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June 2004 - Learn from your experience

Learn from your experience

☳ by Adam Aspilla

An old adage says: experience is the best teacher. You may be a doctor or has a master degree of a certain field, if you do not have experience on the area of your studies it could not help you much in the attainment of your goal in life— financial or otherwise. In fact, there are many people who have not completed formal education, yet successful in their field of expertise because of their experience; much more it they had completed formal education.


In managing your finances, it is important that you have to learn from your experience (especially the bad ones) otherwise, you would encounter financial hardship again and again, like a woman whom I personally know who filed for bankruptcy three times in five years. The common cause of financial problem is impulsive buying or luxurious living (expensive clothing, jewelries, cars, big houses, gambling, and spending too much on pleasure and entertainment).


It is unfortunate that because of the inability to learn lesson from the past experiences, there are many people who went through credit counseling, consumer proposal or bankruptcy in the past are again in financial bind. An example of being oblivious of past experience is a couple, who are still on the process of their consumer proposal ask me if they could buy a bigger house. They have been living on their house for many years and there was no problem during those times. Now that their friends are buying bigger houses they too would like to do the same. They do not care that their mortgage would be doubled of their existing mortgage balance, for they are obsessed of owning a bigger house.


Turning a blind eye on the lesson from the past experiences in most cases could translate to failure in the achievement of your goals including your plan of financial independence. If you were financially broke before because of your extravagant lifestyle, change your lifestyle to a simple living—buy only what is needed and learn to save and invest some of your money for the rainy days so to speak. It would be wise to remember the old saying as above mentioned—experience is the best teacher for there is truth in it. 


Adam Aspilla is a Senior Financial Counselor of the Debt Clinic of Canada Inc. and the author of the book, You Can Negotiate All Your Debts. He also writes a biweekly column, “What Matters In Life” in “Taliba Newspaper. For free initial, professional and confidential consultation, please call 905-306-7572.