Money is the greatest homogenizer and yet the greatest separator. It is powerful in vast sums because it can erase the color of your skin (Oprah, JLo, Madonna and Warren Buffet). Money can negate homophobic stereotypes (Suze Orman and Andrew Tobias) and lastly money can make you appear as someone you are not (Bernie Madoff).
So when should you start to care about your money? The answer is from the very first dollar. Why does your money, as little as it might be, matter? Because you as an individual matter, and it is all about you now. How you treat your money is a reflection of where, what and who you are in your life.
My five basic points towards your financial happiness regardless of the amount of money.
Respect your money. If you do not, you cannot respect yourself. By being disrespectful of your money, you are being dismissive of your hard work and your self-worth.
Watch your money. Because you are not watching out for yourself in the present or the future.
Be financially independent. As that is the basis to be emotionally independent. Grandparents, parents, partners and FWM (friends with money) expect to be in charge when they pay. Have you ever heard of a trust fund without conditions and limitations?
Practice financial self-preservation. Regarding your family and friends, sharing (giving or lending) your money is NOT the same as giving your money away. You must practice financial self-preservation just as you would practice self-preservation on a deserted island. Giving or lending your “nest-egg, emergency fund, your vacation fund” is not being generous it is being selfish towards yourself, disrespectful to what you have accomplished and downright irresponsible.
Give of yourself before you give money. It is far easier to cut a check than to volunteer, but that is why you should not do it. Before you support a charity, volunteer your time and read at least two annual reports. See where the money will go, then — and only then — cut a check. You will be surprised how many great charitable organizations are running donation to donation, because of self-induced financial malpractice.
Because you as an individual do matter, and it is all about you now. How you treat your money is a reflection of what, where and who you are in life.
The opinions and recommendations expressed herein are those of Mr. Garrido and do not necessarily reflect those of the firm and are subject to change without notice. This information is not to be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. The information contained herein has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy and does not purport to be a complete analysis of the security, company or industry involved.