I have made a ton of mistakes in the past with my money and my reputation. And I’m going to make plenty more. After writing about personal finance for five years now, I still find myself making foolish mistakes that I really should be avoiding. You can’t win them all! Nobody is perfect. But you already knew that.
With that being said, I do my best to go after the big wins. Financial freedom by 30 is the main goal around here.
This is why I’m going to share three stories of how I have saved huge money over the years and how they can be applied to your own life. Enjoy!
Story #1: Attend community college first.
It was 2005 , I was finishing up high school and all I wanted to do was work. I didn’t care for school. I didn’t want to study. My grades in my final year of high school were nothing special. All I wanted to do was work and make money. I thought that school would only get in the way.
“Oh yeah, I want to go to university.”
I would tell my friends this. I didn’t really believe it. I didn’t think that I would ever go to university.
Since I came from an immigrant family and am the oldest of three boys, I had no choice but to set the right example. In other words, I was forced to attend post-secondary education or else I would be excommunicated from the family and left on the streets.
So I applied to colleges and universities in Ontario. I got into a bunch of useless programs. I finally settled on some community college downtown because I thought it would be cool to travel downtown. Little did I know what a burden this would become.
Long story short: I ended up loving the business program. I excelled and eventually transferred my credits to a larger university in town.
I saved a lot of money for a few reasons:
- I didn’t waste any money on some program that I would hate, fail, or drop out of.
- I stayed at home. As much as this cramps your love life, it does help you save a lot of cash.
- I earned university credits at a lower cost.
- I took the time to work full-time.
- I figured out what to do after college and what not to do.
How can you apply this to your life?
You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to. You don’t have to buy a home if you’re not ready. You don’t have to enrol in a college program that isn’t right for you.
It is your life my friend.
If you know someone that’s in high school or about to attend college, you need to send along my article on how to finish college with zero debt.
Story #2: Bought a condo I couldn’t afford.
So far my greatest investment has been my condo, with my education being a close second.
It was 2007 and I had been saving money like mad. I had this fascination with being property. I really wanted to buy a property.
So I convinced a friend that works at a bank to pre-approve me for a mortgage (this wasn’t easy and my parents were willing to co-sign) and I went on the hunt.
I found a development in the east end of Toronto that would be going up in a few years. I didn’t have the money, but I found out that they had a payment plan. In summary, you could spread out the three payments over two years or so.
Instead of realizing I didn’t have this money, I was stubborn. I went through the paper work and I was accepted for the condo.
I knew that this would be trouble though. I now had to come up with the money or else I would be screwed. So I started working like an animal. I worked as many hours as I could, I started blogging, and I got into freelance work. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to come up with the payments.
My frugality was extreme and my caffeine consumption was through the roof. I have go to admit that I don’t regret it all.
Below is a picture of me standing on the balcony in 2010, wondering what I got myself into.
How can this story help you?
You don’t always have to be fully prepared for everything. If you fail to launch, you’re delaying life and preventing amazing things from happening.
I wasn’t ready at all to be a property owner, a landlord, or any of that stuff. I did it and learned on the job. I recently sold the condo and can now enjoy the profits on other pursuits.
You can read about more tips if you want to save $25k by 25.
Story 3: Not caring about sports/video games/useless stuff.
I asked my friend who’s an avid sports fan for a good football team to follow this year. He even bought me a 49ers hat. I wanted to be a fan of this team. That was my goal. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t care. I just couldn’t get into it.
“So should I be upset?”
I asked my friend this when they lost. I just don’t get sports or video games or stressing about the news.
I know, I know how much I’m missing out. Whenever I go on social media and read about sports, hockey pools, and all of that stuff, I wish that I was involved. But I just can’t get into it. I can watch pro wrestling and MMA, but the commitment is pretty low there.
I know how fun it is to watch sports and take it seriously. I just can’t and don’t think I ever will. I would much rather do a Spanish lesson, go to the gym, or just go out, than watch a hockey game.
What can you takeaway from this story?
I’m not here to preach or judge. But if you want to grow and make shit happen, you might have to move on in life and cut back on the video games.
Sometimes, you just have to be a bit more radical with how you approach life. If you keep on doing what you’ve been doing, you’re going to keep on getting what you’ve been getting.
Those are my three favorite stories. The goal of Studenomics is to be financially free by 30. I don’t want to see you struggling with your student credit cards or stuck in debt when you’re in your late-20s. If you start now, you can get ahead.
Have you created your own stories yet?
“Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.” — Donald Trump