The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money - Jill Schlesinger

The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money - Jill Schlesinger

Check out in this summary the dumb attitudes you've been making with your money and learn how to organize your financial life.

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Bright minds also make stupid mistakes. If you don't know how to control your money, you have serious problems. Jill Schlesinger will help you to avoid those mistakes in the book "The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money".

For every financial problem, there is a smart solution. Here in this summary, we'll talk about what are these dumb things and what to do to get around the lack of control. It goes through your own financial plan to your parents and children's future. Showing how you would help them build a solid budget.

There is nothing better than certain and constant planning of your life to make it simpler! Got interested in this subject? Stay with us in this summary and discover more about it!

About the book "The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money"

"The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money: Thirteen Ways to Right Your Financial Wrongs" is a work of the writer and analyst Jill Schlesinger. The book was released in February 2019 by Ballantine Books.

It features several real situations reported by the author of people who has made mistakes in their financial lives. On top of that, she gives lots of tips to plan better and prevent you from making mistakes with your money too.

About the author Jill Schlesinger

Jill Schlesinger is the winner of the Gracie Awards by CBS News and was nominated for the Emmy Awards. The successful business analyst participates in CBS radio, where she talks about topics such as economics, the market, and everything that involves money.

She is a weekly guest on NPR's Here and Now program and is a columnist for Jill on Money, where she writes and also makes podcasts.

Besides, Jill is a graduate of Brown University and spent 14 years of her career as a partner and investment director of an independent investment consulting firm.

To whom is this book indicated?

This book is recommended for every person who has financial problems and doesn't know how to deal with this lack of control. Whether you're an undergraduate, entrepreneur, or retiree, this book covers topics that will help you manage your finances and persist in the life you want to have.

Main ideas of the book "The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money"

  • Why you should ask for more information before making a deal;
  • Money cannot be the center of attention;
  • It is important to prevent data theft;
  • Why you should not take such a risk;
  • No one is smarter than the market;
  • Have trusted people who can assist you in your financial control;
  • Just putting money together doesn't give you peace of mind during retirement;
  • Your children don't need to bear the pain of your financial frustrations;
  • But it is important that you be frank with your child about your possibilities;
  • Why buying a property and hoping to value it to sell may be a bad idea and why this moment may never happen;
  • Why you should consider making a will already.

In this summary, we'll explain the 13 dumb things smart people do with their money. In the end, we will quote 13 intelligent attitudes that these people should adopt now.

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[Book Summary] The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money - Jill Schlesinger

Overview: Don't buy products that you don't know what it's all about

Here Jill proposes a four-part method not very well known by intelligent people who invest some of their money in things they have no idea what they are:

  • Ask
  • For
  • More
  • Information!

The author adds: don't make decisions by dawn. First, you have to prepare for moments when money is undervalued, so saving that "investment" instead of wasting it seems like a better option.

Second, if we spend on things that have no particular significance, we may miss some opportunities to invest in things that can actually add to us (besides spending money for nothing).

Overview: Advice should come from the right people

Be careful to don't fall into the clutches of people who are there to try to sell you advice that will make you earn money, instead of helping you.

There are some people who have diplomas and certificates, but they are not committed to the service itself, but to serve their own interests.

  • If you are the type of person who spends and doesn't keep track of the flow of your money, it's better you know where your money is going;
  • If you and your spouse sometimes argue for financial reasons, what about considering a (reliable) financial advisor who can help you plan your spending?
  • If you have a notion that you have problems with money but still don't learn how to control it, it is advisable that you really look for someone who helps you to be honest with yourself.

Overview: Don't overestimate money

Jill Schlesinger says that if we don't have the money to meet our basic needs, life will be more complicated than it already is.

But as we increase our equity, we begin to compare ourselves with other people and spend even more to maintain our status. And that's where we should police ourselves.

