Posted in Budgeting for Everyone, College & Student Loans, Debt Free, Saving for Your Future, You and Your Money

College – Is It Worth the Investment?

Clemson's Tillman Hall
Clemson’s Tillman Hall

Today on Twitter, I was participating in a chat on this very subject.  And, as always, I was truly fascinated by the answers to the question and a little concerned.  As a majority, we tend to see college as a must.  We even go so far as to look down on those without a college degree.  But realistically, college isn’t for everyone and in many cases isn’t even necessary.  College is only worth the investment if it is needed and if it is approached wisely and with a plan.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to go to school debt free.  And it was understood that I would go to college when I graduated, basically for the reason I stated above.  No one bothered to ask me what I was passionate about – no one bothered to help me find out what I would love to do every day if money wasn’t a factor.  I just went to college and got a degree in a subject that I was good at in school and had a decent pay grade in the workforce.

And I was miserable for the first 15 years of my adult life.  Many of our youth are heading to college because they are pressured into believing that it is the next logical step.  Guidance counselors are giving out the emails of all students with decent grades to colleges so that they can bombard them with propaganda to come to their school.  The pressure is high and as a result is creating a problem in this country.  We currently have $1.2 trillion in student loan debt.  And much of that debt is for degrees that were never finished or never used.

When deciding for yourself or helping your child decide what to do after high school, consider these 3 tips and consider them in the order that is presented.

  1. What is your passion? – Many careers don’t require a college education.  Some require no experience, some a certificate and some a small amount of vocational schooling.  Before you can decide what education path to take, you must first decide what you want to do – not just a j-o-b, but a career and a passion.  I always throw out the question “What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?”.  The saying “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life” is so true.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find this out until later in life, but I am so happy I did.  Because now I am doing what I love and I am guiding my 17 year old daughter to her passion – which by the way doesn’t require a college degree.  And odds are she will make more money than most because she will be working for herself.  Owning a small business is a great way to accomplish your passion and make lots of money if done correctly.  You should take some business courses, but it doesn’t require a degree – just some awesome mentoring from those who have been successful.
  2. What is the best way for me to get the education I need? – Once you determine the level of education you need, you then need to find the best way to get that education without becoming part of the statistic above.  You can pay for a 4 year degree with cash and without the help of parents, but you can only do it with a plan and determination.  You have no idea what your first job is going to be or how much you are actually going to be making.  Don’t mortgage your next 20 years if you don’t have to (and you don’t).
  3. Pay cash – This option is harder and may take a little longer, but I promise you it is the best way to invest in your future.  This is where I lose most people – if I haven’t already.  First of all, people don’t believe it can be done.  And secondly, they don’t want to do the work to make it happen.  Yes, it is easier now to sign up for the student loan.  But as millions are finding out, it is not the easiest in the long run.

Here’s the bottom line – I loved every minute of my college experience, but I wasn’t a fan of the 15 years I spent being miserable and not doing something that I was passionate about.  I was working a j-o-b to pay the b-i-l-l-s.  So find what you love to do, wisely get the education you need to get to follow that passion and do it with cash.  Live your dreams!

Buy any of Debbi’s award winning books on her website or on Amazon today.

Posted in Budgeting for Everyone, College & Student Loans, Debt Free, Saving for Your Future, Winning with Your Money

What About Me?

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We all at one time or another ask “But what about me?”.  Even the most selfless person will ask this question from time to time.  As a typical southern girl and a person of faith, I was raised to not be selfish and to always think of others first (which is not a bad thing, by the way).  And I have always said that selfish people do not become wealthy.

So why am I getting ready to teach you a situation where selfishness pays off?  Because it is not the form of selfishness where you don’t care about others and only care about yourself.  I am going to talk about a situation where being selfish will pay dividends for years to come.

When it comes to your money, there are scenarios where you need to be selfish.  Being selfless means that you don’t care about yourself and you put others first.  But when it comes to how you handle your money, doing what is best for you has to be the number one priority.  What works for you might not work for someone else and vice versa.  You have to be selfish and stick up for what will work for you and your financial success.

For many years, I did what everyone else told me I should do.  I even went to school for what my parents told me I should, not what I wanted to do.  After I graduated, I did what everyone told me was the next logical step.  However, the next logical step didn’t work for me.  Taking the next logical steps landed me in $200,000 of debt, divorced and very unhappy.  I am not blaming my parents or anyone else.  This is all on me – I made the decision to follow the crowd and not be true to myself.

