About · Press · Contact · Write For Us · Top Personal Finance Blogs
Featured In:

15 Characteristics of a Wise Person

By Casey Slide

wise grandfatherProverbs 16:16 states, “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!”

This is sage advice, but not really a prevailing attitude in today’s culture. Today, we often see people racking up huge bills on their credit cards because they can’t wait to get the latest and greatest products and services. We see people with huge homes and expensive cars, but empty, sad hearts. We see people on the brink of destruction due to bad decisions and bad habits. As the proverb says, wisdom, not wealth, gets you through this life successfully. If you are a wise person, you can wisely manage your finances as well.

If you want to become a wise person, you need to start acting like one. Here are some characteristics of a wise person to consider emulating:

Characteristics of a Wise Person

1. They Educate Themselves.
Educate yourself. Wise people learn the basics of personal finance, including information about budgeting, retirement accounts, mortgages, and life insurance. You can’t make solid decisions about money without a deep understanding of all of the elements involved in your finances.

2. They Are Disciplined.
Wise people exercise self-control. If you’ve invested in a stock as a long-term investment opportunity, don’t panic and sell the stock based on one day of volatility. If you have a set budget, use discipline to stick to your budget as you walk though the shopping mall. Tip: If you have trouble following a budget, try the envelope budgeting system.

3. They Admit Their Mistakes and Learn From Them.
People learn from their mistakes because they must live through the consequences. For example, if you’ve ever lent money to a friend or relative who wouldn’t pay you back, you are wise if you never lend money to these people again. No matter how hard the fall, always get back up and start again. Begin by admitting your mistakes, and then use those mistakes as learning opportunities.

4. They Are Patient.
Patience is a virtue, and valuable when it comes to personal finances. A wise person saves enough money to purchase a fun, new gadget instead of charging it to a credit card. Wise people take their time when making important decisions, like buying a new car, or a home. When you exercise patience, you give yourself a chance to properly gather information, and to weigh all of your options.

5. They Take Instruction Humbly.
A wise person admits that they don’t know everything. They accept the fact that other people are more qualified and more knowledgeable than they are, without dismay. By valuing others’ opinions and knowledge, a wise person opens up to the possibility of acquiring and retaining valuable information. Wise people are not entitled, and they welcome the input of others.

6. They Can Handle Rejection and Failure.
A wise person doesn’t worry about rejection when asking for a promotion during a job performance review. A wise person takes action on side business ideas to earn passive income, without worrying about failure. If you don’t risk failure, you may never obtain significant success.

7. They Know That They Can Only Control Themselves.
Wise people don’t worry about what other people think or what other people do. They know that they can only control themselves and that what other people think doesn’t matter. For example, if a wise person lives in a small, modest home because the house was affordable, he or she doesn’t worry about people in larger, costlier homes.

8. They Are Guided by Wisdom.
Wisdom is better than riches. Wealth is important, but does not take precedence over family, friends, and health. Money should be used as a means to achieving one’s goals, but should not be the end goal.

wise group

9. They Know Their Priorities.
Wise people put first things first and last things last. They put family time first, before hobbies or free time. They pay off debt, before they buy something new. Wise people have their lives sorted out, and they know where they should direct their attention.

10. They Are Trustworthy and Steadfast.
A wise person treats others as they want to be treated, because they know it will help them, not hurt them. The wise person is who we always go to when we need solid advice. Wise people are who we turn to and who we trust in times of need.

11. They Take Calculated Risks.
Without some risk, there is limited chance of success. Wise people take risks in support of their goals, without endangering themselves or harming others. Most great stories about entrepreneurial success started with someone taking a chance.

12. They Make the Most of Their Relationships.
Wise people understand and revere the power of networking. They don’t shy away from asking advice of successful friends and family members, and they share their successes with others. Wise people continue to learn and increase their base of knowledge, and they know this is significantly impacted by the relationships they cultivate.

13. They Don’t Live Beyond Their Means.
Wise people pay their bills on time and only buy things they can afford. They don’t feel pressured to spend money on items they don’t need.

14. They Don’t Pay Full Price.
Wise people clip coupons, sign up for discount clubs, and shop during sales. They don’t mind holding up the line at the grocery store while cashiers ring up coupons (i.e. extreme couponing). They willingly buy half-price sweaters in the summer, and discounted sandals in the winter. They comparison shop online to find the best prices for big purchases, and they never, ever pay full price.

15. They Don’t Squander Money.
Whether it’s a tip, winnings from a poker game, or a well-deserved bonus at work, wise people know they need to save or invest this money. Many people squander “found” money, but wise people know this money can help them achieve their long-term financial goals. Instead of wasting this money on something that won’t last or on items they don’t need, wise people put found money to work for them.

Final Word

If it’s true that you can become a wise person by emulating one, this article gives you the blueprint for success. Whether it’s gaining knowledge, putting family first, or taking risks, there’s a lot to be learned from wise people. Take a close look at your personal finances to determine whether you make wise financial decisions and how you can improve. It might just the right time for a change.

Do you have wise tips for managing your finances?

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Casey Slide
Casey Slide lives with her husband and baby in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for a prominent hospital in Atlanta. With the birth of Casey’s son in February 2010, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Casey’s interests include reading, running, living green, and saving money.

Related Articles

  • http://www.sterlingeffort.com Ash @ Sterling Effort

    Wow, I’m feeling quite wise right now :) In all seriousness, this is great advice. Retweeted!

  • http://www.savings.com/blog/blog.html Amy Saves

    patience is a virtue.. i wish i had more of it.

  • http://onlinerookies.com Kalen

    Thank you Casey. As someone who has been preoccupied with ambition for too long, I think a little more wisdom and satisfaction with what I have would do me much better. Your post is a great start.

  • Pablo Jose.

    I’m surprised,only 3 comments,I see not many wise people reading such a important article.Thanks

    • Casey Slide

      Thanks, Pablo!

  • cdoyle5128

    Interesting article. Good advise for someone to base their life on…not matter what their age, it’s never too late to put wisdom into practice! Thanks for sharing~

  • Kmlyons23

    Great solid guidelines to live by…very simple and easy to understand!! If everyone TRIED to live by them the world would def. be a better place to live..

    • Casey Slide

      Thanks, Kmlyons. I wholeheartedly agree. I wish people would just TRY so the world would be better for us and for future generations.

    • Casey Slide

      Thanks, Kmlyons. I wholeheartedly agree. I wish people would just TRY so the world would be better for us and for future generations.

  • Jan

    Thank you. A friend referred to me as wise, i had to look it up and came across this article. I have added great knowledge from your article. Thank you!

    • Casey Slide

      That’s a great compliment that your friend gave you! Good for you!

  • Zqfsarah

    thank you for your enlightening article

  • april

    This article says just what i wanted to hear right now !! It is sometimes so calming to hear good words spoken out of a good conscience …

The content on Money Crashers is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers.
Advertising Disclosure: We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.
Links monetized by VigLink