If I knew then what I know now (part 2)

Last week, I posted a blog on a recent survey I conducted with about 100 people who are in my circles.  I asked them a very simple question. “What is one thing you know now, that you wished you knew when you graduated high school?”  I received a lot of different answers and part 1 of this series I wrote about one of the responses I received.  Click on this link to read part 1 of the series.    http://wp.me/p4eY1f-gI

In part 2 I want dive deeper into one of the responses I received.

#1 response was financial:

About 50% of the respondents said that they wish they knew or understood finances better then.  I would agree with this response.  Because I didn’t know either.  However, my follow-up to that response would be do you really understand them now?  Or do you think you understand them.

There are many factors to your finances and I must say that I am not an expert on finances whatsoever, but I listen and study people who are.  I don’t take advice from broke people, or people who appear to have money because they have lots of things.  Nope! I listen to the experts and I listen to a lot of them that have varying beliefs on money and finances and then I do what I think is best. My mentor said if you want to have money, study people who have money.  So that is what I do.

For the recent grads that may be reading this or anyone else.  When it comes to money, there are really only two pieces.  Debt and Income.  After three years of listening to Dave Ramsey’s radio show, I have listened to 100’s of callers call in and discuss their money. (Everyday for three years I have listened)  In every situation, it comes down to one of these two things.  The callers either have a debt problem or an income problem.  Which by the way, both are controlled by you.  In my study in my own personal experiences this is true as well.

Debt: The bottom line is if you look to your right and you look to your left, most likely the people who you are looking at (if you around some people, if you aren’t, go get around some people) but two out of the three of you are in debt to your eye balls.  Two of you are paying payments on cars that you can’t afford to drive, you have student loans that have been around so long that your mindset is that you will just always have them, and lastly you are not planning well for the future.  That is two out of three of you.  Hey, I can say that, because I used to be one of the two.

Income: Not to sound like a hypocrite to what I said in the above paragraph regarding student loan debt.  But to increase your income you must increase your knowledge, skills, and education.  This may require you to go to school.  My mentor Dave Ramsey would say you should never go into debt for your education, if you have to go into debt for your education, you can’t afford it.  I get this and I understand it.  However, I am suggesting you be wise in your investment into your education.  Don’t drop $100,000 thousand dollars on a fine arts degree where you can become a barista at Starbucks.  The proverbial starving artist with a lot of student loan debt.

As I said the purpose of eduction is to get increase your skills so you can make more money, just be careful on what and how much you invest into your education and make sure there is return on the investment quickly. And do anything you possibly can to not have to go into debt.  Work as many jobs as you have to, save as much as you have to, and look for free money as much as you can.

A motto that I have always lived by is very simple.  Keep my revenue high (income) and my expenses low (debt).  A very simple strategy.

The bottom line is money and finances isn’t everything, however, it certainly does help.  The more money you have the more you can do for yourself and others.  This is just the reality of life.

As I stated 50% of the respondents said they wished they understood finances better.  Well, since you know that now, start today and get your finances where you want them to be.  Keep your debts low and invest in yourself so you can increase your income.

To your success and your future.




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