Money Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


WHEN you have lunch with a young and impressionable group of yuppies, you can expect to talk about everything and anything under the sun. The latest Hollywood break up or hook up, sports, the latest places to be, low budget air fares, and even a hint of politics. But there’s one thing you’re sure not to discuss: money.

Money as a topic, even to those who are way beyond the yuppie category, can be quite intimidating. Early on, we’ve been taught it’s taboo to discuss it so we veer away from doing so. However, as yuppies transform into young parents and/or independent thirty-somethings, the lack of knowledge in handling finances can be quite crippling.

Thankfully, there are people whose main purpose in life is to spread financial knowledge. One of these people is registered planner and personal financial consultant, Marvin Germo.

An author, speaker, stock market trader, analyst and investor, and a BPI Trade Ambassador, Marvin’s personal goal in life is to educate the Filipino people when it comes to handling their finances. As a young professional, Marvin has helped establish many lives by first pointing out the common money mistakes young people commit and helping them correct those mistakes.

Immediate gratification. Today’s generation get a high from living in the now. But while it may feel like the right thing to do, it can be damaging to one’s finances. Marvin says, “Often, we want to ‘buy it now’ even if we don’t have the budget for it. This is often the beginning of the accumulation of credit card debt.”

High disregard for the time value of money. Marvin says most young people don’t understand that the best time to invest is while you are still young and preferably under 30. “The best time to invest is when you’re still young and still have a lot of years ahead of you.”

Prioritize wants more than needs. Another common mistake is prioritizing wants above needs. More people are inclined to buy gadgets, branded and luxurious items without considering saving and investing for the future.

Get into new businesses / investments rather aggressively, and without preparation. Marvin points out that there is also a group of young people who are keen to invest and make their money grow. While their intentions are admirable, this group often falls into the trap of wanting to earn a quick buck, which can potentially harm their finances. “When it comes to investing and growing your money, there are no shortcuts. Studying your investments carefully is a good way to go about it.”

And while managing finances can be quite intimidating, especially for carefree, young individuals who don’t think much about the future yet, Marvin says changes don’t have to be big.

“It all begins with managing your priorities and understanding that the money you have today can also be used in the future. When you prioritize what you want early on, you can easily build the future you want.”

As in all things, begin with small steps—like foregoing expensive coffees in every morning, and saving the money instead.

Prioritizing also doesn’t mean giving up luxury but choosing ones that you really want and can actually afford. By understanding this concept, money should no longer be the elephant in the room that no one talks about.

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For more information about Marvin Germo’s seminars, books, and whatnot, do visit