The Three Little Pigs Are BROKE!

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As a child, I loved the story of the three little pigs.  But just imagine if the Three Little Pigs had a debt problem.  To be fair, sometimes we have no choice but to acquire debt: medical emergencies, loss of a job, school loans, etc.  But we must avoid choosing debt to fulfill “wants”.  If there is no emergency, and you simply have a “want”- pause for a few days and think.  Is there a better strategy? Ask yourself, what if I placed the same amount for this “want”, in my investment account. Think!
 

THREE LITTLE DEBT RIDDEN PIGS
Piggy #1:  A recent college graduate, no job.  Buys an engagement ring on store credit.  The store told him we have, “great terms.”  You buy the ring today and no payments or interest for 12 months.  What can go wrong?  But that size six (6) font (you know the contract language you NEVER read) says after 12 months, your accumulated interest at 19% is applied immediately after year one ends.  By the way, they have this calculated to the second!  So at the beginning of year two you owe ~$3,623 (assuming you were kind/dumb enough to make zero payments.). Credit card company scores!    Piggy #1- DUMB.
 
Piggy #2, decides he needs a 75 inch flat screen TV.  What real man does not!!  He is struggling to pay his rent, cannot afford to pay cash and has poor credit, so he does the logical thing and rents a 75 inch, brand spanking new” flat screen TV.  His boys are going to blow their minds!  By the way, I am jealous as I do NOT have a 75 inch, 4D Smart, Flat Screen!  Sorry, back to Piggy #2.  He pays ~$150/month.  Amazon sells a 75 inch TV for ~$1300. With extended warranties, the rental company can rent this set for 8 years or more.  So the rental store is planning on making ~$14,000, or more.  I actually looked at one of these businesses as an investment.  But then I woke up.  Actually my wife said HELL NO!!  So the winner in this deal, the rental company.  Piggy #2- DUMB
 
Piggy #3, is a brilliant high school senior.  She receives a full ride from a good Illinois State University, her home state.  But her heart is set on an out of state college, so she rejects the full ride and enrolls as an out of state student, at the college of her choice.  With $0 scholarship and financial assistance.  She pays out of state tuition.  And will graduate with a debt ~$150,000.  Winner- The College.  Piggy #3- DUMB.
 
The above are pulled from my imagination, with some help from reality.  Each of the above pigs, had a choice.  They choice debt.  So let’s read how the working wealthy make their decisions.

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WHAT DO U.S. MILLIONAIRES HAVE TO SAY:
• Always spend less than you earn.  Live within your means NOT yours and OTHER PEOPLE’s dreams. 
• Avoid dumb debt, like the plague.
• Pay off your credit cards in full every month. 
• Live in a apartment or house that is significantly less than you can afford. You can bank and invest the difference.
• You do not need a $700, six year, car payment.  Do not pay attention to what your neighbors and friends drive.  Majority are flat broke and in DEBT!
 
YOUR JOURNEY TO WEALTH
• If you have debt, build a strategy to pay off as much debt as you can as quickly as possible. Start with the highest interest rate debt.  Once you get used to living below your means, you will be amazed how much debt you can eliminate.  Then you are well on your way to a journey of wealth!
• College Loans are a national problem and some of you may owe five and six figures of debt.  There are a number of good articles you can find using Google, which share tips on how some people pay their college loans off years early. {Future Blog Topic}
• Does it make sense to place money in a saving accounts that pays less than 1% interest rate while you are paying 16%+ or more to credit cards and others? Depending on the type of debt, you may be better off prioritizing paying your debt, especially credit card debt, versus building your savings.
• An exception to above:  If your company matches X%  in a 401 plan, save that percentage in your 401.  You cannot afford to give free money away.
 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT DEBT? Proverbs 22:7
 
“The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”
When this was written, debt wasn’t as prevalent as it is today. The United States, meaning all of us, are in debt for $21 trillion. And the US has accumulated unfunded liabilities of ~62 Trillion. The U.S. is BROKE!

College graduates owe over $1.5 Trillion in college loans. And many CANNOT find a job! The only way I know to become wealthy when loaded with debt is to win the lottery. What are those odds again?

42% OF AMERICANS AT RISK OF RETIRING BROKE!
At present, 42% of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings, according to GOBankingRates. Many are likely to retire broke. We all have to make decisions regarding debt. The choice is ours. I made bad debt decisions in my past. {Next Week’s Blog} I fortunately came to realize I must eliminate and avoid debt. Debt is MORONIC, DUMB, EVIL. Clear enough?

START REDUCING YOUR DEBT – BECAUSE YOU ARE SMARTER THAN 535 US CONGRESS PEOPLE! GUARANTEE IT

Powers Investments Management, LLC

This blog will provide, information and simple strategies, that will assist you to achieve YOUR financial objectives and long term targets. For over 30 years, I solved multi-million dollar problems, for Fortune 10-250, companies. My formal education includes: Business, Finance and Chemical Engineering {Problem Solving} at: Harvard, Rutgers and North Carolina State. And an additional 30+ years, managing my family’s investment decisions. I currently manage/advise people with net-worths ranging from the tens of thousands to several million dollars.

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