wiki personal finance


Solving the financial problem is not easy, especially when you don’t understand the game of money. 

Because money is a very special object. If you can’t make it work for you, it will make you work for it.

In your life, money is somehow can be known as your blood. If you have good blood, you have a happy life and a healthy body. While having bad blood will cause you a lot of trouble.

And you have good blood when you know how to use your money wisely and make it works for you, to create the results that you expect to have in your life.

Your blood will be bad when you don’t know how to treat with your dollars effectively which leads to many problems in life that are related to money.

No.1 typical financial problem: Live paycheck to paycheck

More than 78% of American workers live paycheck by paycheck in 2019.

This is an insane number that is hard for us to believe but it’s real from one of the biggest economies on the planet.

At present, there are more than 20 million people who are jobless in American right now, increasing up to more than 15 million during this pandemic time.

It also means that many people can’t pay for their bills, food, and be homeless when they don’t have any savings and live paycheck to paycheck in this country.

This is a sad story but also an alert for any of us about the risk when living paycheck to paycheck.

We all don’t know and can imagine that in 2020 the world can face a global pandemic and lead to close borders and millions of people being jobless for months.

But this is the way how life works.

Always full of unexpected things that can happen that we can’t control. But if you just live paycheck to paycheck, you even face more troubles in life when things happen.


The best way to stop living paycheck to paycheck and make a guarantee for your life when any bad things happen is by earning more money and having an emergency fund.

By doing these things, you can protect yourself from unexpected risks as pandemics and even can invest better for your future.

And while the experts told CNBC that we need to have an emergency fund with at least 3 to 6 months income for safety reasons. I recommend that you should have this fund for up to one year time.

So you will be totally safe if having anything unexpectedly happen in your life.

A clear example is the coronavirus pandemic.

Like in Melbourne, Australia, where I am living, the city is lockdown for nearly 6 months, and still don’t sure when it will finish.

If you lost your job during this time and don’t have enough savings, it is very tough to survive without support from the government (but the fund is not suitable for everyone yet).

And better than expected support from the government or others when you face a similarly hard time like the pandemic, you need to start to save for your emergency fund from today. This is the safest way for you to work on.

No.2 typical financial problem: Don’t know where the money goes at the end of each month

Just around 15 months ago, I face this issue all the time when I didn’t know where my money went every month.

Even I don’t buy and own luxury pieces of stuff, the amount of money I spend every month is still a huge number. Because I spend a lot of money on eating outside, buying snacks, small stuff that I think is cheap.

But when all of them combine together, it up to a few thousand dollars per month that I spent on.

Later on, I recognized the reason is that I never have a limitation for myself and don’t track when and what I spend money on. This problem is not only me have but also many of my friends are facing.

And if you also feel surprised whenever it comes to the end of the month when you see the total spending, and you don’t know where you can spend that much money, I totally can understand your feeling.


To stop this problem, you need to practice a new habit called “Tracking your money”.

It means that you will track all your money spending every day, and even give yourself a limitation on the amount of money that you can use in a month. By doing this, you will know how much money you can spend and how you use your money.

For me, now, I allow myself to spend up to $200 a week and have a notebook that I will write in all my spending. To save time, I normally just count all my spending one time a day in the evening and write in this notebook.

You can choose to use notebook or note apps (whatever you feel comfortable with), but keep in mind the idea of this method is tracking every dollar you spent. So you can know exactly where your money has gone every month.

No.3 typical financial problem: Want to be rich by exchanging hours for the money

This is not the way how you can make a fortune.

Because you only have 24 hours a day. And if you can work all 24 hours (an impossible theory) with your average salary per hour is $25/hrs (a really good salary in the developed countries, most countries will be lower).

It means that you can earn up to $600 per day. That’s good money if count per day. But if you do an extra calculation, it means you can earn around $18,000 dollars per month.

This is the maximum you can earn if you work all 24 hours a day with a good average salary at $25/hrs. But actually, nobody can work that many hours.

And normally, that $18,000 dollars will be 3 to 4 months salary if you work 9–5 jobs (not for a single month, except you are the CEO or leader of very big companies).


You get rich by having your own business or investment.

