Understanding the importance of personal finance is a key factor in being successful in life. It is hard to do much of anything if you are unable to manage your money. Most high schools today don’t teach teenagers the importance of finance despite the fact credit card companies will mail them cards upon their graduation. I believe this one of the reasons why the average American family today owes about $10,000 in credit card debt. They simply do not understand how to manage their money, or they lack the discipline to do so.
The first step in avoiding debt is to simply not borrow money. If you want something that you can’t afford to pay for with cash, you probably don’t need it. If you really want it, you should save up your money and buy it. By doing this you will become disciplined and stay out of debt at the same time. It is easy to get a credit card or a loan to buy something. It takes discipline and hard work to save up enough money to buy it. Saving money has always been a simple path to building wealth. The more money you save, the wealthier you’ll become.
Many people are distracted by the bells and whistles of the many electronic products which flood the market today. Many people fail to realize that the digital camera or iPod you pay $200 for today won’t be worth anything tomorrow. Electronics almost always depreciate in value. Why go out and use a credit card to buy expensive electronics when they will lose their value after they’re purchased?
One way to effectively manage your money is to develop a wholesale mentality. When I say this I mean that you should consider not paying retail prices for electronics, furniture, or other goods. You should think about paying wholesale prices for these goods rather than retail, especially if they depreciate in value. Instead of going to the mall or furniture store to shop for clothes or furniture, why not go to a clothing outlet or thrift store?
Many people become wealthy and debt free by simply saving their money, paying wholesale prices for goods, and placing some of their savings in safe investments like IRA accounts. They often will only have one credit card if any, and the amount of money they have saved up will be much larger than the balance they owe on their credit card. This is the real secret to wealth. The get rich quick schemes and late night infomercials are disinformation which will not give you true answers.
Avoiding debt and maintaining good credit is another key of financial success. It is important to understand the 80/20 principle when dealing with personal finance. You will want to avoid doing what 80% of the population does. Most people owe tens of thousands of dollars on credit cards, student loans, or car loans. Others use payday loans between paychecks to make ends meet. This puts them in a cycle of debt which will keep them from ever becoming wealthy or retiring in comfort. The credit card companies and banks continue to make billions while most consumers are getting further into debt.