Post #5: The Reason You Need to Learn About Personal Finance NOW

Most of us have goals around personal finance, even if they are not written down. A fundamental goal for many of us may be to live a comfortable life by having enough money to cover our basic needs. A higher level goal may be to generate enough income to be able to enjoy some “wants” from time to time, like a nice vacation or a fancy dinner for a special occasion. A top-level goal may be to reach financial independence so we can enjoy the freedom of choice when it comes to our extremely precious asset of time.

A lot of you are young. And when we’re young, we tend to think of some life goals as far out in the distance. Far enough away that we don’t need to focus on them right now in the present. We think that when the time comes, we’ll take care of it then.

The skill of managing our money is a frequent victim of this philosophy. When most are young they don’t like to “waste” time learning about money; there are too many fun things to do.

But you need to start educating yourself on personal finance topics NOW. Not in 5 years. Not in 10 years. NOW.

Let’s look at a great analogy that was given so eloquently by a former Miss America, Deshauna Barber.

Deshauna started competing in beauty pageants when she was 17. She lost her first six competitions. But on the seventh, she won Miss District of Columbia. She went on to win Miss America and compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

She gave a speech at Virginia State University in 2017. Here is a passage from that speech:


I don’t think I really challenged myself to really stick anything through until I joined the track team in middle school. I remember having to ask my mom after tryouts and making it to the team for my very first pair of track shoes.

Now at the time, she walks into our house, and she has a bag that has a nice Nike [logo] on it, so I get excited because I wasn’t getting new shoes very often. I go to take the shoe box out of the bag, and I notice that it says a size 9 on it. Mind you, in the 7th grade I was a size 5.

I open the box, and I slide my feet into the shoe, and I look at my mother, and I said, “These shoes are too big.”

She said, “I know, I did that on purpose.”

I said, “Why would you buy shoes that are too big on purpose, mom?”

And she says, “Because I know that you’re going to grow into them.”

Coach has us line up on the starting line, and he wants us to run a lap around the track. As we go to take off, I immediately fall to the ground [and] twist my ankle because the shoes are entirely too big. See, I couldn’t run at the speed I wanted to, because I didn’t fit the shoes I was wearing at the time.

Now many of us have goals we’re trying to achieve, but the person we are right now is not the person that we need to be when we cross the finish line to our dreams. So we must walk and pace ourselves on this journey to our goals because we haven’t grown enough in ourselves to fit the shoes that we need to achieve our aspirations.

But let me tell you something, if I had won Miss USA my very first year, I would not have been Miss USA. I would not have been the version of myself that I needed to be to properly handle a national title.

Many of us aren’t ready to [run] the race. But understand that as we walk this race, we pace ourselves.

And as we pace ourselves, we grow.

And as we grow, our foot gets bigger.

And as our foot gets bigger, our shoes begin to fill.

And as our shoes begin to fill, we can now run a little bit faster.

And as we pick up the pace, we get to the finish line at the exact time we are destined to cross it.

– Deshauna Barber


If you want to cross the finish line of “financial independence” or be able to make intelligent financial decisions, then you need to start filling your shoes NOW. You must start walking NOW by reading, listening, and learning. Soon after, you will need to start jogging by acquiring and practicing the skills of managing your money. After that, you will begin running and eventually cross the finish line in an all-out sprint.

You cannot cross the finish line without first walking in your oversized shoes, slowly growing into them until you’re ready for your moment of success.

Best of luck to you in your race to your goals.

Now go out there and get your freak on!

8 Comments

Anna

My main takeaway of this speech was that you will never know where you could’ve gone in life if you give up. Also, if you decide to keep persevering through the hard times and the “no’s” like Barber said, life will give you a “yes” at the exact time you are ready for it.

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Ariana Albada

My main takeaway of this speech was that no matter what obstacles you may in counter in life, you must keep persevering to grow your foot. Also, that everything is for a reason and life gives you challenges, but you shouldn’t give up so you can get what you aspired for.

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Quinn

My takeaway from this speech is that you must learn and grow to be able to fill your shoe, and in order to do that you should start learning about finance as soon as possible. Also, it will not be easy right away and you might struggle, but as long as you don’t give up you will complete the race.

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Abany Aguilar

My takeaway from this speech is that you must learn to grow and to be able to experience new things , and to do that you should start pushing yourself on what you want to become . Also, just like barber said life will give you more no than yeses. You might struggle at the beginning, it will not be easy right away, but as long as you don’t give up you will make your dream come true.

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Donny Chen

My takeaway from this speech is that do not give up and must learn to grow. There will be many hardships that you are going to face, but it is your responsibility to not have a fixed mindset and acknowledge your failure and know how to grow from your mistakes so you can start pushing yourself to ultimately become what you want to be. It may not be an easy road which you will run into a few hardships but as long as you not giving up, the reality of your dream will come true.

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Donny Chen

My takeaways from this speech is that do not give up and must learn to grow. There will be many hardships that you are going to face, but it is your responsibility to not have a fixed mindset and acknowledge your failure and know how to grow from your mistakes so you can start pushing yourself to ultimately become what you want to be. It may not be an easy road which you will run into a few hardships but as long as you not giving up, the reality of your dream will come true.

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Gabbi

My main take away is that you need to keep trying no matter what because the person you are the day you start your journey will NOT be the person you are at the end of it. Through experience you will develop as a person. You should never give up because when the time is right and you have grown, you will succeed. However there is no way of telling when that will be, so until then you have to keep pushing through and going through the struggles and the “no’s” in life, because at the end of it you will be a better person who has accomplished it all.

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Steven Kim

my main takeaway was that we need to get comfortable with ourselves and follow our own pace and not the pace of others. And awe should also be happy about the process of our growth and not rush to our goals but learn along the way and when you look back, you will know that it was all worth the time and effort into becoming what you want to be.

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