Wealth, Debt, And Why I Only Have One

Posted by admin - 12/10/10 at 04:10 pm

Lesson #1: Never buy a giant "Debt" sculpture.

Confession time. I’m not necessarily what you’d call “good with money.”

When I bought my house, I read all the documents, worked out the numbers, and came up with a financial gameplan where I would pay roughly nine hundred bucks a month for my house, with about three dollars of that going to the principal, six hundred to the interest, and the rest to a Swiss bank account to support my broker’s Beanie Baby habit.

I always think through the matter, but when you never have any money, you never learn how to handle money.

You only learn how to either squander it, or hold on to it tightly. I tend to do the latter, even when I shouldn’t. I see books with titles like “Wealth Management,” and I have no idea what that means.

Wouldn’t “Wealth Management” be great, kids? I’ll tell you, it beats “Debt Management” all to Heck. Wealth management involves investment and a portfolio. Debt management involves wearing a jacket with deep pockets and helping yourself to all the Whataburger ketchup you can pilfer.

There’s all sorts of things you can do to help yourself like checking out government plans or reading up on an Aurora Loan. Some advice though, from someone who’s been professionally poor for quite a while.

  • I’d advise against any short-term, high interest loan inspired by a television commercial with an animated spokesman. Cartoon characters have notoriously shady credit, as evidenced by Wimpy never actually repaying anyone on Tuesday for his hamburgers.
  • Buying a computer with weekly payments is a lot like putting a pack of gum on layaway.
  • A little knowledge of history is a powerful thing. If you’ve never heard of the Great Depression, google it. It’s not just that thing that killed Kurt Cobain.
  • Fancy rims for your car are rarely tax-deductible, even if you are a professional pimp.
  • Education is always a good investment, although your choice of schools to attend should not be influenced by any commercial jingles, nor should you plan the second act of your life to follow in the footsteps of Shannon Doherty.
  • If you choose to invest, make sure you diversify your portfolio. Don’t buy all of your ceremonial collectible plates in Elvis, for example. Spread the money around and collect some Dale Earnhardt Seniors, too. It’s recession proof.
  • While a coffee can full of change is certainly reassuring to have in your house, it should in no way be considered a “retirement account.”
— Reid Kerr has a roll of nickels he counts as both “emergency money” and “home security.”

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