  • Don't worry about starting slow. Worry about getting started;
  • Don't force yourself to create THE SUPER PLAN. The gears will fit together over time (and control);
  • Be kind to yourself, but be a gentle jerk. Know the moments when you should give a tug of ear cordially;
  • Try to understand the reasons for your financial lack of control. This may be associated with some time in your childhood, for example;
  • If your inner voice tells you no, then it is no.

Overview: Dear student, don't drown in debt; Dear parents, talk to your kids

The author says that smart people, for the most part, accumulate many debts during college. And that packs too much at the time when a good opportunity comes along.

Many students end up having to work in places they don't like to pay their debts. They find themselves drowned for months, some even going back to live with their parents.

No one deserves to have to postpone their career plans because of a stupid attitude. Jill says this is mostly due to poor parenting in their son's higher education.

Of course, it is more fun to research about where the family is going to spend the holidays than to consider possible entry universities, the author says. But life is not just about fun. Your child's financial future should be carefully planned.

Another reason is that when this lack of control happens, parents don't try to stop the child. Then, they tend not to talk honestly about what they can afford.

The consequence? The snowball just grows and turns into an avalanche.

Overview: Have you considered renting what you cannot afford?

Many intelligent people make a fool of themselves when it comes to homeownership. At the moment of your life, do you think you can afford a mortgage?

Jill Schlesinger says that if you don't have stable finances, renting may be a safer option to make your savings more flexible.

Trying to predict the real estate market can be an amateur move. Be careful to don't fall into the trap of buying a property to sell after you appreciate it. It will make the neighborhood less attractive, some disaster happens. You can end up selling for less than you bought (or not even sell).

Overview: No need to go through so many risks

It is not wise to bet your financial future on trickery to succeed. The author says that the best way is to invest in one (what she calls) "theory of defensive driving to invest".

In her work, Jill gives five steps to invest in success and ensure that in the future, you enjoy the achievements of your goals and something much more valuable than money: happiness.

  1. Before investing, keep up with your debts and open an emergency fund that can meet unforeseen circumstances within 12 months;
  2. Create a financial plan;
  3. Invest your money in assets and rational goals that generate a return with the minimum of risks;
  4. Don't stray from your plan;
  5. Monitor your assets periodically.

After this, you should enjoy all the hard work you have done. Relax, have fun. The author also recommends the sixth step: take a walk at sunset.

Overview: Protect Your Data

The world is becoming more and more technological. And we are more and more connected. Ignoring the fact that we are increasingly exposed to "smarty pants" who have intentions of stealing our data and assets is a great danger.

If we want to protect our identity and our assets, we must look at some basic processes, such as frequently changing the access password or constantly checking our balance.

But luckily, Jill came here to tell you what you should do to prevent your data from being stolen:

  • Keep your personal information as if your life depended on it;
  • Don't expose yourself too much to social networks. (Author's tip: don't put your date of birth or think that direct messages are safe);
  • Warning to inattentive: tell your relatives who have been on this internet vibe for quite some time to do the same;
  • don't use the password: 12345678;
  • Protect your account with two authentication factors. Passwords are not enough;
  • If you have been struck on your debit card, take your credit card (and block it as soon as possible);
  • Strengthen the security of your Wi-Fi;
  • Read before paying;
  • Check your score once a year;
  • Watch, listen, and learn: watch for some cases of scam and scam happening on the internet and prevent you from falling too.

Overview: Newly Retired, Attention!

You, who has put a lot of effort into your retirement and is afraid (or very relaxed) of spending everything wildly?

Jill reports that many advisors nowadays claim that the same amount of money you usually spend today will cost you when you are retired.

Unless you win the lottery, the author recommends that you take some actions to avoid having a financial lack of control:

  • Talk to yourself about your financial plans;
  • Rethink your retirement age. Sometimes you'd better work a bit harder to ensure better stability;
  • Dream about your retirement. After so much effort, you must know what you want to do, where you want to go, the lifestyle you want to adopt, to make proper planning;
  • Hire a financial advisor.

