I just ordered a book by Stacy Johnson titled “Life or Debt 2010: A New Path to Financial Freedom,” which I discovered in “My 10 Dumbest Money Moves - And How You Can Avoid Them.” I raced to Amazon and ordered the book due to a quote under mistake number 3: Attempting to derive self-esteem from possessions, “You can either look rich or be rich, but you probably won’t live long enough to accomplish both.”
Think about that for just a minute. How much money have you squandered on appearance? What could you have done with that money instead? Are you sacrificing your future security to buy trendy clothes, a fancy car or more house than you can afford? Owning nice things is wonderful - IF you can afford them. But if owning nice things means payments over time, then you don’t really own them - they own you.
Now, I’m not saying that all debt is bad. I know that a mortgage is the only way most people will ever own a home; I’ve had a few mortgages myself. An education is also an investment in the future that may be worth financing. Just be realistic about what you can afford and err on the side of caution. Buying a modest house or attending a local college will usually accomplish the same goal at a much lower cost.
Back to the book. No, I don't really need it as we've been completely debt free for nearly a decade - but I love reading and passing along this kind of book. Yes, I’ve included an Amazon affiliate link for your convenience. However, when you get to Amazon, check out the available used copies. I just ordered mine for $5.76 including shipping, which is well below the price of a new copy. Better yet, although it wasn’t an option for me, check your local library and borrow the book for free. Happy reading!