The Ten-Step Guide to College Financial Aid By Zachary Freeman

When Money Becomes Ugly: Cultivating Personal Skills, Not Personal Debts

Many people would love to know what the key to success is.  Unfortunately, I cannot confidently answer that, but I can tell you what the answer is not: debt.  When speaking, I always make it a point to set out the lone ground rule of my deposition: debt is bad.  According to Dave Ramsey, the number one cause of divorce in America is money problems.  In fact, most couples that are successful in avoiding money problems can attribute their financial stability to early financial planning.  What does this mean for the young student getting ready to start their financially independent life?  DON’T ACQUIRE DEBT, AT ALL COSTS.

Ever since the birth of credit, people have decided that it is okay to buy things that they really cannot afford, including college educations.  People build up this idea that the deciding factor between their future success and future failure is some piece of paper with some ink on it from some college that has had a lot of people receive that same piece of paper before you did.  Don’t get me wrong; knowledge is the key to success, but debt is not.

Today, I share with you the short story of a successful publishing company vice-president, Successful Man A:

Successful Man A went to community college, transferred to a public in-state university, and became an executive that makes a high six-figure salary.  When asked about his opinions on education, he simply stated that people spend too much.

Did Successful Man A become successful because he got an elite education and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars?  No.  He became successful because he got a good education and had the personal skills required to land an important, well-paying job.  Of course, this didn’t happen overnight, but you better believe that his current employer was far more excited about the skills that he brought to the table than the name on his undergraduate degree.

A big ol’ number on the bank account balance statement is commonly regarded as one of the most beautiful things on Earth.  Money quickly becomes an ugly, wart-covered, fire-breathing, baby-panda-eating monster when that big number becomes negative.  Cultivate personal skills, not personal debts.



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