Contribute To High School Money Book: Part Five

I announced HERE that I am in the process of writing my next book.  It will be a book that is addressed to high school students, and I am sharing 12 Things I Wish I Had Learned About Money Before I Hit The Real World

That is not necessarily the title, and it might end up being 10 things or 15 things.  All I know is that I want (and need) your help in writing this book!

For the next five days, I am going to ask you to take a couple minutes of your time and share some things you wish you would have learned about specific money topics.

There will be two ways for you to share your idea – in the comments or by clicking "E-mail Joe" at the top of the sidebar here at

Part Five  Financial Decision-Making

Here is the question that I want to hear your thoughts on today:

What is the best financial decision you have ever made?  What led to that decision?  How would you teach young people to make that type of decision?  Share stories!

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  1. Do You Dave Ramsey? on May 14, 2009 at 6:00 am

    My single best financial decision was to create my first spending plan or budget.

    I had a bad habit of allowing my bills to accumulate each month and when I finally sat down to pay them there were always some that were late or almost late AND there was always more bill than money in my account.

    This was so aggrevating because I made OK money – certainly enough to pay my bills – but I was not keeping track of that money. I’d buy stuff and go out to eat and not keep up with the math until it was too late… again.

    Finally, I had an ‘enough is enough’ moment and organized all my bills according to thier due dates and ‘assigned’ them to one of my 2 monthly pay periods.

    From there it was EASY to regain control and know when to write checks and when not too!

    I’ve later automated many of my recurring bills (utilities, mortgage, etc) so I don’t even have to write checks but the money is paid out in accordance to when the money flows in.

    The addition of this structure has been quite liberating and has saved me time and money over the last several years.

    Thanks again for allowing me to share!

  2. Kim Perkins on May 14, 2009 at 7:14 am

    I own a car/truck/van that is at least 5-10 years old.

    In 1995 I owned a 1987 Acura/ 10-12th grade
    In 1998 I owned a 1992 Honda/ College
    In 2003 I owned a 1998 Camry/ Marriage
    Now I have I 1998 Van/ Kids

  3. Travis Chapman on May 14, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I made the decision to work 30 hours a week during college to reduce the amount of student loan debt I accumulated. I was able to buy books, pay fees and living expenses including rent and avoid $1,000s of extra dollars in debt. When I went back to get my Masters degree I worked an extra job as an After School Program director in order to write a $1,000 check for tuition every two months for the first year until my first child was born. This saved me around $6,000 in additional debt. Honestly, I wanted to be able to say I made it on my own. I also wanted to be out from under debt as early in life as possible.

    However, the BEST decision I have made financially is to tithe and trust God with my money. He has helped me do above and beyond what I thought was possible. My wife resigned from her teaching position about a year and a half ago due to some health issues. We took a $30,000 cut in wages. We already had one child and since then we have added another to our family. Somehow, we have been able to stay in our home, pay all our bills, and pay down debt at the same time. That is not possible without God! He has provided for us beyond belief!

  4. Cockadoodaldoom on May 15, 2009 at 4:06 am

    Waiting to buy a house until I had paid off most of our debt (credit cards and one car). Not sure how I would have been able to make a mortgage while having to pay those off, but I almost convinced myself I could pull it off.
    Also, learning about compound interest (both the positive and negative effects of it). I remember learning about it in math class, but it was never taught how it could improve (or dis-improve) my life.

  5. Ronald Hough on May 15, 2009 at 10:10 am

    We paid off our mortgage in 5 years instead of 30 years. Saved about 2 times the price of the house. Last year my wife got layed off from work and we had no mortgage or other debts, while it was emotionally painful, it was not catastrophic. Existing without any debt has made our lives much easier.

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