What's the best financial advice you've ever received? Here are a few answers

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 13 2013 6:35 p.m. MDT

Stock portfolios are meant to be long term, he said. Someone who checks their portfolio's progress each day is creating worries that will work out in the long run. He compared this behavior to a mother strapping a camera to their Boy Scout's head and sending them off to camp. Or a person who becomes convinced that a tree they planted is not growing because they check its progress every 10 minutes.

"When we live the moment-to-moment noise in the world, we create this unrest and volatility," he said.

Israelsen is the executive in residence for Utah Valley University's Financial Planning Program and speaks and consults about personal finance. He is the author and coauthor of several books, including "7Twelve: A Diversified Investment Portfolio With a Plan" and "Go, Portfolio. Go!" an investment primer.

Don Milne, bank financial literacy manager

Even though Don Milne works for a bank and has a degree in finance, he says he has not always handled money well.

In 2003, after being married for more than 20 years, he and his wife had accumulated $26,000 in consumer debt.

Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University changed things for him.

"The best thing that I've learned is it's all about behavior. It's not about knowledge," Milne said.

So he and his wife began changing their behavior. They met monthly to create spending plans. They followed Ramsey's advice for food, clothing and entertainment expenses, keeping a set amount of cash in envelopes for each pay period.

They eliminated their debt, reduced their spending and improved their relationship.

"We have to find something else to argue about than money these days," he said.

He passed this knowledge on to his own children. One of his daughters saved up and bought a minivan for $17,000 in cash when she was newly wed at 27. She and her husband continue to pay for major expenses with cash.

Milne is the financial literacy manager for Zions Bank. He tours schools in Utah and Idaho giving financial success tips and helps manage the bank's partnership with Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University.

Melissa Eddy, occupational therapist

Growing up, Melissa Eddy knew that she did not want to have the level of debt that her parents had. She did not want to live paycheck to paycheck.

At 29, she is an occupational therapist, works part time and brings in $50,000 per year.

She is also debt-free.

After going into $30,000 of debt for a master's degree, she was able to pay off the balance within three years.

She was able to buy a car and have a flexible work schedule because she did not have loan payments.

Her secret? Never accrue debt that amounts to more than half of what you can make annually.

"It just feels good to not be in debt. You just don't have to worry about that extra payment you have to pay."

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