How to set yourself up for financial success in your 20s and 30s

The mind-money connection

How do your finances make you feel? Even if the answer is “not great,” luckily there are things you can do to make that feeling better. 

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Brian Ford (00:06):

Welcome to “Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian,” where we mix financial advice with positive psychology to help you find the joy in staying on top of your finances. I’m Brian Ford, and I’ve dedicated my life to helping people achieve financial wellness. I’m here with my supersmart co-host, Bright Dickson, who specializes in studying and teaching positive psychology. In this episode of “Money and Mindset,” we are going to be talking to the young’uns. We’re talking about money moves to make in your 20s and 30s that can prepare you for future financial success. From setting up a financial confidence account to becoming a knowledgeable investor, Bright and I will share our top tips for reaching important money milestones. Bright, you ready to drop some serious money and mindset knowledge?

Bright Dickson (00:52):

I’m so ready, Brian, let’s do it. So Brian, I know you’ve been interested in financial wellness since like, before you could talk. And I’ve got this image of you as a guy who always makes the right decision, so I’m curious, have you ever made any money mistakes, or am I right that you’re perfect at this?

Brian Ford (01:17):

Oh my goodness. I don’t like to admit this, but you are right, I’ve loved finance since before I can remember, but yeah, I’ll share one. I remember when I was newly married and I got this stock tip, and I invested $1,000 in this single stock without any other information other than this one tip. I’ll say that $1,000 is a lot of money to me now, but back then it was a ton of money. A few months later this stock was worth something like $200, and I decided to cut my losses. My gosh, I felt so stupid. One, because I knew better, but two, here I am this newly married guy wanting to impress my wife, and she knows I love finance, I’ve read every book on the planet at this point. It was embarrassing for sure. However, I will say that this $800 or so loss has probably saved me thousands now, just because I learned my mistake, to do my research. Certainly I need to understand the risks involved with different investments, the importance of diversification, and now I just don’t invest in things I don’t understand. I would say it was a tough loss at the time, but I think now it’s probably saved me quite a bit of money. What about you, Bright? What do you wish you knew about money when you were younger?

Bright Dickson (02:44):

I mean, anything and everything. As we’ve talked about, I didn’t really get a huge financial education, but this really hit home I guess really early. I graduated from graduate school right into the Great Recession. It was just happening, it was that August 2008. I worked some odd jobs and then I got a contract job, which was really a great job and really set me up in a lot of ways and was a relief because I had a steady and livable income coming in. But what I didn’t know was that I needed to withhold my own taxes. I guess I assumed that they were doing that for me. I didn’t really know how to read a pay stub, I didn’t know any of that. I got into a little pickle with that come tax time.

Bright Dickson (03:37):

Everything turned out fine, it was OK, but it was kind of scary and it was really embarrassing. I was embarrassed for myself. That happens when we make these mistakes, we get that sense of embarrassment. But I think what I learned from that experience, one, I learned that technical point of when you’re a contract employee, you have to do it yourself. But I also learned that not only is it OK to ask questions, because I definitely had this belief that I should know or I should have known, but I need to ask questions. It’s not that I’m allowed to, it’s that there’s a need for me to do that. That lesson has been really, really helpful for me since.

Brian Ford (04:23):

I like that. Man, I tell you, if we could just ask more questions, not be so afraid. In fact, I did a post on LinkedIn and someone commented and talked about how she didn’t understand something early on, I think it was about purchasing a car early on. I was so glad she admitted that publicly. I even commented on her post and said hey, thank you for that, I wish we would admit more often that we just don’t know, and that’s OK. My goodness, finance is complicated. We’ve got to ask questions, like you mentioned. I like how you put that, not only can you or should you, but you’ve got to.

Bright Dickson (04:57):


Brian Ford (04:58):

Something else comes to mind as you were just chatting, is this idea of not only asking questions but seeking out trusted professionals. That’s OK too, especially when you’re young. Finding those trusted professionals is probably a good session for another day. But finding a financial planner, asking an insurance agent, those types of things, just don’t be afraid to ask questions from good, trusted professionals.

