Money Mistakes on Retail Me Not

The dumbest thing Shay ever did with money is a story told at

Financial Education Speaker & Author Shay Olivarria’s whole career has been built on sharing the mistakes she made with others in hope that those mistakes could be avoided by others. Now, she shares the biggest money mistake of her life with Emma Johnson at Retail Me Not.

Smart people make dumb mistakes all the time. That’s why they’re smart—they learn from their mistakes. Even smarter? Learning from other people’s mistakes! Instead of screwing up your own finances, check out these doozies committed by financial professionals.

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Shay on Multicultural Familia Radio

Financial Education Speaker & Author Shay Olivarria was on the Multicultural Familia Radio Show a while ago. For those that were not able to join us, Shay has taken the time to jot down a few thoughts about the major themes covered in the interview. Here are a few things that were covered:

Why are you so passionate about money management?  What prompted you to become a financial educator to kids and young adults?

I’m passionate because of all the mistakes I made in my youth! I even named them my most recent book, All My Mistakes. I look back and think, “Why didn’t anyone tell me to invest a percentage of my income?” or “Why didn’t anyone tell me about the beauty of compound interest?”. I started Bigger Than Your Block back in 2007 because I had been working with youth and I noticed that the things I didn’t know back then, they didn’t know right now. I wanted to help them learn from the mistakes that I made.

What are some financial mistakes that you’ve made and how did you overcome them?

There are so many, where should I begin?  I’d have to say that the worst mistake I made was not taking advantage of compound interest. I talk a lot about the mistakes and how to avoid them in 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money. If I had invested only $50 per month from the time I started working at sixteen until I completed undergrad when I was about twenty six (ten years) I would have amassed $6,000. Let’s pretend that I had invested that money every month into an investment account that returned 8% per year (the average is 10% over most ten year periods, so I’m being conservative), I would have $9,000 at the end of those ten years. That’s $3,000 that was given to me because of compound interest. Let’s take it a step further and say that I never put another dollar into that account and I just let it grow. That $9,000 would turn into $217,000 by retirement!  Imagine if I had kept it up!