Thinking back over the course of my adult life, before getting financially hip to the game, it’s a wonder I was able to function.
One observations I can remember, I have always made a decent living and been able to provide for myself and my family. With a few hiccups. The biggest problem I faced was always teetering on the edge of living paycheck to paycheck, or paycheck to search the couch for change. Somehow I managed to stay above water enough to think I was living comfortably. There must have been angels looking out for me constantly, because I cannot for the life of me figure out how I did not file for bankruptcy.
Many years of learning and experiences in my life taught me to change my mindset and look at things in the most basic and efficient method possible. There is a reason so many people write books and keep Amazon busy in the self-help section. Many of the topics are taken from the list provided in this post, oh which I have digested.
How to win friend and influence people.
Think and grow rich.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
These are just a few.
Here are some of the reasons we are broke and I was no exception until I gather the understand required to live the life wanted.
1.) Keeping up with the Jones
Basing your life on what other people are doing and trying to match their lifestyle.
2.) Bad habits – Spending money on drinking, smoking and just hanging out and doing nothing. If you smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a week at $6.50 a pack = $19.50 a week = $1014.00 a year.
3.) Stop learning – We live in a rapidly changing world and it is easy to become irrelevant. Irrelevant means low or no money.
4.) Playing the Lottery – Playing the lottery is a sucker bet, if you follow a lottery player and add the money spent on purchasing the lottery tickets it out weights the winnings from playing the lottery.
5.) Making minimum payments – Most credit cards and installment loans with a balance of $500.00 dollars and making the minimum payment can take 35 years to pay the debt back.
6.) Having No Goals – People without a goal tend to wander and go for anything. This means letting money go easily.
7.) Wrong crowd – The crabs in a bucket analogy is so strong here. Crowds influence you and you tend to take on characteristics of the people in your circle.
8.) Couch Potato – Couch potatoes tend to miss opportunities.
9.) Blaming Other – Blaming others is not motivational and places you in a cage, not allowing you to grow and accept challenges.
10.) Impulse buying – Impulse buying is not being in control of your emotions, in turn causing you to never have the money. We all have had the retail therapy bug, but when it happens to often we are left broke and feeling worse than when we started.
11.) Can’t say no – Sometimes “no” is exactly what you need to say. Saying no places you in a state of self-control of many circumstances. Saying yes is only good when you can do so comfortably helps you to stay on track. Your friends decide to jet off to Las Vegas and the first of the month when your rent is due. Your answer is sorry I can’t, I have other obligations.
12.) Thinking Rich people are evil – Often the media and within poor and lower middle class society we are taught people with more money than us are evil. Most movies portray the Rich person as evil or just a plain old jackass. In real life many of the charities and educational programs are funded by these very people we think are evil.
13.) Not exercising Exercise keeps the mind strong and also help to keep your mood in a good place too. When you have a good mood, look good and feel good physically things will gravitate to you.
For most of us mentally adulthood was not a sudden thing, we just found ourselves THERE. I thought about this off and on over the years and came to a conclusion, for me it was kind of experiment in freedom that evolved until I had a oh shit moment. Basically I can remember testing the waters of adulthood around the age of 16 1/2 when I got my first “Real Job” as a dishwasher in a Hilton hotel. Before getting that job of mine, I just tried daily to stay occupied so my mom had not reason to give me something to do. Then one day I found myself with something to do constantly, and it was after getting my first full responsibility job. So here it was for me, in steps I can remember.
At 16 had a girlfriend who attended Purdue University ( yes I was in high school, my game was tight…lol)
Got a Job working as a dishwasher, at Detroit Metro Airport Hilton. (worked my ass off too)
Opened a checking account
Began to save Money.
Had to buy my own cloths now, as my mother explained it. “You work, get your own clothes”.
Got my first loan. The loan was through a local credit union. I impressed the loan lady because I saved $800.00 as a deposit, but had no money for car insurance thanks Dad for the insurance down payment)
Bought my first Car
Broke up with girlfriend, had freedom now, silly me (She was smart too, she’s an engineer now)
Got 15 more girlfriends over time
Purchased a gold chain on credit to help credit rating it (gold chains, and car audio were the hot thing).
