Being graduation season, be it from High School or College, and having been through that stage of life myself, here is a little friendly advice…
Even though at this stage of life you probably don’t have a-lot of money and ‘things’, and no doubt you want things because other people around you have them (peer pressure and all), whatever you do – fight the urge to go into debt, especially at this early stage.
Almost everyone needs a vehicle (unless you live in the city where you can use public transportation), but resist the urge to buy a new one! Really. Seriously, the less you can pay while tolerating the fact that it won’t be as nice as your friend’s car, the better.
If you live frugally now, you will quickly surpass your friends when it comes to your net worth. In fact, the fun part is keeping it to yourself as your value grows and their debt only increases.
More importantly, resist the credit card impulsion! These things will bleed the life right out of you unless you have a high degree of will power. It is so easy for just about anyone to rationalize spending money or using their credit card – that’s just how the brain works if it really wants something. Instead, avoid impulse decisions. As they say… ‘sleep on it’. It works!
Looking back on my own life, and education, I realize that the ‘schools’ do not teach self discipline when it comes to finances. Since ‘the system’ needs debt to survive, the institutions support that notion. Not often do you hear recommendations to be frugal.
Knowing what I know now, I know that ‘debt’ is the monster. Only very well disciplined and financially positioned people can use debt to their advantage (it is possible), however most people cannot, and are not in the position to do so.
If you can stay out of debt, at least for the most part, you will be far more successful and happier than most people around you! That’s a fact.
So that’s the simple message and recommendation. Do everything you can to stay out of debt.
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