And the solution here is to let start your own business or have a side hustle income from today.

If you are good at writing, you can start your writing career on Medium to earn money as Tim Denning (he makes $11,000/month from his stories on Medium only from 2019, and now absolutely more than).

Or you can start your Youtube channel like Kevin in Meet Kevin channel, which talks about finance and educational content (what he learned or read on news) and earn around $200k per month.

And there are more than a dozen ways that you can earn money besides your 9–5 jobs from online and offline that I can figure out.

The key to being rich here is from having your own business and investment.

This is when you work for yourself and be paid by the clients, not from your boss who asks you to stick at the desk from 9–5 to send emails and prepare documents for him.

4. Lack of personal finance plan

Let be honest with yourself when answering this question.

Do you have a personal finance plan for yourself in the next 6 months, 12 months, 3 years, or even more?

This is a question that you need to be clarified as soon as possible. Because when you don’t have your own personal financial plan, you don’t know how much money you need to save, how much you can have, and what you can do with it in the future.

It looks like you are on the journey to find treasury, you know your golden cave locates in the forest, but you don’t have a map to show you which way to go in this forest.

Your financial plan is your map, and if you want to find your gold in a forest, you need to have your map firstly.


So how to create an effective personal financial plan?

This is a question that you can find a lot of answers to on google in just a second.

But for me, I create my personal financial plan based on answering the following questions

  • What is my current financial situation now?
  • How much money do I need to spend on average every month?
  • What is my biggest financial goal after (X) months?
  • How much money do I need to save until this time?
  • Can I find any extra sources of income to add in?

These are the 5 main questions I ask myself and try to write down the answer as much detail as I can. Based on doing this method, I already have my financial plan for 6 months, 1 year, 2 years.

And by reviewing my plan every week, I can track and adjust my activities and working plan to help me achieve my personal financial plan in my targeted time.

You can choose to use the same methods as I do, or you can try to apply the steps methods from WikiHow, or “The 1-Page Financial Plan” from Forbes magazine.

These are some of the other good options for you to create your personal financial plan effectively.

No.5 typical financial problem: Think that having more money means less real happiness.

The reason never comes from having too much money that leads you to less happiness. The real problem comes from the way how you use your money.

Just have a look in your city, the places where normally have high criminals rates come from the poor areas, not from the rich suburbs.

This is because when you don’t have money for food, education, health,… you have a higher tendency to be criminal (because you don’t have anything to lose) compare to when you have a happy family, good education, food on the table, and a healthy lifestyle.

But when you have a lot of money and you don’t know how to use it properly.

You spend on gambling, buying luxury stuff, and having parties,… (These things you can do just when you have money) but it is also the reason why you get into more trouble and feel unhappy with your life.

Because you are using your money to waste on the material things and doing the things that ruin your life as gambling, overnight parties.

And this is a reality that many families face, especially when the kids don’t understand the values of their parent’s money and use it uncontrollably.


If you want to be happier when you have more money, you need to learn how to use it wisely and don’t be controlled by the dollars.

A good education about personal finance will be a great foundation for you to do it. And whenever you are going to spend the money (doesn’t matter it is a small or big amount), let ask yourself this question

Will my life be better or having the positive results when I spend money on this thing?

If the answer is “YES”, let do it.

Because when you have a lot of money, you will have a lot of options to choose from.

If you choose the options that can bring positive impacts such as paying for a trip to travel the world, join in a life course, investing to make more assets,… your money is doing a good job to make your life be better.

But when you choose to spend on negative things like an expensive bottle of wine for overnight parties, gamblings,… your money is real your trouble.

Final thought

We all need money to have a better and happier life.

And actually, the money itself is no problem.

The real problem comes from the way how we choose to use it.

And if you have a wrong mindset about money when using it, obviously, the more money-related problems you will have. It makes the sentence

“The more money you have, the less happy you are”

become true.

But when you can use money in the right way with the right mindset

The more money you have, the happier you are.

If you want to read more about personal finance topics, let check it out at “Wiki Personal Finance”.


