Contribute To High School Money Book: Part Three

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 Three  Debt

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

What were the first debts you ever obtained, and how did they impact your financial situation?  Share stories!

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  1. Do You Dave Ramsey? on May 12, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Great question…. the first debt that I obtained was for my first car. My parents actually paid cash for the car and I paid them through my summer and after school jobs. This worked out pretty well but it created a level of comfort with debt. In college I signed up for a credit card and quickly bought I $1100 stereo that I “had to have”. Because I maintained a balance on that card for about 15 years prior to paying off that card it felt like I was paying for that stereo forever!

    When I have kids and they start to think about wanting a car – in fact I’ll start earlier than that – I’ll let them know that debt is not an option and that they need to save. I’ll help by matching or gifting but I will not gently introduce them to debt.

    Thanks for allowing our contributions!

  2. Queen on May 12, 2009 at 6:56 am

    My first debt was a student loan taken to study abroad. I didn’t actually end up taking the trip because of other reasons. However, at the time, someone convinced me to keep the money rather than giving it back since interest would not be applied until after graduation. They thought it would be better served as emergency money throughout the school year.

    Needless to say, I didn’t save the money in an account or do anything relevant with the money that I can remember. Five years later…still paying on that loan and trying to remember exactly what I did with that money.

    Even if I would have had an immediate need for the money aside from the trip, I should have spent the rest of my college career making payments on it (especially given that it was an interest free loan…UNTIL after graduation).

  3. Ann on May 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Hey Joe,
    In High School I drove an old 1960 Ford Falcon that I was very ashamed of. So when I married we thought that we would do the grown up thing and go into debt for a brand new, shiny, bright yellow Camero that would fly. After several payments, insurance, and of course a few tickets later we had to let the car go back. Yep, it was repossessed. We literally could not afford it. Not only did we not have the car anymore, but we had to make payments to the bank because the car did not re-sale for the amount the bank loaned us. What fools we were.

    I’ve had car payment since then, but only what I really could afford, until I learned how to become debt free. I wish I could say that I learned at a young age but I didn’t, so now I try to tell others how they can win without debt. Keep up the great work Joe.

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