Life Principles: Live within your means. In today’s economic environment, you must become smart consumers, vigilant savers, and intelligent investors. Avoid impulse buying and conspicuous consumption at all costs.
It’s especially important to pass on these lessons to our children and young people. Now is the time to lead by example, to teach them sound budgeting practices, and to make sure they pay themselves first. When it is time for them to purchase their first homes, we must counsel them to use the property for what it is intended: to build wealth. They should not fall into the trap of using home equity to finance a lifestyle—part of the reason a number of homeowners need a housing plan to keep their heads above water. In some cases it will require engaging in tough love, but they must learn that there isn’t always a safety net when hard-earned dollars are squandered.
President Obama has a gargantuan assignment in turning around the U.S. economy. We should do our part, however, by taking responsibility for our financial future.