Before I Go...

This is it…my last blog. This is my last entry as the Young & Free Michigan Spokester. It has been an incredible year and a journey. I have learned so much about my peers, my money and myself. Now, I don’t want to get all melodramatic on you guys, but I do want to share a few important last thoughts. They aren’t mind-bending so don’t get too excited… 

Don’t be an Ostrich

Finances happen. Whether you want them to or not, your finances are going to have a significant impact on the way you live your life. The worst thing you can do as a young adult is to hide from them. While the unfortunate truth is that our generation hasn’t really been educated on smart money management, that’s not an excuse to let ignorance get the best of us.

There is no better time than right now to learn as much as you possibly can as fast as you can. You aren’t doomed to grope around in the dark, trying to figure out your finances on your own. Programs like Young & Free are ready and willing to lend you a helping hand. All you have to do is reach back and accept the help!

Don’t be an ostrich and bury your head in the sand. Stay alert and take control.

It Won’t Make You Happy

We grow up watching celebrities and reality stars living a lifestyle that can only be supported by insane amounts of money.  As young adults we are so saturated by these images everywhere we turn (music, TV, social media, movies), we trick ourselves into thinking this is the norm. After all, every twenty something just out of college should be able to drive a Cadillac like mommy and daddy right? Wrong!

While these lifestyles appear to be glamorous, no amount of money or things will truly make you happy.  The proper use and management of what you do have will. In the end it’s not about how much money you make, but how you handle it. True financial peace of mind results in not having to worry or stress about your money. Put value in who you spend your time with not what you spend your time with.

“Love people and use things, don’t use people and love things.” –MD

The Time is Now

There is no better time than now to push yourself. Take advantage of the opportunities you have before you right now! Don’t wait until you have a mortgage, car payment or kids to finally take some risks. And when I say risk I don’t mean purchasing a $60,000 car when you only make $20,000 a year. I mean take the risk to push yourself financially because you’ll never have as much flexibility in your lifestyle as you do right now.

At this stage in life do what Dave Ramsey says and “Live like no one else so that someday you can live like no one else.”  Defy the Gen-Y stereotype and don’t fall victim to instant gratification. Be smart with you money now, so that someday you can provide for your family and loved ones. Whether you want to believe it or not, smart money management actually allows you to do more.  True money management is making the most out of opportunities that are WITHIN your means.

Don’t let someone else determine for you what “being young” means. Define it for yourself and then push yourself to its fullest extent.

This picture is as dramatic as I'm going to get...

This picture is as dramatic as I'm going to get...

I wish I could say “until next time,” but because this is my last time all I can say is thank you. This has been a life changing year and I cannot imagine where I would be with out Young & Free and all of you. You guys are what this program is all about...

Thank you,

Austin