Last week a youth worker friend called me up and began asking questions and advice about personal finances. The gist of his question was, “How is a youth worker supposed to try to make ends meet when starting a family, paying for diapers, trying to afford a minivan and actually having a little bit left over to go on a date every once in a while?!!”
Great question—one I know many can relate to.
I think a lot of the nation is thinking about finances and debt right now (I’ll purposely steer this article away from making political commentary), because I’m seeing more and more articles surfacing about how to get out of financial crisis. My own teenagers are even learning these lessons right now. My son just started at Azusa Pacific University, an amazing Christian college in Southern California. He loves his classes and his roommates, but he’s facing the same struggle every college kid encounters: the reality of being a poor college student who can’t buy everything he desires when many of his GEN Y counterparts are living check to check, buying everything on impulse. An article in TIME today just cited a study revealing more than 3/4 of renters age 18-24 spend more than they earn each month.
Unfortunately, when we graduate from college, land a job, get married and buy a house, the money shortage doesn’t necessarily go away. Sadder yet, many of us still dive headfirst into spending, trying to achieve that American dream, and before we know it… we’ve created a nightmare.
So what’s the solution?
Sadly, I think many people are looking for a golden egg. We want our problem solved NOW! There’s good news and bad news about that.
- You can start on the road to good financial decision-making right NOW! (I know, that sounds like a sales pitch, but it’s actually just a fact)
- If you’re in debt, that can be a long road, requiring discipline, and sacrifice. (I understand, I didn’t put a lot of sugar on that. But I risked just saying it, figuring you’d prefer the honest truth.)
What does that road look like?
I was inspired my youth worker friend’s sincere questions about financial troubles, so I began sharing some candid thoughts on paper… and that became a frank, but helpful article about saving ourselves from financial crisis. My friends over at Youth Specialties posted the article yesterday: Waking Up From the American Dream: Saving Yourself from Financial Nightmares.
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