money health weekly


Avoiding Regrets In Your Financial Life

future regrets get in the way of your ideal future

❝Life is too short to be in a hurry.❞ -Henry David Thoreau

I feel nervous as I pick up the phone. I have to call customers today as part of my job. I work as a bank teller during college and the word came down today that tellers have to start calling customers to try and to get them to open more accounts. I guess they think they have untapped salespeople. Our main objective is to get as many accounts open as possible. We even have limits we are supposed to meet if we don't want to get in trouble. They are incentivizing tellers with big bonuses if we open the most accounts.

This is all well and good if I believed a new account would be good for customers. If they could benefit from opening a savings account and moving a portion of a large checking account balance into it, I would be on board with that. If I could help a customer with a large balance in a low-interest savings account open some higher-interest certificates of deposit, that would be my pleasure.

I really struggle with forcing customers into subpar products, though. I know some of these customers would be better off with their money invested, possible through a brokerage account, but we don't offer that and we're definitely not allowed to send money away.

Every time I'm on the phone with a customer I feel uneasy. I know it would be good for me financially - and I certainly need the money as a broke college kid. I know it would be good for my career if I want to stay in banking. Unfortunately, it's not always right for the customers and I can't do it.

I'm lucky to be able to say that I left banking. If not, I most certainly would have regretted my career choice.

it's uncomfortable when we live inauthentically


Bronnie Ware, who worked as a palliative caregiver working with those who were at the end of their lives, noticed some themes as she talked to her patients. Many people felt regret over various areas of their lives, and she started to pick up on various themes. There were five regrets that kept showing up over and over. She wrote about these in her book