“If I knew then, what I know now.” Every older person I known my entire life has said it to me at least once. I rolled my eyes then but now I understand how true of a statement that is. The more time I’ve spent working on my personal development, the more I realized how much I was missing.
What is said: “A car is a big responsibility”
What should have been said: “Having a car is expensive and requires steady income.”
My first mistake that I was broadsided by was the idea of a car. I desperately wanted one all during high school and college. I begged my Dad for a car and he gave me one. He gave a cheap car that he was driving around town in not to wear out his Jaguar. I hop in the car and drive right back to school. The car literally powers down two minutes after I get off the expressway. Here I am, super happy that I have a car, and it breaks down hours after I get it. Shortly after, my dream was destroyed. There wasn’t added freedom of mobility, just more things to pay for.
I wish someone would have told me that a car isn’t just saving up money to drive around town and gas, but insurance, maintenance, new tags every year, registration costs, and reserve money in case of miscellaneous tickets that must be paid off asap or will pay five times the initial fine. This also doesn’t include the motorist laws that change from state to state. Having a car isn’t just an extra bill, it’s a child.
What is said: “Credit cards are dangerous”
What should have been said: “Credit cards are designed to cost you twice of what you spent.”
Credit and debt. I had no clue what they were when I was growing up, I barely understand what they mean now. It took me sitting down and writing the payment schedule and interest rates for a loan to really get the gist of it. What I found out was crazy to me. If you take out a loan at 6 percent, even taken at a fixed rate still ends up paying three times what you borrowed. Most credit cards say that you have no ARP (Annual Percentage Rate) for the first year but then it goes from 0% to 13.87% on average within 18 months. What this means is that if you don’t pay before interest gets added, it can slowly snowball and get out of hand.
If you don’t have the money to pay it off with cash when you get it, you may very well never have the money. After some time, you end up only paying off interest instead of what spent. I realized that anything where you “borrow” money, you truly will pay the price tenfold. But, what makes it even more stupid is that if you don’t want to have credit, buying a car or house is harder because credit equates to trust in this day and age. That’s why having no credit is equally as bad and having bad credit. It’s the difference between a bad reputation and being a complete unknown. At least when you deal with someone with a bad reputation, you know to expect bad things versus being a wild card.
This will definitely be a multi-part series. I have so many more examples so part two next week. Any other things you wish you knew or were explained better growing up? Do you have wisdom you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below.
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