Thank you for checking this blog, I am also running a Youtube Channel @anthony lecturer. On this channel, I share a lot of insights and stories related to Business, Media & Marketing, Personal Finance & Self Development that you can

Check my Youtube here!

5 Smartest Ways to Invest in Your Money in 2022 for your 20s
Ảnh của Andrea Piacquadio từ Pexels

When we think about the smartest ways to invest money, it isn’t stocks, real estate, or gold. The best investment for your 20s is yourself.

You can lose money when stock prices go down, or when the bubble of real estate explodes, or the government restricts the laws related to gold.

But nobody can take away what you invest in yourself.

As Warren Buffet says:

“The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself…The more you learn, the more you will earn”.

When you put the right methods and amount of time to improve yourself, the right track will come easier and faster for you to be successful.

This is a great life skill that I learned after 27 years of experience in this life.

After all, I believe that each of us, if we can make the right move with these 5 ways to invest our money at a young age. The grateful results will totally come.

1. The first smart way to invest your money is: Invest in your health seriously

“If you have a lot of money, you can ask for the best doctor to take care of your sickness. But you can’t ask cancer to leave you.

But if you have a healthy body, you can earn a lot of money later.”

People don’t want to work on the bed in the hospital. They work when they are healthy and perform the best when they have the best physical health.

As in the letter Samsung’s Lee Kun-hee sent to young generations before he died, he said that

“The most valuable thing in life is health. If you have it, you can get anything, if you don’t care for it, things don’t matter to you”.

After reading this letter last month, it makes me think a lot about the health of young generations nowadays.

In my hometown, I can see a lot of people go to the gym in the morning to do exercises (as I do too). But I also can see the trend of overnight parties and the use of too much alcohol in restaurants.

Before, I felt it was normal when to see people drink a lot of alcohol in my hometown, as I think it is the local culture.

Until recent years, when I see people around me who used to drink a lot in the last couple of years (at a young age). And now, they are facing many serious illnesses and even some people have already died because of health problems.

I know that a healthy life is far more important than fun nights with friends and alcohol.

And learning how to say “NO” with an unhealthy lifestyle is a very important life skill that each person needs to learn at a young age. In the real-life, we actually don’t need to use alcohol to have a fun party. If you are healthy and positive from the inside, you already can make the party time to be a good time without any bottle of wine.

2. The second smart way to invest your money is: Invest in books to gain more knowledge

Reading books is one of the best ways to absorb the intelligence of successful people in the world from ancient to the present.

But only trying to read a lot of books doesn’t really make a difference.

What actually can make the difference is what you choose to read. And how you can apply it in your life to make you a better life.

If someone tells me that he can read 100 books a year, but doesn’t remember what he learns from them, and never apply them to real life. I don’t value him that much as a person who only reads 20 books a year but can apply what he learns to improve his quality of life.

The value of books doesn’t stay at the quantity, it is about the quality.

The quality to improve your life from what you learned when reading these books.

As if you want to perform as the best marketer in the market, you can’t just read the history books and expect to be the top one in the marketing field.

What you need to read are more marketing books. It is the sources of information will help you to perform a marketing campaign better and understand more about the trend of marketing in the future.

This is the way you should invest when you approach the aspect of learning from books.

And this is also the way I did for myself in the last 3 years when I started to spend more time learning from the experts in my fields by reading the contents from them.

By doing this, now, I have a better understanding of the digital marketing market and perform great in my field.

So if you really want to invest your money in a more thoughtful way, decide carefully what kind of books you will buy and read as well; don’t just read everything you can grasp.

3. The third smart way to invest your money is: Invest in positive relationships

Broadening the relationships is a great way to build more valuable connections and grow yourself as you can learn many valuable life skills from others.

But having positive relationships is what you should actually focus on.

If you have more kinds of relationships who only want to ask you to join in the late-night parties, hang out for alcohol and drugs. Who do you think you can be?

This is the question that I ask myself anytime I want to start to build a strong connection with someone.

Do we make each other better or will we ruin each other?

If this is a positive relationship, I will try my best to maintain and grow it, but if it is not. I will consider again, even if this is a classmate or a neighbor who lives nearby.

As I believe, the most important is the quality of the relationship, not the quantity one.