Bright Dickson (05:21):

Yeah, professionals are there for a reason. I think, too, this idea of we all make mistakes and it’s about learning, that’s that growth mindset thing that we keep talking about. That moving on from some kind of failure—you with that investment, me with my taxes—learning from that is growth mindset in and of itself. Because we can’t quit our finances, we’ve got to deal with this. But learning from that, that’s growth mindset.

Brian Ford (05:52):

Yeah, absolutely. That growth mindset, just knowing that we’re a work in progress, especially when it comes to finances—we’re going to make mistakes, we’ve got to ask questions, and it’s about just keep learning. Mastering money basics early in life definitely can help us avoid mistakes, or at least lessen their impact. But in our next section, we’re going to share some of those basics for when you’re starting out, so hang tight. When you’re in your 20s, especially your early 20s, this can be a very cool time in life, Bright. It’s been a while, but I can still remember those days. Very cool time, but certainly a time of transitions. Maybe you’ve just graduated from college or moved into your first apartment without roommates. It’s a fun time, it’s a time of transitions, but I’m going to borrow a page out of Spider-Man’s book for just a minute, kind of nerd out. I will make this statement, so with this newfound freedom and power comes great financial responsibility.

Bright Dickson (06:57):

Mm-hmm. Yeah, it’s true. I think we’ve got to be real about those transitions and that they feel like transitions, and the circumstances themselves can be challenging. I remember for me when I was in my early 20s, about the same time as that Great Recession, I wasn’t necessarily making a lot of money. My costs were low, but those two came down pretty close together. I was working a little bit on the margins, and I just didn’t have a lot of money one way or another. I was fine, but I didn’t have a lot of money to spend, I didn’t have a lot of money to save. I wasn’t quite living paycheck to paycheck, but the margins can be a little thin, and I think we’ve got to recognize how that feels and know that those transitions plus circumstantial limitations, everybody’s got their own situations going on, and that can be really tough mentally. Our 20-somethings out there, as you enter this really exciting time—and I think, Brian, we have the benefit of being able to look back and be like, that was exciting. But what I also remember is I was anxious all the time.

Brian Ford (08:12):

It’s scary. I think you bring up a good point, Bright, which is when I think back, too, to my early 20s—you were nice, you talked about the margins weren’t quite there. I was broke, I didn’t have any money. I hear that sometimes now, looking back, from younger folks saying “Look, I don’t know if I need to know this stuff, because I don’t have any money to know what to do with it. I don’t have any money to save or to invest.” That sometimes is a normal feeling to have, so we’ll just recognize that. However, what I’ve seen is you will start to make more money, those margins will increase. The more you learn now, and in fact, the more you learn and make mistakes with maybe small amounts of money, as your income increases you’ll just be that much more ready to take advantage of knowing what to do with that increased income. But I think it is good to at least acknowledge that hey, some of our listeners that are a little younger might be a little tight and that’s OK.

Bright Dickson (09:06):

I think the real big, I mean, to me, the goal, especially in your early 20s, isn’t necessarily money in the bank, but it’s establishing those habits that are going to sustain you and nurture you no matter what your age and no matter how much you’re making. Because our incomes can go up and down throughout our lives, that’s not unusual. It’s really about those habits that are going to keep you financially and mentally stable.

Brian Ford (09:39):

Totally. We know those two things are connected. The finances, the mental side of things—they are so closely connected.

Bright Dickson (09:49):

With that being said, Brian, what steps should 20-somethings take now to start establishing those habits and get themselves on a solid financial footing?

