When I was a young child, I counted the years until I was free of the treachery of school. I added up all the middle school years ahead of me, then the high school and finally college. It seems like an infinity waiting until the days that I would become an adult.
A few short decades later I was a man with a long and difficult mission. Graduate from college without debt. My tuition was paid, but I needed to ensure my living expenses were covered.
I went the entire year without heating or cooling the apartment. I have unfortunate memories of trying to fall asleep in the 80-degree Alabama heat.
I drove an old, crappy, and uncomfortable Honda Fit (which I still drive) and rode my bike to class to avoid parking fees.
Why do I do all of this? To avoid debt and skip the burden of paydown.
There are three stages of personal finance.
- Getting back to even
- Saving and Accelerating
- Living and Giving
I skipped the first step. Having a long-term view made me years ahead of my peers.
While in college I inherited a hefty sum of money, but I still didn’t skip the second step. I got a job, making 60k a year as an IT specialist. I still work for the same company today.
Under a year after graduation, my wife and I paid 246,000 for a 2,500 square foot house. We knew the house could be nice if we fixed it up and made some smart investments.
In just over 6 years we’ve saved over $600,000.
My peers have nice cars, boats, and dumb toys. I have money.
All for the goal of being able to live life on my terms.
We all have a choice. Live in the moment, or sacrifice for a better future. Think long-term.