This is the second to last week of financial lessons from Oprah’s LifeClass. I hope you’ve been learning as much from this series as you have the actual class.

Lesson 16: Following Your Gut

How many times have you been confronted with a financial issue, and you knew you should have followed your gut, and you didn’t? Did you experience any consequences? If you didn’t, did you realize you could have? Last year, before I was offered a full time job at my internship, I had the chance to accept employment at a government agency, including training, great pay, benefits, and a guaranteed long term position. I had a feeling I would get offered a job at my internship, but in my gut, I knew the government agency was a much better job. I didn’t follow my gut. I was laid off shortly after my probationary period at my job ended. I should have followed my gut.

Lesson 17: You Can Rise From the Ashes of Your Life

Many of us allow our past to define our future, and we shouldn’t let it. Did you manage money poorly growing up? Did you rack up thousands of dollars in debt before? That doesn’t mean you can’t change. You can rise from the ashes of your life, including your finances. Every day is a new opportunity to start over. Save the change you get today. Enroll in your job’s 401(K) program. Pay more than the minimum on your credit card. Rise from those ashes!

Lesson 18: Do Your Eyes Light Up When a Child Walks in the Room?

Children are our future and it’s our responsibility as adults to guide them in the right direction. While Oprah talked about showing a child that you not only see them, but acknowledge them and care for them, I want you to care about a child’s financial well being. Teach them early about how to manage money. Start a savings account for them. Buy bonds for them. Introduce them to stocks and entrepreneurship. Are you excited about teaching a child how to handle money?

Lesson 19: Step Out of the Box

There’s so many bland, cut and dry ways to reach financial independence. Spend less than you earn. Save a portion of every check. Blah blah blah, boring! Step out of the box. Find new ways to make money like becoming a mystery shopper or selling things that you make. Discover alternatives to expensive things in your budget. Come up with creative, inexpensive ways to have family night. Don’t go with what everyone is doing. March to the beat of your own drum, and reach your goals in a different way.

Lesson 20: Joy Rising – Surprise

I don’t know too many people who don’t like surprises, at least positive ones. How awesome would it be if someone surprised you with a gift, like donating to your favorite charity, or offering to pay your bills, or even buying you a brand new car in Oprah fashion? Well, you probably can’t afford to do that for someone, but you can do other small things. Pay for the person behind you at the pump or at the coffee shop. Give a dollar to someone in need. Make an anonymous donation or invest in a loved one’s business. That will bring some great karma.

Next week will be our last week of the series. Stay tuned!



Briana Myricks is a 20 something freelance writer and blogger. Striving for financial independence as a newlywed, she blogs about young married life at 20 and Engaged.