Updated: Nov 13
Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?
About the author
The author, Cary Siegel, is a retired business executive. Cary wrote the book for his five teenage children, but quickly found it was relevant to all adults. Though he still spends much of his time espousing the principles to his children (and anyone who is willing to listen to him).
Bestselling 5 Star Graduation Gift for both College and High School grads! Why do high schools and colleges require students to take courses in English, math, and science, yet have absolutely no requirements for students to learn about personal money management?
If you’re bad at managing money and don’t know the importance of financial planning, this book will definitely give the best financial advice.
This book uses simple language and best for beginners.
Whether you’re a college student or an adult or a retired person, these 99 principles given by Cary Siegel applies for all of you.
Some of the important principles I loved in this book;
Don’t buy things you want!
Yes! Always the things you want won’t necessarily you need. I’ve also bought many of things that I don’t need and they’re just in my backyard eating rust & dirt.
These things always prickle my eyes whenever I see them. That’s why you should always decide the budget before you go to shopping.
Before going to shopping make list of things you need and calculate the total cost, and keep that exact amount of cash with you with some buffer.
“Don’t try to keep up with Joneses; they’re going bankrupt” Man! Why I love this line!!
Set short and long term financial goals.
Set realistic short goals depending on your budget. Monthly, weekly and daily goals are always important to reach your long term goal.
These short term goals can be like; Saving $5 from my groceries, putting $10 weekly in a savings account, saving $100 monthly as an emergency fund, etc.
These short term goals help you achieve the long term goals like saving $10K for your child’s education, buying a brand new television, etc.
Get rich slowly
Getting rich is everyone’s dream but it can’t happen overnight. Building wealth takes time and if you fall for those ‘get rich quick’ schemes, it’ll be your downfall.
Always make proper financial planning and draw some rules for your habits.
You will not get rich by following the habits of rich people instead try to live below your means. (By habits I’m talking about clothing & accessory brands, cars, food, restaurants, etc.)
Always have an emergency fund
This one is very important.
Some things happen unplanned that's why they are called emergencies like medical need and emergency travel.
Suppose you got a call from a friend for inviting you to his marriage. So what now! You need to buy a gift. Or just now your brother scratched your car’s bonnet by accident.
For these kinds of unplanned expenses, you always need to keep an emergency fund.
Have an emergency month in January.
This one is actually quite exciting! We spend a lot in December for New Year’s celebration. So let’s pretend next month we’re very short in money.
This is just to compensate for your huge expenses in December. This is fun don’t you think!!
This way you also practice your bad month. Because you don’t know, in a month some unexpected tragedy happened and you’re short on money.
As you already practiced how to manage in a bad month, you’ll be less concerned.
Don’t underestimate the cost of ownership.
Well, these things are often neglected. I know to have your own home, car, bike, insurance, etc. is important, but we often neglect the hidden or underlying costs.
You buy a car but you don’t think about its regular maintenance, petrol/ diesel, parking, tolls, taxes and other costs involved in it and the same applies for a bike and a home.
So, always buy these things considering the underlying costs and include them in your monthly budget.
Diversify your investment portfolio
This is the most important advice for every investor. Diversifying your investments is important to avoid losing all your wealth.
Although he didn’t give much information on diversification but he really cleared its importance.
Don’t invest with family and friends (or loan them money)
Ohh! This really happened with me once and I took a great lesson from it.
In my early investment days, I got an exciting investment deal from a friend. As I didn’t have enough money and so excited I also invited another friend to join the deal.
In the end, we all lost our money and relation too. It wasn’t anyone’s fault but the excitement to make money easily that rushed all of us.
A relation is like a thread. Once it breaks it can only be joined by a knot which loosens the strength of that thread and flow.
Always choose the highest deductible insurance for home & automobile
This is also one of the things I read for the first time.
To avoid the refusal of insurance claim and to lower the insurance premium choosing the high deductible insurance is important.
These are some of the 99 principles given by the Cary Siegel that I find useful for me. All of these principles are important for everyone and can’t be ignored.
So read the book and find what you’re missing or doing wrong.