Opened a Hudson’s (now Marshall field) Charge Card to establish credit.( They use to call then charge cards,LOL)
Enrolled in school after graduating High School and had to dig deep to pay for classes. (had to sit out for 6 months because I got behind on tuition. Felt like a loser)
Got a job as a field technician.
Bought a more expensive vehicle (custom Chevy S10 truck, girlfriend lost her mind, called me a moron), debt, see where this is going.
Moved out from my parents, partially (My mom saved me on the groceries)
Fast forward at this point – no debt, now frugalish
So, I’m not sure how your life played out, but I remember one day about 6-8 months after I graduated High school while arriving home at 4am and thinking “Shit, I HAVE to go to work in a few hours” because I had to pay for:
Various small credit cards
and the list goes on.
In that moment at the age of 19, it hit me that I was an adult, responsible for my own being. I think it was in the fall, because the weather was turning cold and a few of my friends were still in highschool. The only thing I could think was there is NO turning back forever.
Here is the point I would like to make, we basically stumble into being adults. There is no course, seminar or step by step manual, and no one has perfected the process. One thing I do know, out of all the years I and maybe you too, were in school none of it really prepares us formally to be adults . Only by going the path of experience can we obtain the lessons to be an adult, but it sure would have been nice to have a manual, or lesson plan. Our parents give us bits a pieces of information you need to navigate, but it seems so foreign, because and they seem so OLD, and unwise to us when you are a young adults. So listen to them now, because nothing is new in the world, except electronics, and bad television.
We all say, “If I only knew then what I knew now”. Well what you know now can help you in the future, all that is required are a few downs times and recoveries back up. Don’t sweat the small stuff, because the majority is small stuff.
Here is one thing I have for everyone, myself included. As long as you stay alive, free and healthy “90% of what happened in the past will not matter when you get to the future.
So take the thing you know now to live best in THE BILLIONAIRE LIFESTYLE.
Did someone walk up to you and said you are worthless?
Are you bleeding?
Did you have to go to jail or prison for a long-term today?
Did you suffer serious pain today, that made time stop?
Did you wake up in a bed with sheets and blankets?
Did you drive or was driven or took mass transit to your destination?
Was the food you ate tasty?
Did your belly get full or satisfied?
Did someone, anyone smile at you?
Are you responsibly able to go and do as you please responsibly?
Did you see, feel or know love today?
Are you intact and reasonably health?
Did you laugh an open mouth gush of sound?
Did you notice any joy today?
Did you notice all the good around you?
Life is easy and hard at the same time, because of our human intelligence we are very dynamic beings. You have freewill. Freewill comes with great responsibility. The job: harness the power of your own freewill to discover all that God has available for you to experience. much of the problems stem from people who have no understanding of their potential and are stuck. These people try to use your energy for their gain in a poor method.
Many people will think I am freaking crazy for this article, but I have very strong convictions on this subject of serious debt before income, as I believe most of you share a similar opinion.
There is an interesting post with an awesome InfoGraphic at ProCon.org, it is well worth a look. I looked at the chart and thought the number would be way out of line but they are still very scary for the cost of attending college today. The one thing I had to consider is the chart did not take into consideration room and board for college students which can be as much as the tuition itself. Everyone understands, a great number of collegiate students strive to have that independent “College Experience”, opting out of attending a school allowing them to reside with the parents thus saving a great deal. It seems it may be cheaper to purchase a used car for your child to attend a not too distant college than having that “College Experience”.
I am baffled as to the reasoning for debt before income is the normal and accepted in the system of American higher education as opposed to…..Austria where higher education is free. Here in the United States a standard State public four-year college program and many other colleges have buried many people in unforgivable, unsecured debt before providing the chance for economic generation. Now I don’t want to put all the blame on the schools, they are getting what they can, which is the standard Capitalistic money hustle game at its best. I got what you want so you are going to pay. I will have to put a good deal of the blame on the American government, allowing these institutions to charge these fees to their customer. The reason I blame the government is because the government is the underwriter of many of these loans.
Let me ask you this simple question, If the Government stated, for 2017 we will only fund up to 63% of the total funds based on the median tuition loan amount given in 2015? Do you think Tuition for public and private colleges across the country, including the price for room and board on college campus’ would drop across America overnight? HELLS YES!
