New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | September 28, 2020

Editorial: Advice to manage finances at an early age

By Robb Johnson | August 31, 2020 1:11 pm

The world can be a dark place and there are some things are out of our control. One thing that we can control are our finances. This is my outlet to give advice to young people on how to handle their money before it gets out of hand.

When I was in college, I received a refund check after paying for my classes and books. I thought these thousands of dollars was going to last me a while. But when the reality of paying for gas, food, paying bills, and taking out a girl a few dozen times, I had no money left. I was in college with rims on my car that I bought from someone. My dad looked at me and said, “You do not need those.” Like a hard-headed fool, I thought I was so cool. He predicted that the tired would need to be replaced more than a few times. They did. The car had transmission trouble that drained an entire paycheck. This put me in a further financial home.

Looking back, I realize it’s okay to live basic. It’s okay to save money and retire one day and that was when my perspective changed. Sure, I made some dumb choices in my 20s and even early 30s, but I decided that being more responsible was the only way to go.

The goal in life is not to save money for a rainy day, but for a monsoon. We are in a current monsoon with COVID-19. Currently, the rich are getting richer and that is not by accident. You must expand your mind and your hustle. Sitting on the sidelines will get you nowhere.

Hope does not pay the bill and change cannot happen unless you’re willing to make the necessary sacrifices. Life is about sacrifices, such as putting off that vacation or big shiny car. You may have to make those sacrifices so that you can be debt free and live a good life.

Today, we live in a day and time with more information than ever. Stop using excuses to why you don’t have anything when you’re older. Life circumstances are understood, but the magic age of 18 isn’t when you shouldn’t start taking responsibility. It should be before.

I look at my life and I know that I could be so much further ahead of the game if I just used my brain when it came to money management. Sometimes it’s too late for some people. For me, I was able to look inside myself and remove excuses to know what I need to do to achieve a dream of being debt free. Hopefully within the next five years, I will be calling my own shots instead of having to be obligated to someone else’s demands.

It’s okay to call yourself the boss. It’s about owning land and it’s about being in control of your destiny and legacy. These things may take time, but anything less is unacceptable. The only standard is the gold standard in life. Challenge yourself to be greater than yourself.