Overview: Don't take your financial frustrations out on your kids

You should rather instruct your children to deal with money, but you should not take your troubles out to them. First, maintain a healthy financial relationship with yourself.

But what do you do to teach your kids the best way to understand how money works?

  • Be transparent to your child, but don't use this to take your financial problems out to them;
  • Assign small jobs to them, like washing the yard, tidying up the room. In return, give them a tip. The purpose is to teach them how to manage money and not to spoil them every time they do something;
  • Teach them to appreciate and celebrate the things you already have and not to compare themselves to others.

Overview: The time will come when you will be the parent of your parents

If your parents have spent their lives to get you where you are today, don't you think you have to help them when they get older?

Planning for basic care with your parents in advance gives you some comfort for future unforeseen events. Let's be realistic: you love your parents, most of all, and if you don't plan this right you will end up having problems.

You'd better have a small "burden" on investing in the economy now than getting ahead and having almost to consider selling something of value to pay for their medicines.

Overview: Consider Life Insurance

Smart people think life insurance is a waste of money. Do you know how much you spend per month? Then you should know that certain unnecessary expenses could be diverted to a plan that meets your needs.

The author says you should stop underestimating life insurance. Moreover, keep in mind that a good plan can save you from certain risky situations.

However, be warned: the industry makes you think you need a permanent plan but you don't! As the years go by, your needs change. Why wouldn't the insurance?

Think well before you hire this type of service, anyway. Bad insurance can give you serious financial loss and a lot of headaches. So you should be negotiating it constantly.

Overview: Make a Living Will

You've got a lot of things. So why leave it dusty when you're seven feet from the ground?

The world is full of injustice and you must have thought of a social purpose to help with the guarantees of your life. Your friends may be going through crunches, will you let them drown by themselves?

You're not that selfish. You can make history far beyond your lifetime. And caring about others is a sign that you are more than an intelligent person: you are human.

Overview: You Are Not the Foreseer

If you are waiting for the right time to make an investment, we have something new for you: the market has no patience for who is starting.

Thinking you can predict a market is a flawed act because as Jill herself said:

"No one is smarter than the market. Nobody."

One thing may be overvalued now, but in a few months, it may be forgotten. If you want to buy or sell something and you are waiting for the moment of the best gain, think only a little bit.

Instead of trying to make the masterstroke happen, why don't you invest in a more disciplined approach? Diversifying your portfolio, balancing your finances and your risks may be a better idea than trying to predict the future.

You can make mistakes, in the beginning, it's normal. But it's important that you plan, organize, and save your money. Persist in the mistake that is stupid.

What do other authors say about it?

For Robert Kiyosaki, author of the bestseller "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", the journey to enrichment must begin as early as possible, and it consists of evaluating your finances, setting personal goals, and pursuing the knowledge needed to achieve your goals.

According to Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scotts, authors of "The 100 Year Life", long-term financial planning is needed with a belief in your skills and self-control for a savings and investment plan.

Finally, Paulo Vieira, author of the book "Fator de Enriquecimento", says that the journey of enrichment is made of peaks and valleys, be prepared and willing not to stop in the middle of the road. Remember that "not giving up" is what will make you a millionaire. Develop a success mindset, be able to see adversity and move on, doing what has to be done.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

Jill Schlesinger has separated an appendix with 13 smart things that you, who is an intelligent person, should do.

Every month, you should:

  • Check your bank account and credit card;
  • Reflect on how you feel about your financial life;
  • Understand insurance policies offered or seek counseling;
  • Reflect on their behavior in investments;
  • Analyze the financial situation of your parents.

Every four months:

  • Analyze your retirement account and investments;
  • Change the passwords of your financial accounts.

Every year:

  • Analyze your investments;
  • Carry out a tax audit;
  • Protect your identity;
  • Plan for the education of your children.

Every three years:

  • Analyze your life and assets insurance;
  • Analyze your asset transfer plan.

Did you like this summary of the book "The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money"?

Are you feeling more confident to organize your financial life now? Did you find this content useful? Leave your feedback in the comments!

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