Brian Ford (10:02):

Oh man, there are a few things that come to mind. We could talk about paying down student loans, which is a good topic, building a good credit score, the importance of just learning to live within our means. These are all important subjects, and certainly I think we can chat about those in a future day. But as I prepared for this podcast and as I reflected back on having worked with really thousands of people who are on the right track, one of the biggest difference-makers that propelled them forward is becoming rock-star savers. I love that term, I know it’s nerdy, but becoming a rock-star saver. It sounds so simple.

Bright Dickson (10:44):

A rock-star saver, that’s interesting.

Brian Ford (10:46):

That’s what we’re going for.

Bright Dickson (10:47):

It takes something that seems boring and makes it cool.

Brian Ford (10:52):

Look, I’m trying, we’re working on it. It sounds simple, just becoming a great saver, but it can make a tremendous positive impact. When I work with folks, I have a straightforward question for them, and so I’ll ask you this question, Bright.

Bright Dickson (11:08):

OK, great.

Brian Ford (11:09):

Are you a good saver? That’s it. What do you think? What do you got for me?

Bright Dickson (11:15):

I am better now, I will say that.

Brian Ford (11:18):

Right on.

Bright Dickson (11:18):

As a person who has a hard time with yes or no questions, I’m better now. But I wasn’t in my early 20s at all.

Brian Ford (11:26):

Most of the time I hear something like “Well, not really.” When I get that response, I let them know that the good news is they are totally a normal human being. The other good news I share with them is this: I’ve seen hundreds of people go from not being a good saver at all to total rock-star savers overnight, by simply making the decision to save first and automatic. What I love about this is it has very little to do with willpower. I wish I could do this for my physical health, by the way; I wish I could just automate this stuff, my wife would be super pumped.

Brian Ford (12:03):

But even if saving does not come natural, if we save first and automatic, we will succeed. I know we’ve talked about this in the past, Bright, but what are your thoughts just around this idea of first and automatic versus this willpower? Or versus this idea that sometimes people have in their mind, like, get up in the morning, look at themselves in the mirror, and they’re like, “Today I’m going to be a great saver,” psyching themselves into it. We know that’s not how it works with great savers, but what are your thoughts just on that idea?

Bright Dickson (12:36):

I think your comparison to physical health is right on the money, so to speak. We’re not naturally wired to save. We’re naturally wired to think about today, and even tomorrow can seem far off when I’m making that decision of do I buy this thing or do I put that money in a savings account? It takes so much more effort to put it in the savings account versus just hitting that little click button. Tell me, Brian, what you mean by save first and save automatic? Break it down for me.

Brian Ford (13:08):

Well yeah, I mean, look, there’s a few ways to do this if we want to get specific. One is you can do it at the employer level. You can go in and talk with your HR folks and you can say—if you get paid automatically and electronically into a checking account—you can say, look, I’ve got this one account here that you’re already paying me in, but what if I set up a savings account? Can I have a certain amount automatically swept into the savings account when you pay me? Most employers will say sure, and they’ll just—you get it done. You provide them with that new savings account information, you tell them how much you need to do it. So you can do it at the employer level.

Brian Ford (13:40):

If it doesn’t work or your employer doesn’t have that, you actually can just do it at the bank level. You can walk into your bank and say, “Look, I get paid on this day and this day, can I have a certain amount of money just the next day shifted into my savings account?” They’ll say, “Wonderful, is that it?” You’ll say yeah, and voila, you’ve got this first and automatic idea. That’s the mechanics of it. But I also want to talk about where should we be saving first and automatic? There’s three main buckets that I want to chat about. First is what we call at Truist a financial confidence account; second, major purchases; and then third is retirement. We call it a financial confidence account rather than just emergency account because when you get one of these accounts, it’s fully funded, it’s in the right place, a tremendous amount of confidence will come into your life, regardless of if an emergency happens to you or not. You’ll derive immediate psychological benefit from this account by having it, which is pretty cool. So that’s what we call a financial confidence account.