Because if you want to be a positive and enthusiastic person, but what you choose is to spend most of the time in negative relationships, do you think it is possible for you to be the person you want to be?

Probably not!

Don’t let your relationships be toxic.

Choose based on what you want to learn from them, not from the distance alone.

Work hard and seriously on relationships as the way you work on your own business.

Because if you have the right connections, you will achieve a massive level of success that you never can imagine before.

4. The fourth smart way to invest your money is: Travelling

Life experience is a very important part of life. And traveling can let you gain more life experiences

It helps you to know more about the world you live in, understand different cultures, have a higher EQ as you have a chance to experience, and discover many aspects of life.

As I still remember when I was a kid, even though my family is just a lower-middle-class family, my parents always try to give me and my brother a chance to travel every year as a way to encourage us to discover new things in life.

At that time, I just felt happy when I had a chance to travel, but now, when I grow up, I understand that the value of traveling for me is even far more than just enjoyment.

Because when you have a chance to go to many different places and learn a lot of useful sources of experience. You have a tendency to be a more reasonable person, smarter but also be more sympathetic.

These are the things that if you just stay at home all the time, you will never feel and experience it

5. The fifth smart way to invest your money is: Your degree

Getting your degree, not compulsory but will make your life easier.

We can see a lot of examples from the media of people who quit college and become very successful.

But actually, it is not the case for everyone, and the chance for you to win the life game without a degree in today’s society is just 0,00000001%.

Because everywhere you want to apply for, especially the big corporations, all of them need to qualify your degree before giving you a chance to join their team (Except if you are the top performers in this field or have a very good relationship with the Chairman before.)

And if you want to be a person like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates who quit University and still being the top billionaires in the world, let ask yourself these questions first before going to quit college/University:

  1. Do you already have in your mind an idea that can value millions of dollars and is already an executive part of this (AND ALREADY GAINS A PART OF SUCCESS) before you are going to quit your university degree yet?
  2. If you fail, can your parents support you to live for a couple of months (or even years) before you really can get the level of success that you want?
  3. Do you have the background to invest and earn money when you are a kid? Or if you want to start-up in the tech industry, did you learn about machine learning or computers for years in your childhood?
  4. Do you enjoy the self-learning process in your life and are happy to spend hours reading the books related to the field you want to chase for years as a teenager?
  5. If you quit college, will you quit from an Ivy League University or not?


These are 5 very common but valuable questions that you need to figure out for yourself if you have an idea to quit your degree and start your own track of success.

The reason is the majority of successful billionaires who quit college/University have these things in common.

Most of them come from mid-high class families where they don’t really need to worry too much about money if they fail. And they have a good education about self-learning and are given a chance to executive what they love to do from a young age.

Warren Buffet started to buy stocks at the age of 11 with the help of his father — a famous American businessman, investor, and politician.

Or Mark Zuckerberg learned about programming from the age of 10 from his father.

These are some examples but present how normally these successful billionaires start their success.

All come from a very early period of their life with a good education, hard-working and the right track to work on.

But if you don’t have that luck to be guided effectively from a young age, as for me too. A degree is a thing you should have, it will help you to have a chance to work in large companies and learn experiences from the top performance people who you admire.

And during the time you learn in colleges, it also gives opportunities for you to improve your social skills when working with others; learning the foundation of the field you want to work in later on in your career.

So don’t think a degree is just a paper, actually, it is a door for you to open the new world of a professional working environment and a place where you have “a free couple of years” to try and test yourself and your ideals before going to school life.

To sum up

To invest in yourself, we have dozens of methods and a lot of aspects to work on.

But for me, I believe that the list of 5 ways is the best because personally, it helps me to change the way I think and work on my life effectively and plays the majority role to lead me to the feeling of success.

You may find more than 5 ways to invest in yourself. Maybe your list can be 10, 20, 30 things that you think will bring the best outcome for you.

It is totally fine. 

But if you are a person like me, who follows the minimalist trend, a list of 5 is enough for us if we can work well on it.

And when you approach these 5 smart ways in this list, it equals you are trying to apply investment in 5 different super important aspects in life.