I am seriously amazed at college financing. Based on the information presented by news reports, media outlets, Reddit.com, forums, and friends concerning student loans and the amounts they and the public owed to Sallie Mae and Fafsa (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The sum of freakish sums of money individuals and families borrowing for sending their children to college or university over several years is scary.
The Illusion of a sure thing
In my opinion, the student load epidemic makes the housing bubble look like we were 30 days overdue on a credit card payment. Student loan debt is out there lurking in our society and it is definitely a burden on the families and individuals who have participated in the fiasco of being in the college financial system. When I think about the situation student loans are basically unsecured debt ranging from $10,000.00 to excess of $300,000.00. Heaven forbid if a family has several children attending a major public or private university. I just don’t understand the logic. I do understand the need for an applicable education, most of which helps you to have a healthy conversation, because a student does is not place directly into a curriculum to achieve their educational goal.
I can remember prior to 2008 young college attendees were obtaining personal credit at an alarming rate, major credit card companies were getting into the act big time, basically giving lines of credit to people who had a pulse and appeared on a university campus at the credit card company’s booth. Believe me, the student loans and personal credit cards were flowing like wine at a wedding and they have not stopped, just switched gears. Now private companies have gotten into the act of providing student loans and financing. These private companies I hear are relentless 6 ~ 12 months after a student’s graduate or has not been enrolled in a college or university program.
My youngest daughter felt the aftermath of the 2008 credit bubble crash. She could no longer personally apply for loans after 2008 and obtaining grants was like pulling teeth with the Hubble telescope for some reason, most likely our household income. We were not well off in 2008, our house suffered for almost 2 years with decreased income during this period. We found she became lumped into the age cap placed on lending to minors. Effectively the measuring bar to qualify for student loans raised. WHICH MEANS, parents assume responsibility for their children’s education as primary borrowers with the child being possibly included to participate a secondary signer on the financial debt. WHAT!
Here is the funny little thing about parents providing for their children’s college education. If a family’s net income is let’s say, annual net $110,00.00 dollars . Many state institutions can exceed $22000 ~ $40,000.00 dollar a year, not including any other amenities the child will need to survive, the college experience may exceed 20%~36% of a family income. The number I am using was the college my daughter was attending. (I lost the battle in the family for her to go to a different school), and we did not make that much money so the percentage was higher, much higher. Therefore if you have a household income of less than $50k~$70K annually, oh boy look out.
Here is a good link from CollegeData.org with the 411 listing the State resident and Non State resident of a few schools. CollegeData411. Feel free to use this site CollegeData.org and check the data for yourself concerning tuition, $30K-$40 is not uncommon.
Default: the Student Loan Documentary (Broadcast Version)
Please, Please, Please watch the documentary, Default: The student loan documentary, the entire documentary may be found on Netflix, or Hulu. This is a very sobering film.
How can anyone repay these student loan amounts prior to securing a SAFE method of providing for their own family’s basic living requirement?
There is an answer. Don’t attend schools of higher education requiring a contract with the devil in hopes for a better life at some point in the future. If you cannot afford to attend college and leave the program without payable debt, look at different long-term strategies for education. The financing of our higher education system has placed a serious catch 22 upon the American public seeking that American Dream, who are bringing home less than $200K or greater annually.
The big kicker concerning college and universities for the middle class, only half graduate with a degree who enter college, but that debt remains even if the attendee does not complete the education.
You may be asking, what are the alternatives?
I’ll tell you, go to a 2yr college, community college or attend a trade school then figure out exactly the direction to pursue educationally. Start a small business, at least if you fail with a small business there is some usable experience.
If I am ranting, it is not just for my own sake, well maybe a little but I am passionate about families, individuals, the country and world to live as free and fully as possible. I truly understand the stress financial obligations many people experience, and desire for American’s to experience as little financial stress as possible. My major reason, stress of any sort particularly financial, detracts from all areas of your life.
Going forward for anyone looking to further their education, take into consideration so serious planning is required to educate yourself or your family, and I hope before you venture forward with caution and a low financial impact strategy.