Advice for My Fellow Seniors

Carlton Webster Jr., Columnist

On May 17th, I attended a meeting for the Detroit Economics’ Club under Dakota’s own Mrs. Knives at the Federal Reserve (Chicago Division), the topic that today, money. But more importantly tips of on spending and good habits to make when it comes to saving and spending in general. Very important tips to know especially at this age, it is for that reason that I formulated a list of 3 most important financial tips for my peers.

1. There are good forms of debt

Not all debt is bad, there is such thing as good debt. For example, student debt and home investments. Good debt is a result of personal needs as oppose to the debt accumulated by the personal wants of the buyer/investor. Such bad debit, as it were, can include borrowing money for vacation, unnecessary shopping, etc.

2. Live within your means and never reward yourself without reason

While, yes, it is much easier, in the short term, to simply take out a loan for vacation or more rewarding to spend an extra couple of bucks getting a desert while out to eat or a second coffee from Starbucks in the morning to keep yourself going through your day to day business; it is both a hindrance to yourself in the long term and can land you in crisis in the future. What is easy and what is effective is seldom the same at times. It is important to remember these things and keep them in mind. Ask yourself: “Do I need a second coffee?” “Do I need that, or do I simply want it?” Not to say that a person should not treat themselves every now and then, but it should not be a habit nor without reason. For example, you’ve just saved over 2 grand and you’re now closer than ever to your goal, go ahead enjoy yourself get that coffee or get that desert because you’ve pushed yourself to save and ration long enough to seek out your goal to it’s “reward” phase.

3.  Set, for yourself, S.M.A.R.T goals

It was once said by the American Author, Napoleon Hill, that: “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” But what does it mean to set, for one’s self, a S.M.A.R.T goal? Well it means to formulate a goal that is: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.  a goal should always be specific, measurable (via smaller goals), realistic and attainable, and always have a deadline, set in stone. If I want to go to Florida for Summer, I should align my plans for payment, travel, housing, and time based on these guidelines. Without them, it will as if I had plans to go to the moon—a joke.

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