Oxymoron? depends on your point of view of debt, especially as a college student. Face it if your human you can and will be controlled by your emotions. No escaping it, after all, that is why most people are in major debt today. We love new things and must have that new tech, jacket, watch or shoes.
Being the first, fastest, or the most bling, makes us feel special. We have power, we are in control, let us get what we want. Most seem to live by the old saying “the one who dies with the most toys, wins.” In truth, the only winners are the wholesalers and the banks.
Wells Fargo took this fact and ran with it, though you should not run unless you take your blindfold off first. They need to learn that from a bank what gives good feelings, is not the look of the credit card but the service to your customers. If you would like to read about their blind running check out “Does your credit card make you feel more attractive? Wells Fargo wants to know” by David Lazarus
If you would like a more detailed breakdown of spending habits and emotions look at “Know the 8 emotional spending triggers” by Gary Foreman. Little old but excellent article, and check out Gary’s own personal site for useful tips.
How to make Debt Joyful
What really would make us happy is to owe nothing and have plenty. So how to get there? First, make a budget (The “B” Word) now sprinkle it with joy! There are several thoughts on debt repayment strategies, any Google search will lead you to hours of reading. (or sleeping only so much before the lids close) The two leads are the Avalanche or the Snowball method. Now I hate snow, moved 2000 miles to get away from it. So, I personally use a mixed method and since we want to add a little fun l will call it the “Mojito method”
Those are methods for when you have a lot of debt, I will touch on them another time for those students that are in that situation. Here the tips might be better for those students who at the start of financial life, however, this will help if you already buried as well. Since mindset is needed in throughout the debt lifecycle.
Before going down a long path of paying down debt though, see if you qualify for the student loan forgiveness program. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Learn to like yourself, be content with who you are. Is there room for improvement, sure we are all growing. Just be a bit introspective, figure out yourself and picture the kind of person you want to be, the person you want others to see you as. Then work from that, not flopping day by day, moment by moment or acquaintance by acquaintance. Picture the person YOU like and work to be that, you will find real friends along the way.
Why matter for debt? Ever hear the acronym HALT? Hungry Angry Lonely Tired, this is used for debt relief measures too. Many unnecessary purchases are made because of these four items. Knowing yourself gives you the POWER to HALT before it even STARTS! So, you are in control, the base impulses in check, and you have removed to some great extent others influences on you.
Remember, advertisers, are trying to convince us we need something else to be that better person. It is easy to be caught when we do not know ourselves who we are to be. Learn your future self, put insecurities out, and your buying power will be self-regulated.
Set goals, now we have already set the major goal in your life, who your future self will be, but that is the light at end of a never-ending tunnel. What we need here are ones that give us happiness and joy. Those are accomplished goals, ones we get done, can see ourselves drawing a line through on the todo list. These goals must be specific, measurable, and realistic, with short timelines. If you see a longtime goal, like your future self, break it into steps and each step is a goal. After all, why are you in college? To reach your future self. So, graduation, passing semester, passing class, break down into manageable goals.
As a student, pay bills on time, save $5.00 a week, learn to read your bank statement. (I’m surprised at how many adults don’t know how to do a bank reconciliation when 10 minutes could save hundreds in overdraft fees.) Create a spending plan, it helps you keep the division between wants and needs. If you’re a highly visual person like myself, make a “vision” or “goal” board so you can see the plan. Have a goal to create a new inexpensive Ramon Noodle dish each week, write it down a good college recipe cookbook is a great side hustle.
Learn your school and make it a habit for the future. It is shocking how many people work for a company for years and never learn of all the benefits that are included with it. The same goes for colleges, each one has different benefits that you can make use of to keep costs down. There are many discounts for college students, with some being specific to your college.
Keep track of the school event calendar, usually, food included, and if you stay and help you get to take some of the extra, home with you. The libraries are more than just books, TV, internet, Skype, with private workrooms. Watch for giveaways, also usually included with many events. Keep an eye open for contests and school trips, again even if not your class they may need volunteers.
Social events with clubs, have a hobby? There is more than likely a club for it, which will have its own benefits. Different campuses of the same school, check them out usually different specialties have different advantages. Yet, as a student, you are usually entitled to enjoy as well.
Time to Party
Not really party, but celebrate. Every goal you meet, every new adventure you take, enjoying who you are. These all deserve to be celebrated. Now look at what is in front of you, be imaginative and come up with a small, lavish treat for yourself.
That free notepad becomes decorations, those free pens become a tripod holder or pen gun to shoot. Breakopen that unused 2litter of free soda, do not forget to save the bottle for crafts. It all depends on you, and what you like.
Me I took 3 broken computers that others threw away and made 1 working system, it was great the money disbursed to me instead of bookstore paid some of my monthly bills. Celebrated by using school’s free Wi-Fi to browse around meaninglessly for an hour or so.
Kept the joy of having a convenient future he’s focus
Listen to find out the sacrifices he made, how much he had to work to get this done, and how to do it all on a teachers salary.
His 4 financial focuses, which he goes into detail about are:
1. Live below your means until you don’t have to anymore.
2. Don’t finance stuff you don’t need.
3. Let your friends pass you up.
4. Work really hard and then make your money work for you.