The beauty of personal finance is that it’s personal. We all have our preferences on how we save money, what we spend money on, and even what we spend money with.

Everyone has a strong preference from cash to credit to debit. Some people swear by cash, while others never carry the stuff. So, what type of payment method should you use? Well, the correct answer depends. I’m breaking down the good, bad, and ugly of cash, credit, and debit.

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Have you ever put a label on yourself and then had a hard time removing it? My son is very good with the soccer ball but he hesitates whenever he goes up against bigger and stronger boys because he’s not confident. He often thinks he’s bad and that leads him to not play as well as he could out on the field.

A lot of people do this and it affects all facets of their life. This is especially disastrous when it comes to money. It’s understandable though.

This is because: a) money is a taboo topic, and b) it’s the easy way out. It’s so much easier to say “I’m bad with money” than it is to actually improve the underlying issue.

If you’re constantly thinking you have bad luck with finances or are generally bad with money, you have to first realize that “no, you’re not bad with money.” It’s probably just because of one of these reasons.

Let’s take a look.
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successful personWhen we think of skills that set us up for career success, things like efficiency, the ability to multi-task, and proficiency in technical or specialized equipment might come to mind. But, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ list of occupations expected to add the most jobs over the next 10 years – home health care, nursing, retail, and service – a very different set of skills will be in high demand. Can you guess the common denominator for these occupations? If you said social skills, you’re right.

Even if you’re not employed in one of these fields, social skills are becoming an in-demand qualification. Employers in STEM fields are showing an increasing preference for applicants with “high social skills,” not just technical skills. Even business professionals need to be able to communicate with other departments, anticipate customers’ desires, needs, and reactions to formulate effective marketing strategies, interact with suppliers, and secure funding by building rapport with investors. Finally, if you’re an entrepreneur, financial success hinges strongly on the social skills needed for building a network of investors and customers.
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As someone who has rented an apartment for a long time, I didn’t think I needed renters insurance. It seemed like an unnecessary expense to add to my budget. After all, as a self-proclaimed minimalist, I don’t have a lot of “stuff” so I never saw the value in it.

It wasn’t until a few months ago that I finally woke up from my ignorance. A friend had her computer stolen and the first thing people asked her was, “Do you have renters insurance?”. She didn’t.

To make matters worse, she was still making payments on it! My heart went into the pit of my stomach hearing her tell me that story.

I thought if something happened to my computer – whether it be theft or damage – I’d be in pretty bad shape. I currently work as a full-time writer and speaker, and my computer is a major source of my income. Not having my laptop would put my livelihood is serious jeopardy until I can replace my machine.
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Now that my son is 14 and getting ready for a driver’s permit, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about buying a car. (Yes, you read that right. In Idaho, you are eligible for a permit at 14 and a license at 15.)

It’s a few years since I’ve bought a car; I tend to buy something late model that I like and then drive it for as long as possible.

As I get ready to move forward with a vehicle for my son, here’s how I’m preparing to make the decision:
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There are some financial mistakes we tend to make more than others and sometimes we may not even realize we are making them. I’ve made many myself over the years and it’s pretty embarrassing but I’ll share my biggest financial mistake.

A few years ago, as a young and financially-dumb 23-year old, I left my first big-girl job. While I was there, I had been investing in a 401k. To be quite honest, I really had no idea what a 401k was at the time other than a way to save money for retirement. After I left, I decided to withdraw all the money in my 401k, which incurred me a hefty penalty (more than 30% of the balance in fact). My only excuse? Financial stupidity!

Don’t let something like this happen to you. Financial mistakes like these are all too common. And when they happen, they are costly.

I’ve compiled a list of five of the most common financial mistakes so that you can hopefully avoid them.

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