Life
Are you afraid that a career switch will haunt you for the rest of your professional life? You’re definitely not alone – it’s scary to look back on years dedicated to a job that ultimately doesn’t work out! Here’s an awesomely inspiring post to help you put your options in perspective and take back control of your professional (and financial) future!

Three Financial Mistakes I Made (and What You Can Learn From Them) – GoGirl Finance
Facing adulthood is difficult in it’s own right, but testing the waters for financial independence adds another layer of complexity to the challenge. Here’s a lovely piece to show the importance of reflecting on (and sharing) experiences as a way to build a solid financial philosophy for your future.

Common Money Mistakes Podcast – Listen Money Matters
One of the best ways to avoid making the same mistake twice is to talk about it. Luckily, there are guys like Matt and Andrew to help keep the conversation going. Have a listen and join in!

Special thanks to all the sites mentioning ReadyForZero…

The Dime Colorado
Figuring Money Out

… and check out our guest posts this week!

How To Talk To a Loved One About Debt – Bible Money Matters
Things To Look Out For When Looking At Your Credit Report – America Saves

Have a wonderful weekend – and don’t forget:

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

Image Credit: Ryan McGuire

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