It is not easy to make everything come true, but when you do it, you will see yourself as a different better version.

A version that can make you feel proud!

When you finish this blog, if you want to know more about your personal finance and things you didn’t learn from the school/University, this is the extra mile you must read “5 Basic Money Lessons Schools Don’t Teach You That Ruin Your Personal Finance”. I will see you there!


  1. Invest in your health seriously: Đầu tư cho sức khỏe của bạn một cách nghiêm túc 
  2. Reading the selective books: Đọc sách có sự chọn lọc
  3. Invest in positive relationships: Đầu tư vào những mối quan hệ tích cực
  4. Travelling more and let gain more life experiences: Đi du lịch nhiều hơn và để có thêm kinh nghiệm sống
  5. Get your degree, not compulsory but will make your life easier: Lấy bằng cấp đầy đủ, không bắt buộc nhưng sẽ giúp cuộc sống của bạn dễ dàng hơn.
  6. “The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself…The more you learn, the more you will earn”: “Khoản đầu tư tốt nhất mà bạn có thể thực hiện là đầu tư vào bản thân… Bạn càng học hỏi nhiều, bạn càng kiếm được nhiều tiền”.
  7. Ivy League University: Những trường đại học Top đầu của Mỹ


5 Places Your Money Needs To Go Every Month

To make your life to be SAFE and WEALTHY.  You must know these 5 good ways to spend money and how to put it in when you receive your budget salary.  

The way you work with your budget will decide who you are and how rich you can be.

Everyone wants to be good at budgeting and saving, but it doesn’t mean that anyone can be.

Nowadays, we hear people talk a lot about how to earn passive income; how to budget salary better, how to save and invest money, etc.

And after years learn and experience about earning money, I recognize that

If you are serious about money, it will be serious with you back.

But if you don’t care about it, it will never care about you.

When you know the good ways to spend money appropriately, it can create a massive uplift for yourself. But when you don’t learn to put it at the right place and the right time, you will get in trouble with your money. 

Understanding WHAT and WHY you should separate your money into different accounts will help you to master your ability to control the money and make the money itself create more income for you!

And here is the list of 5 good ways to spend money wisely that I figured out for myself after a couple of years of working.

Good ways to spend money No.1: Your Retirement Fund. 

Take a part of your income into this fund even before you receive a salary. It will help you to save for your future life.

If you live in America, you will be familiar with the 401K fund. If you live in Vietnam, you will be familiar with the thing called “Retirement Fund” where your money will be saved for your retirement time monthly.

By doing this, when people reach the age of retirement, they don’t need to worry about financial issues anymore. Because these funds will pay “the salary for your retirement”.

As I see the area where my grandparents are living, both of them have retired salary packages while other elder people who live nearby don’t have this source of income.

The life of my grandparents is totally more enjoyable and comfortable than others.

The retirement salary helps my grandparents to live safely without worrying about financial issues and they can even save a little bit of money to travel by themselves. While the other elder neighbors still need to work to earn money daily.

And even many of them are younger than my grandfather, but their facial appearance is totally older, and have poorer health. As they have so much pressure about earning money and need to work at the old ages.

This is the reason why I started to save money for my retirement fund at a young age. Because I understand how valuable it is if you have a retirement salary.

In addition, if you can start to invest in your retirement fund from a young age, the higher amount of income you will receive when you retire.

Good ways to spend money No.2: Checking account

To pay for your direct payments.

And it helps you to control and separate the amount of money you need to pay monthly directly from your bank account.

For me, this account I use to pay for direct payment such as the internet, student debts, monthly subscriptions from the services I use such as Canvas, Medium, Adobe,…

The reason why you should have it is because

  • It helps you to track how much money you need to spend monthly directly.
  • Help you to avoid the penalty fees when you pay late. (As I used to forget about direct payment and let my account run out of money for just an hour. Then, I miss the direct payment deadline and lead to being charged 15% more for the delay fee).

It was just an hour but I paid 30 dollars more because I forgot to fill up my bank account.

This is really a waste of money and leads me to make a decision to separate my checking account from another one.

So, from there, every month, I always put enough money in this account and just serve for one purpose only — to pay for my debit.