Brian Ford (14:39):

If you don’t have one of these, you want to start with maybe 1,000 bucks, just set that goal. Eventually you want to work towards three months living expenses. But I really didn’t want to focus on that. By the way, we’re going to get into this retirement thing in our next section. But I want to focus on this major purchases stuff, because you don’t hear about it as often. If you pick up a book on personal finance, you’re always going to hear about you gotta have an emergency account and then we’re going to talk about retirement and investing and so forth. Sometimes this major purchases account gets left out.

Brian Ford (15:12):

So I want to touch on that just for a minute. Because if we want to be careful about consumer debt, we need to get good at setting up accounts for the major purchases in our life. So I mean like your next car, maybe a new washer and dryer, a cool vacation. So here are a few tips, Bright, to think about when we’re getting these major purchase accounts going. One is set up a separate account just for this major purchase. This is helpful because if you’re just saving in your checking account and you’ve got all your money right there, one, you gotta do math.

Bright Dickson (15:48):

Hate that, hate that. The worst.

Brian Ford (15:51):

Seriously, like, we’re done with that. We’re in our 20s and 30s, let’s go. Forget the math, and if you set up just a separate account, you’re like “I got 600 bucks in there, I know that’s for that major purchase.”

Bright Dickson (16:03):


Brian Ford (16:04):

Because there’s a slight separation from your everyday working capital, there’s this slight delay in transferring the money, and this makes it just a bit harder to spend it unless it’s for that thing that we’re actually saving for. It’ll be linked to your primary checking account, so you can transfer money back and forth, but just make sure it’s separate. Number two, I love to nickname these accounts, like “Hawaii 2023.” This will help make a real connection to the account, which typically leads to saving more. Then, most important, we talked about it, but save first and automatic right into this account.

Brian Ford (16:46):

So again, when you get paid, the next day have a certain amount automatically transferred to this account. As you get good at saving, that’s where we start talking about rock-star saving. You’re going to end up with a few of these major purchase accounts, and they’ll change from time to time as you save for different goals. So Bright, we know that becoming a consistent saver, it can promote financial confidence, which can then positively affect other areas of our life. As we think of the money-mindset connection, and sometimes the difficulty of making good financial decisions, what kinds of mental switches do we need to make?

Bright Dickson (17:26):

There are totally mental switches in there. But first, Brian, I want to say this idea of the three different savings accounts, this is news to me, but it makes total sense to me. It seems so obvious, like I should have thought about it before, but I think that’s really, really smart. Because what you’re doing is making it easier to save and harder to spend at the same time, which net, net over time is going to serve you really well. I think that same principle can be applied to your mindset here. Easier to save, harder to spend. I think one of the ways to do that is by making saving more attractive to yourself. So your idea of naming your accounts, your major purchase account, like “Hawaii” or “Easier laundry,” or for me, “Beautiful velvet sofa” currently is what I’m looking at.

Brian Ford (18:27):

I want to see your account called “Beautiful velvet sofa.” That needs to happen.

Bright Dickson (18:33):

I’ve actually been naming my accounts for a while now.

Brian Ford (18:35):


Bright Dickson (18:37):

When I got my first grown-up bank account, do you know what I named it? “Grown-up bank account.” That’s what it’s still called, it’s still called “Grown-up bank account.” But we can do those switches, too. So the switch is really from this feeling of like, “I want this thing now,” whether it’s this nice shampoo or I want to go on this weekend with my friends or I want—

Brian Ford (19:05):

Did you just say nice shampoo?

Bright Dickson (19:06):

Yeah. There are real huge differences in shampoo qualities, we can do a whole other episode on shampoo quality, but my hair requires high-quality shampoo, Brian. It does, I’ve got to keep this silken texture. But it’s really about shifting from this deprivation mindset to this nurturing mindset. So when you’re doing things like naming your accounts, what you’re really doing is nurturing not only that thing, but your relationship to that thing. I think shifting from deprivation to nurturing and support and following that is really helpful. I think another way to do this is to think about all of the things you already have. One of the habits that I’ve gotten into, because, look, I love shopping. I do. I love it, I’m good at it, I’m a great shopper, I could do it professionally, but I don’t because I like this better. I love to shop, and I love that gratification when I find the right item. But it’s really about shifting into what’s really going to be right for me, and I can do that by looking back at what’s really right for me.

