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With graduation season in full swing, many young adults are graduating from college and other institutions of higher learning. Many of these graduates will be leaving school with both a diploma and debt. Here are 10 foundational money management skills to get out of debt and stay out of it for good.
Christmas is a little more than two months away. Can you believe it? For some people, the thought of Christmas coming so soon brings anxiety. In a perfect world, we’d save all year round to cover Christmas expenses. But that’s not realistic for most people, including me. The last thing you need on top of work deadlines, family visits, and Christmas shopping is debt from the expenses of the season.
I know you hear it at the start of every year: you need a budget! The nagging gets tiring, even if you know or think you need one. Budgets have a bad connotation. They’re restrictive, inflexible, complicated, time-consuming, and difficult to keep. They don’t allow for any fun. And how are you supposed to know what will come up in the future? Your income and expenses may fluctuate.
Is one of your goals to spend less and save more this year? That’s definitely one of my goals. Did you know that even just a few years ago, one of the hardest things for me to do was cut back on my spending? I mean unnecessary spending of any sort. You know, shopping as a hobby, a pastime, a salve, a stress reliever, a fun get-together, a pick-me-up, an emotional crutch, or an impulsive behavior.
“Hello. This is Michael from the IRS. I’m calling to inform you that you owe $15,000 in back taxes. This is your last notification.”
“What do you mean I owe $15,000? What do I do?”
Does this exchange sound familiar? You’ve probably received a call like this at some point in the past few years.
During one March a few years ago, I didn’t spend any money on fun and entertainment. I have an entertainment category in my budget, but I just happened not to dip into it. When I reviewed my budget at the end of the month, I was so happy with my lack of spending that I committed to keeping it going. You can already see where this is going, huh?
Have you heard of Rich Dad Poor Dad? If you’ve read some financial books or even read lists of must-read financial books, then you probably have. The book is a best seller. It’s been reviewed hundreds of times. It’s considered a staple in the financial literacy canon. So what can I add? Well, I’m going to take an unpopular stance
What would you do if your fiancé came to you a month before your wedding and revealed that he had $370k of debt?Sadly, this is a true story. I was browsing the boards of a wedding website a few months ago when I read this post. The woman’s fiancé told her about his $370k of debt only about a month and a half before their wedding.
Several years ago, I realized that I didn’t know enough about how to manage my money. I budgeted and put money in my 401(k), but I knew that there was still so much out there I didn’t know. I visited the library one day and browsed the section on personal finance books. I picked out a few I thought were introductory level, took them home, and started reading.
If there ever were a time to feel like spending money, it may be with the arrival of your first paycheck. Now that it’s July, graduation season has just finished. If you’re a lucky new grad, you have a job lined up or one on the horizon. And with that new job and those first few paychecks may come the urge to spend on what you couldn’t afford before.