But when you keep it in the same bank account, it can ruin your financial game. Because, sometimes, when you run out of your money and forgot to add money to it for the direct payment deadline, it wastes money unnecessarily.

Good ways to spend money No.3: – Necessity account

It helps you to control your spending a lot.

And first of all, you need to have the right mindset about the difference between what you need and what you want.

“What you need” are the things you need to have for a standard living, such as food, a place to live, healthcare, transportations, facilities,…

But “What you want” are the things that you want but aren’t really necessary for your daily life, if you don’t have it, your life still keeps going on normally.

For example, people want to own a luxury bag or a supercar, but these things are not compulsory to have for anyone to survive.

And the necessity account is an account that you use to track what you need to spend daily. By doing this, it helps you to control the amount of money spent and know if we need to adjust this amount of money to spend more effectively.

If you merge this account with your main account, it makes it harder for you to track your spending on necessary things. And normally will lead to the case that you spend more money than you expected, especially on what you want rather than what you really need.

This is the reason why I can come up with tips for saving more than 2000$ per month when I studied for my master’s degree.

Good ways to spend money No.4: – The emergency fund

It will save your life during the toughest times.

It is a fund where you should have from 3–6 months your income money in, follow the author Dave Ramsey recommend in his book “The Total Money Makeover”.

So if you face any urgent problems in life such as losing your jobs, being injured, or going to the hospital, you still have a fund to pay for these demands when you can’t work to earn money.

However, personally, I believe that this amount of money should be around one year of income. So it will save you better in the tough times.

This is becoming more accurate during the Covid 19 time when many countries were in lockdown for nearly a year and millions of people lost their jobs.

If you just have 3–6 months of the emergency fund, and the Covid in your country makes you lose your income for nearly a year, you will be very struggling!

So if you don’t have an emergency yet, let’s start to make it ASAP.

It will be your own angel when you face a struggle.

Some notes when starting your emergency fund

  • It needs to be easy to access
  • Should be at least 5% of your income (or 10%) depending on your choice.
  • The more you can earn, the more you can add to your emergency fund.

Good ways to spend money No.5: Investment Fund

This is what makes you really rich, not your wage.

When you want to earn a fortune, an investment fund is what you need to have.

Because the people who want to be rich need to invest. It is not just spending their time to earn a limited wage monthly from the company they work for.

When you invest in the right strategy, you can get a lot of money into your pocket in a short period of time.

Some potential ways that you can invest

Real estate


Stock market


There are a lot of methods that you can invest your money in and get a high Return on Investment (ROI).

But the first step before getting the massive ROI is having your own investment fund.

If you don’t start to build your portfolio with an investment fund, how can you find the money to invest and get a massive outcome later on.

In the beginning, this amount of money can be just a small part of your income, around 5–10% as I recommend.

And when you start to invest with this small amount of money, it helps you to control money better and learn from investment mistakes before moving to the bigger investment.

In the investment market, you can earn more, but also can lose more. So let’s learn it carefully before doing it. But make sure to build your investment fund from now.

So when the opportunity comes, you can get it!

Final Thought

 Having money is important, but knowing how to spend it effectively is even more important.

This is the reason why there are so many athletes who are millionaires just after a couple of retired years being broken.

Because the mindset about how to spend the money from them is limited.

They don’t actually know how to use their money to make their life safe, such as investing in real estate, or buying life insurance, or putting money in 401K,…

Instead, spending their massive assets on parties, having fun and luxurious things will make this person be broke even before he can recognize it.

To sum up, I hope that the list will help you to understand more about your money and the way how you can make it work for you effectively.

Wish you all the best with your financial game!


  1. Retirement fund: Quỹ hưu trí
  2. Investment Fund: Quỹ đầu tư
  3. Checking account: Tài khoản vãng lai – là một loại tài khoản tiền gửi được mở tại ngân hàng hoặc tổ chức tài chính nào đó với mục đích là cung ứng cho những nhu cầu cá nhân an toàn và nhanh chóng.
  4. Necessity account: Tài khoản chi tiêu cần thiết, phục vụ cho nhu cầu thiết yếu mỗi ngày của bạn và gia đình, như chi phí ăn uống, xăng xe, điện thoại, tiền học…
  5. The emergency fund: Quỹ khẩn cấp
  6. ASAP: Nhanh nhất có thể (as soon as possible)

One of the basic money lessons you must understand is:

Money doesn’t disappear. It just moves from one pocket to another.

