A recent study by www.Credit.org concluded that the average undergraduate student has incurred $3,000 worth of credit card debt and graduates with about $20,000 in student loans. This kind of money management, the bad or non-existent kind, is a real financial handicap when starting off your adult life. Like boxing with one hand tied behind your back, expect a lot of pain and not much chance of winning. And life goes on much longer than 15 rounds.
Debt like this doesn’t sneak up on you all the sudden, creeping onto your financial ledger in the middle of one dark and stormy night. This debt we’re talking about is a result of a long series of poor money management decisions over a period of months and years. You’re probably are telling yourself that when you get out of school and get that great job, everything will be okay.
If only it were that easy.
In the first place, the United States unemployment rate, though slightly improved since early in the year, currently sits at almost 10%. One out of every ten people in the country can’t find work at all. And the rate is even worse for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, something like 16% as of 2009. We’re not here to rain on your parade. The point is that it might take a while to land that job that you think is going to eradicate the mountain of debt. But even once you’re employed, unless you develop sane money management skills, you’ll continue to mismanage your new income just like you did college loans and credit cards.
Until you learn to manage your personal economy, it won’t matter how much you make, you’re still going to be in a world of hurt.
The Young Wealth Team
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