Bright Dickson (20:23):

So using the practice of gratitude—which, it’s really simple, it’s really just looking around your life and saying, “All right, what have I got? What am I grateful for?”—gathering that around you almost psychologically. I have this gratitude journal that I’ve been working on for, I don’t know, like 15 years now I’ve kept a gratitude journal. I’ve gone on and off of it at times, but I’ve been having this practice for a long time. Looking back, it really helps me make good decisions for myself, because I’m more and more conscious of all of the things I already have. Those are in my consciousness already, and that actually helps me from making decisions that feel really deprivation or impulse based, to where I’m really nurturing myself more and more. That’s a long-term way of shifting that mindset from deprivation to nurturing. But there are quicker ways to do it too, like naming your accounts, that kind of thing.

Brian Ford (21:27):

It’s interesting, I’ve always known the power of gratitude just from just being healthy mentally, but I hadn’t really thought about it from a financially beneficial standpoint. Meaning, like when you say deprivation, are you talking about, like, “Man, I really want to buy this thing, I can’t buy this shampoo because I gotta save, because Brian told me I gotta save.” Is that what you’re talking about? Depriving yourself of that thing for saving?

Bright Dickson (21:54):

Yeah, like I’m not allowed to have it. Kind of like, “I want it, but I can’t, and like, there are forces …” That kind of feeling that usually ends in me just being like, “Oh, buy it,” click, click, click. And when I’m slower …

Brian Ford (22:09):

It’s interesting that you use gratitude for that. That’s fascinating. For me, I think of my future self. I think, instead of depriving me now, I’m totally hooking up future Brian, and I’m like, you’re welcome. You’re going to want some cool stuff later. It’s funny, very early on I had someone that I really looked up to explain to me the real meaning of sacrifice. I used the word sacrifice as you used the word deprivation. I always thought of sacrifice as like oh, sacrifice, and I remember in sports, you got to put in the work if you want to win. Then I started thinking about that financially and I’m like oh, this is no fun.

Brian Ford (22:54):

Then someone was like, “Brian, do you know the definition of sacrifice?” I’m like, “I don’t know, it just sounds yucky.” They were like, “It’s giving up something good now—it has to be good or it won’t be a sacrifice. But it’s giving up something good now for something better in the future.” I started to think about that and I started to think about my future self, and then I started shifting my mindset around this idea. Then I started to like to save, and it shifted for me that way. I just think it’s fascinating that you work at it from a gratitude standpoint, like “I’ve got all this cool stuff already, I’m good. Do I really need that?” Interesting.

Bright Dickson (23:31):

But I think you mentioned earlier, the future me will thank me, and it reminds me of when you have a big night out and then you take that aspirin and drink that glass of water before you go to bed, and then in the morning you’re like, “Thank you, past me, for taking that aspirin and drinking that glass of water.” It’s the same principle there. It’s interesting that gratitude can come from both of these directions and influence your actions in the present.

Brian Ford (23:59):

Yeah interesting.

Bright Dickson (24:01):

OK, so we’ve covered some of the basics for when we’re starting out, but what about when we’re ready to start investing? Well, that’s what we plan to cover next, so stay with us.

Brian Ford (24:21):

So Bright, if your 20s are a time for building the basic foundations like saving, your 30s should be dedicated to building on those lessons to reach bigger goals, like buying a home and investing even more for retirement.

Bright Dickson (24:35):

Yeah. Let’s jump in, Brian. So as we think about investing for retirement, which, I just have to say, it seems so far off. I’m in my late 30s and it seems far off, but when you’re in your 20s, early 30s, even further. But you’ve got to start soon, the sooner the better. What do we need to keep in mind there? What do we need to know about retirement?