And if you really want to master your business game in the future, a basic understanding of personal finance, money, and the economy is what you should learn during your 20s.

Unfortunately, this kind of knowledge is not always taught in University, except when you register for the specific class related to economy or finance (where you can learn about the concepts related to these fields), but for these 5 lessons, you must learn on your own way instead of from schooling. 

However, there is a reality that many of us who are studying or graduated from Universities still can’t understand these basic lessons. That lead to:

“Student loan debt values $1.57 trillion and keeps going on”

This is the amount of money that just counts for students in America alone in 2020.

If students who join financial classes can really control their finances. 

We won’t have this massive amount of debt.

“Money is the backbone of the economy. And the best way to earn a lot of money is to understand the way how the economy works and not only work hard but also smart to get a good payment in the future”

This is a memorable lesson that one of my favorite lecturers taught me when I studied at the University with my bachelor “Economics and Public Administration” at Vietnam National University.

And after several years of working, when I think back to what he taught me, I think that it is right but can be extended.

Actually, in real life, there are many things that we need to learn about money and how it works rather than just knowing the basic concepts from the University.

To get a better understanding of money for students, and make them feel less shocked when they come to real life. I believe that we should teach them at least 5 vital lessons to live in — the lessons that I learned from real life and gave me a lot of value a couple of years after I graduated. 

5 Basic Lessons Schools Don’t Teach You About Money

No.1 Basic Money Lessons: Money is a tool, not the final purpose of life

It never should be your main goal in life.

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” — Ayn Rand

Money can be understood as the engine in your vehicle.

A good engine can drive you faster with a longer distance while a weak engine will make you feel annoyed and take more time to come to your destination.

When you have a lot of money, you can easily choose the best things you want to own, the healthiest foods to eat, or having the best moments in any place you want. While having less money, it is harder for you to choose between the limited options.

Therefore, having money to work for your life and live the way you want is very important. 

But when you think money is your goal, you turn all things to be money-oriented, and this is a big problem.

Because if you are hungry, you use the money to exchange for food (you don’t eat money); 

Or when you get sick, you use the money to find the best hospital, the best doctor to take care for your health (money itself can’t treat your disease); 


These are the basic example to evidence for the lesson “Money is a tool, not the final purpose of life” 

So, how much money is enough?

No one knows.

Even the richest person in the world still wants to have more money – As he can use it to achieve his bigger goals, such as discovering Mars,…the goals that require a lot of money – the flexible tool to help him solve various issues.

No.2 Basic Money Lessons: Having more money doesn’t make sure you can buy everything.

Basic Money Lessons

But if you don’t have money, you can’t buy anything.

We have all at least one time in life heard that “Money can’t buy anything in our life”.

It can be from your friends, colleagues, family members, or neighbors,…when we have a discussion about the money topic.

And I would like to admit that I used to fully believe in this point of view.

But after working for a couple of years, I recognize that actually, the point is just that 80% should be trusted. And the other 20% need to be explained in another way.

Firstly, I agree that having more money can’t buy anything (as in my 80% list).

Even if you have a lot of money like Steve Jobs or the Samsung president, you still can’t protect your life from serious diseases.

Or if you have a lot of money, you still can’t buy a happy family if you just spend all of the time on meetings and no time for your children and wife.

There are so many things in life that we can’t estimate or achieve just by spending a lot of money on it.

Because these things basically don’t count by the money.

However, it doesn’t mean that money does not play an important role in our life. I believe money is a crucial thing for us, but in life, what we really need to do is:

“Not only learn how to make a lot of money but also need to know how to use it wisely.”

For example, if you have a serious illness as Steve Jobs had, and you don’t have money to ask for the top doctors to do treatments for you, and have the best healthcare condition during your treatment process, do you think you can really deal with the serious illness for such a long period of time?

