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Ways to avoid debt when first starting out/staring over?


Sophia
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I would like to compile some tips for the younger people in my family so they don't make the mistakes many of us have in our lives with debt. What are some tips you would give to a 15 to 22 year old about avoiding debts and never facing the black hole that is endless debt? 

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My oldest child just got her first job. She is 16 and I have been trying to teach about money management for years now. 

Here are some of the lessons we have tried to pass down. 

-Save, save, save! You may not need it today and you may not need it tomorrow but you may need it at some point in the future. 
-Plan. You need to understand where you are going to understand the actions you need to take today.
-Build a budget. Yes even my 16 year old needs a budget. She has gas to buy for her car, clothing, and needs to start saving up for first months rent and a deposit for when she eventually moves out. We assisted with her first car but she has some obligations with that too.
-Help them understand debt. We did this by only covering 50% of her first car then the other 50% is a loan from us to her. She makes monthly payments and is set to be paid off by time she is 18. 
-Balancing your finances! Knowing is half the battle! Teach them how to do what we used to call balancing a checkbook. 
-Teach them how money should work for them. Investing! All my kids started buying stocks at a young age and have got to watch their money grow over years doing absolutely nothing but the original chores they did to earn that capital. 
-Give. Once you have enough to feel secure with your plans and goals make sure to give back in your own way.

Remind them patience is important and they should not buy things they can not afford today. Yeah I know she got a car but she has enough cash saved from all her birthdays and chores to pay for it but we have it being saved on her behalf right now for the future. We also wanted a way to teach getting used to regular bills we experience as adults. 

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Never use credit as a mean of a "need" more than a tool for build your credit. Spend on plastic only the money you know you are 100% good for. This is something I learned young and believe me, it makes a difference. 

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