Unsolicited Life & Money Advice from Team Zeta

Aditi Shekar
October 30th, 2021 | 4 mins

Do you ever wonder about the people who run Zeta? If you imagine us as a bunch of nerdy humans who are obsessive budgeters who live for the details… then you would be absolutely right. We spend a lot of our spare time chatting about our personal lives, swapping stories, and doling out life and money advice we’ve accrued over the years.

We want to share that life and money advice with everyone in the Zeta community, which means you, yes you!

Life and money advice we want everyone to know

Don’t put off charging friends for social outings

“If you end up being the one to pay for a group dinner with your friends, make sure you do the math and charge them soon after (ideally within a few days!), otherwise collective amnesia will set in and you'll be out of $200.”

Be mindful about lending money

“Don’t expect your siblings to ever pay you back, and don't lend them enough money that you're gonna be upset when they find some excuse to not pay it back. $20? Sure. $787.26? No.

Beware of free trials

“A free trial is almost never going to be free. You'll forget to cancel it before you get charged, and then you’ll get charged the following month, and the one after that. Even if you put it on your calendar.”

Ask yourself, “do I really need this?”

“I window shop on Amazon. I add things to my cart throughout the week and then on Sundays I ask myself; "do I really need this?" Most of the time the answer is no. It saves a lot of money.”

Pet emergency funds are 100% necessary

“My wife and I got our cat Luna as a young kitten, maybe 8 weeks old. Just after we got her, she started to have stomach problems and needed to go to an emergency vet. What started as excitement at getting our first cat, quickly turned into a $10,000 decision — pay $10k to cover her emergency operation, or put down a sweet little kitten that didn’t deserve anything that was happening to her. We scrounged up the money and paid for it, sick to our stomachs, worried for her as well as our finances, for weeks. It all worked out in the end—that's why emergency savings exist I guess—but I had never needed to make a payment like that before. Pet emergency funds are 100% necessary. I wish I could convince everyone of that lol.”

Feed your 401(k) now, so your future self will be happy

"Always try to contribute as much as you can to your 401(k). You don't think about it as much early on in your career as important, but it's pre-tax, forced savings, with compound interest, which is so powerful. Your future self will be so happy.”

Do your homework before rushing to renovate

“Get several quotes when paying for home renovations. Thoroughly vet contractors. Lots of people try to renovate right before the holidays and end up rushing… and making mistakes along the way.”

Save for your goals well in advance

“I like to set savings goals even if they are super far away. For example, my partner and I might need to replace our fence in three years, so I set up a goal and save $10 for it every month. That means when the time comes to replace the fence, we are absolutely ready to go. Or, if we don't need to replace the fence, it means we’ve essentially saved a pile of money and I can either invest or go on vacation.”

What life and money advice would you add to this list?

What unique pieces of life and money advice have you acquired over the years that you would add to this list? Continue the conversation with us on Twitter!

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