Brian Ford (24:58):

The first thing you just mentioned is right on the money, which is a lot of people start too late because they’re like, “That’s so far away.” But when we really understand the power of compound interest, which we’ll talk about here in just a minute, you realize, man, the sooner you start, the better. But I want to actually talk about something first, because as we think about investing as opposed to saving, a question comes to mind—why do we even need to invest? Because we know when we invest, we expose our money to risk. Why not just save our way to retirement? So let’s look at this a little closer, Bright. I’ll give you an example, try and follow me here, we are going to do some math. I know we talked about that in the earlier section and we’re going against that, but OK, hang with me here. So, if we save 10% of our income, which, by the way, that’s pretty good.

Brian Ford (25:47):

So if we save 10% of our income every year for 30 years, how many years of income will we have saved? The answer is surprising, it’s only three years of income. If we use that as an actual example, let’s say we’re making good money, and this is just for sake of easy math. We’re making 100 grand a year, we save 10% of that, 10 grand. So we’re saving 10 grand a year every year for 30 years, we’re going to have $300,000, which is just three years of your income. That’s why it’s difficult to just save our way to retirement, we need the power of compound interest on our side. On the other hand, I’ll give you another example, that was a saving example. If we invest $5,000 every year for 30 years at eight percent interest, how much would we have? Now that’s a tough one, I don’t expect anyone to actually do that unless they’ve got a wicked sweet calculator that they snagged from their high school days.

Bright Dickson (26:58):

A TI-85.

Brian Ford (27:00):

Yeah. Oh my gosh, don’t even say that, I got, like, shivers went down my spine. We got $5,000 a year for 30 years, eight percent interest, it would equal over $600,000.

Bright Dickson (27:11):

Huge difference.

Brian Ford (27:13):

Yeah, huge difference. If we were to just save that amount, so $5,000 every year for 30 years, we’d have 150 grand. But because of the eight percent interest compounding, we get the additional $461,000 in interest. This is why most of us invest for retirement. There’s a definite difference there.

Bright Dickson (27:35):

Yeah, a huge difference.

Brian Ford (27:36):

And the earlier, it gets even crazier, when you really start out early in your 20s and it goes over the next 30, 40 years, versus starting in your 40s and 50s. It’s tough to catch up, compound interest really needs time to work. Bright, you and I talked about this, we plan to dedicate a future episode to just investing and choosing a financial planner. But for now I’ll just mention a few things to get started. First, if you have access to a 401(k) through your employer, please chat with your HR folks on how to get started, especially if there’s a match, my goodness. I love talking about matches and how that is just free money, basically. In fact, I am, I wasn’t planning on talking about this, but let’s just talk about 401(k) matches for just a minute.

Brian Ford (28:23):

When I teach investing, I always talk about how, look, if you can get eight percent a year, obviously you can’t get that every year, but long-term that’s something to work towards. But to get that eight percent, you’ve got to take risk. Your money has to be in mutual funds, it’s got to be in the market, you’re exposing it to some risk. It’s going to go up, it’s going to go down. But we work hard for and take those risks for that eight percent. But if you are working at a company, let’s say, that provides a dollar for dollar match, which would be amazing. You put in a dollar, they put in a dollar. What percent return on your money is that? It’s 100% return on your money, and it’s risk free. I tell you, Bright, if anyone tells you that they can give you a 100% return on your money risk free, you should turn around and run. They are selling something, they’re lying to you, or you’re watching cable television at 3:00 in the morning, some stupid get-rich-quick infomercial. It doesn’t exist, except for in a 401(k) match.

