“Always live beneath your means” - Ingrid Saunders Jones
I have always loved this time of year because we are in the season of high school and college graduations. Graduates will receive lots of advice, just like the advice I shared when I was the commencement speaker at my undergraduate college several years ago. The best piece of advice I shared didn’t come from me; it came from my good friend and outstanding leader, Ms. Ingrid Saunders Jones, retired Senior Vice President of Global Community Connections and Chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation. One day we were talking about the degree of debt young people have and Ingrid insightfully stated, “I tell people of all ages to always, alwayslive beneath your means. Doing so prevents not only financial stress, but also prevents you from becoming compromised by and having to put up with a lot of negative stuff from others.” Her comments resonated with me because in this age of social media and reality shows people are encouraged to show that they are living the “High Life”. Unfortunately, that spend now, save never mindset results in people digging an ever-increasing hole of debt.
The good news is there are some simple things people can do to start saving more ranging from not having the latest cell phone, not taking expensive vacations, not eating out as much, refraining from buying that outfit even it was 50% off. These “small” things will result in saving thousands of dollars a year. Everyone has some type of weakness when it comes to spending. Mine was home improvement tools. I have more than 5 drills, 3 generators, 10 tool sets, and the list goes on. To stop my addiction, I stopped going into the stores and started sending my wife.
In closing, by living beneath your means you will rise up out of the hole of debt and never fall back into it.