The answer is NO!

You need to have more money if you want to experience the best services in your life, to choose the best foods, visit the most beautiful places on the planet with your family, etc.

All of these things require you to spend a lot of money, and if you don’t have one, how can you achieve it?

Therefore, having a lot of money is very important, but the way you use your money to create your best life experiences is so far more important.

No.3 Basic Money Lessons: Your spending depends on your budget.

Your spending depends on your budget.

If you have 10,000 dollars in your pocket and you spend 100 dollars on a meal. It doesn’t mean expensive.

But if you just have 100 dollars and you spend 50 dollars on a meal, this is a waste.

In this life, the meaning of cheap and expensive is actually very hard to identify. A Gucci or Louis Vuitton bag that costs 10,000$ is not expensive if you have a million dollars in your bank account.

But a meal costs 500$ while your bank account just has 1,000$ is really expensive.

And the game of cheap or expensive based on the percentage, not the amount of money itself.

When you understand this lesson, you will learn to change your concern from thinking “how expensive this stuff is” to “how much money you need to earn” to make the expensive Gucci bag to be “a cheap and normal item” for yourself.

You will see how you approach money and personal income totally differently. 

No.4 Basic Money Lessons: Money doesn’t disappear. It just moves from one pocket to another.

If one day you wake up and be broke. Actually, your money doesn’t disappear but it just moves to another person’s account who can use it better than you.

This is a lesson you need to keep in mind all the time.

Because when you start to work to earn money or invest, you will recognize that your money is actually just a piece of paper or a number in your bank account. Then, anyone can keep it.

Therefore, if you don’t know how to keep it carefully and make it to benefit you, someone will take it from you and make it work for them.

But at the University, we don’t have a subject to teach you about this.

They just tell you that if you do the wrong thing, your money will leave. But nobody tells you where your money actually goes.

And the reality is your money doesn’t lose, it is transferred.

It means that if you can do better than others — you can gain the money back or even more (from others).

In the simple understanding, the University focuses on teaching you about


But the real-life will teach you that your money actually can


The reality is: Money is never lost forever, but when you keep the mindset that once you lost it, you lost it forever, you will never have the ability to earn more money and get rich.

It is all about the game of mindset about money.

No.5 Basic Money Lessons: The relationship between your money and your values.

The value of saving money

Your values aren’t calculated by how much money you have. But the kind of stuff you use will depend on how much money you have in your pocket.

I know a lot of people who can bring a lot of value to society but still don’t have enough money to serve their life.

This is because the kind of value they bring to society is not a kind of commercial value, instead, it is something else.

For example, I know a man who works for an environmental company. His daily job is to keep the streets clean and the garden in my nearby park is always colorful and beautiful.

I and most of the people who normally exercise in this park always feel thankful for his job that maintains a great space for us.

But the reality is his income is quite low that he can’t afford his life in this expensive city — Melbourne, and he also works at the part-time security in the supermarket for a living.

So when you can bring a lot of value to society, it doesn’t mean that you can earn a lot of money — especially when it isn’t really related to the financial factor.

But if what you want is to use the luxury stuff, earning a lot of money, you need to find a job related to the financial area, so this is a place where you can earn a lot of money for yourself.

Then you can feel free to choose the kinds of stuff to use in your life.

To sum up,

These are the 5 biggest lessons that I learned after 5 years since I graduated from University-related to money. 

  1. Money doesn’t disappear. It just moves from one pocket to another.
  2. Having more money doesn’t make sure you can buy everything.
  3. Your spending depends on your budget.
  4. Money is a tool.
  5. The relationship between your money and your values.

I learned these basic money lessons at an expensive price, but at least, I learned it.

Personally, I don’t wish you to go through all the tough times to learn these lessons. I wish you can learn all these lessons as soon as possible to avoid the tough times and live a better and happier life instead.

And finally, these are what I learned, how about you?

Do you have any valuable lessons that you learn during your growing up the journey that values you and wants to share? I love to hear it too.

If you want to know more about how to achieve more in life, I recommend you to check out this article “4 Things to Remove If You Want to Achieve More in Life” where I share four valuable insights about self-development.


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