Brian Ford (29:24):

Even if your company matches 50 cents on the dollar, that’s still a 50% return on your money. Anyways, I’m going to get off the whole matching rant, I wasn’t planning on doing that. That’s where we want to start. If you have access to a 401(k) with a match, let’s go, talk to your HR folks and you can start going there. If you don’t have access to a 401(k), no sweat—look into an IRA. That just stands for individual retirement account. The main thing I want to emphasize here is just the importance of learning about investing. We started this program talking about mistakes and one that I made about investing. We gotta keep learning, because knowledge plus saved money equals investment opportunities.

Brian Ford (30:07):

So keep learning, ask good questions, and as you start out you’re not going to know everything, but you don’t need to wait to start investing for retirement. Compound interest really kicks in when there’s more time. I will say this too, it’s kind of funny, when I teach classes about investing, I almost always have someone a little older come up to me afterwards and they’ll say something to me like this, they’ll say, “Brian, this was great, thanks for coming out today, I learned a lot about investing.” Then they’re usually like, “But where were you 30 years ago?” I’m like, “Well, I was in seventh grade.” All right, dumb joke. But I bring this up because again, we’re talking to our young listeners today, and I don’t want that to be them. I don’t want them to be thinking about this stuff when they are a little bit older, I want them to start going right now. But Bright, beyond investing for retirement, when we’re younger, I think this should be a time to invest in yourself. As you think about investing in yourself, what comes to your mind?

Bright Dickson (31:25):

It’s important to know that it’s not just about investing money and that investing in yourself can actually open you up to new income opportunities. It’s really about building up that snowball effect in multiple lanes of your life. The other kind of investment that you should really consider in your 30s are investments in education. If you’re feeling like it might be time to go get another degree in a different field, or maybe even a first degree, or maybe you want to do some certification programs to amp up your skill levels for employers, that kind of thing. Those are investments too, because you’re putting something in now that you’re going to reap the benefit of in the future. Just like saving and investing, you’ve got to figure it out, you’ve got to spend time and effort doing that, and likely you’re going to have to spend some money too. So careers and education, all of that kind of stuff, keep it up.

Bright Dickson (32:25):

I think part of this, too, like we started talking about learning, is that learning is a muscle you’ve got to exercise. Some of us are voracious learners and some of us are more hesitant learners, and we all learn in different ways. But the idea here is that you keep that learning up. Maybe that’s education, maybe that’s certifications, maybe that’s some other kind of thing out there that you’re into that you’re doing. Maybe, too, it’s travel; that’s another investment in yourself. Doing those things, getting those experiences that make you a richer human being on multiple fronts. Those are really, really important too, and I think that you and I both consider them part of this investment strategy.

Brian Ford (33:08):

I love that idea of investing in yourself from an education standpoint, from an experiences standpoint, is very similar to actual investing. In the beginning you’re like, is this worth it? Then all of a sudden you start to see it paying dividends. I want to say, Bright, that we know that it’s never too early to start saving and investing, yes, but I also want to say that it’s never too late either. If you are in your 40s or your 50s and you’re just starting to manage your finances, I just want to say good for you, congrats on taking control. Start now, and you’ll be amazed at the progress you’ll make over the next five to 10 years. If you’re listening to this podcast, we think you’re already on the right track. Thanks for listening to this episode of “Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian.”

Bright Dickson (34:08):

If you liked this episode or any of our others, please subscribe to the podcast on the platform of your choice or send it to someone you care about. See y’all next time.



Making smart choices when you’re young can set you up for long-term success. But you don’t have to sacrifice your lifestyle in favor of finances—you just need balance to make your journey to financial confidence enjoyable and sustainable.

In this episode of “Money and Mindset,” Bright and Brian offer tips on the crucial money moves you should be making in your 20s and 30s—which can put you on the path to achieving your biggest goals in life.

Listen in to learn:

  • How to become a rock-star saver (and what that means)
  • Why compound interest is a game-changer when you’re young
  • What Bright and Brian have learned from their own financial missteps
  • Why it’s important to continue investing in yourself


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This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, investment, or mental health advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial, investment, mental health professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.