When it comes to your career, how you handle your money, when or if you buy a house, who you marry (or if), if you go to college, or any other life decision, you have to be selfish and do what is right for you no matter what other people think.  It is always good to get advice with large decisions, but always remember that the final decision has to be yours and if someone gets upset, it is their problem, not yours.

Personal finance is personal.  This is true for every aspect of it.  This major lesson that I learned the hard way is what makes our coaching firm different from the rest.  Our only goal is to find what works for you.  One way or another, find what works for you and do it 110%!

http://www.abcsofpersonalfinance.com

**Make sure to visit Amazon to purchase Debbi’s award winning books in paperback and Kindle format.

Posted in Budgeting for Everyone, Building Wealth, College & Student Loans, Credit Cards, Debt Free, Raising Your Income, Saving for Your Future, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

Liar, Liar

We lie to ourselves all of the time.  No, really, we do.  We are so used to doing it that we don’t even realize it.  Lying to yourself and not walking in your truth, whatever it is, can be harmful at times and will never move you forward in your life.  This is especially true when it comes to your money.  Lying to yourself in the area of money can cause debt, keep you in debt, make you spend more than you make, have zero to very little money saved for emergencies and retirement and more.

I was reading an article a few days ago that listed what they thought were the top lies we tell ourselves in the area of money.  I mostly agreed with them so I wanted to share them with you and why I believe (knowledge and experience) that these lies can be harmful.  I hope this will help you and give you the courage you need to walk in your truth today.

  • Lie #1 – “I deserve it.”  We spend money we don’t have everyday just because we tell ourselves that we “deserve” something.  I would like to change this just a little.  I think the lie we tell ourselves the most is “I am entitled to it” and we hide that thought behind the “deserve”.  You may deserve a vacation – you have worked hard all year at your job and maybe you deserve a break.  However, you are not “entitled” to a vacation just because you exist on planet Earth.  This lie, in any form, can cause you to think that no matter what state your finances are in, it is okay to do whatever you want just because.  You can do anything you want, whether you deserve it or not, as long as you have the cash to do so.  If you are in debt and the only way you can go on vacation is to use a credit card, you shouldn’t go on vacation, even if you deserve it.
  • Lie #2 – “Money can’t buy happiness.”  Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy freedom which causes happiness.  Therefore, money can cause happiness.  However, in most people, money causes stress and anxiety.  When you don’t owe anyone and you have money in the bank, you can be happy because you are not worried about paying a bill or dealing with any emergency.  Use you money for good by getting out of debt, saving and live on less than you make.  Then your money will buy you a “little happy.”
  • Lie #3 – “I don’t make enough to save or invest.”  This is a lie, plain and simple.  I teach children and teens everyday to take the $10 a week they make and save 10% of it, give 10% of it and spend the other 80%.  The problem is we spend 100% or more leaving us with nothing to invest or save.  If this is your excuse for not saving, the problem isn’t your income or what you make, it is your lifestyle and what you spend.  If you always live on less than you make, you will always have money to save and invest, even if it is only $10/week.  Start somewhere.
  • Lie #4 – “Debt is the new normal.”  I have written a lot about this because it is the number one myth about money in the country today.  Debt does not have to be a part of your life.  Debt is no longer in my life and I live just fine, great in fact.  We are taught to believe that we can’t function in the world without debt and we can.  You can live a better life without debt than you would ever live with debt.  Do not accept debt as the “norm”.  If you do, you will never be wealthy.  Wealthy people do not have debt, they have money.
  • Lie #5 – “College is a must and a loan is the only way to pay for it.”  This is a huge lie.  If you believe this, please read my blog “No Loan College”.  It is my most popular post to date because people believe this lie.  First step in life is to find your passion, what will make you smile everyday and will make you happy.  Then find out what you need (education, knowledge, certification, etc.) to do this out in the world.  And if it does require college, you can get a degree without ever taking out a student loan.  Don’t mortgage your future on an uncertainty.  Go for the gold, but be wise in getting there.  You will never regret it.

Love yourself enough to stop lying to yourself.  When I began my truth walk years ago, it was painful at first.  The truth hurts.  But I would never be where I am today, financially or personally, if I would have had the courage to begin that walk.  Begin your walk of truth today, push through the pain, all the way through to freedom.

 

**If you need help with your walk, give me a call or email me.  www.abcsofpersonalfinance.com