A pilot's first solo flight is a big moment in his life. Your financial solo is a great moment in yours.
Some tips for the journey.
- You can be single without being solitary. Family, friends, coworkers and church can help you stay balanced spiritually, socially and financially.
- Don't despise small beginnings. Most good jobs require a period of underpaid hard work as the price for entry.
- Even if you're hoping to find that special someone, get your financial act together. About the time you can enjoy living on your own, your dreamboat will probably arrive.
- Learn to live beneath your means. You're the only retirement plan you've got.
- Save twice as much, say 20 percent of your income, if you're expecting to find a spouse. You'll need it.
- Don't wait to buy a home and take advantage of the current once-a-generation, low interest-rate opportunity. Just get a little extra space to accommodate a future family.
- Being responsible only for yourself means you can move anywhere and do anything to take advantage of opportunities. The world is your oyster.
- Don't be too proud to let your family help you. You can save a lot of money by staying at Mom's motel a while longer.
- Credit card companies love to entice singles because they usually have more free cash flow. Don't let yourself be enslaved by debt.
- Don't let universities sucker you into borrowing for an expensive four-year education. Work and save, go to community college and finish out your degree in a major that will make you money.
- Student debt is dangerous because, if you make a mistake, the debt can't be forgiven as other debts can. Don't borrow unless there is a good job awaiting you in your chosen field.
- Minimize your cash expenses by sharing accommodations with like-minded people and trading out your skills for services you need. You may never need to pay for a haircut again.
- Become financially literate by learning about investments and taxes. And don't be afraid to lose a little money, because the experience could save you thousands later.
- You can recover from a financial setback. Our role model, Abraham Lincoln, lost a lot of money in failed business but managed to build his life and reach his destiny anyway, and so can you.
- Remember Paul's admonition to Timothy: "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity" (1 Tim. 4:12).
Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.
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