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Got a job? Buy a car!

unsplash_5243e9ef164a5_1I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and I noticed something that I probably wouldn’t have a few years ago — and I see it all of the time. It’s actually a pretty scary reality and it’s very reflective of our greedy culture in America.

I am currently on a quest to get out of debt. This has forced me to look at things differently. I’m noticing that most of us view money through a very skewed perspective. I see debt as an invisible weight, but once you realize it’s there, you quickly become motivated to rid yourself of the chains. Like many others, I have followed the teachings of Dave Ramsey. As Dave always says:

“If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

So here’s what I saw on Instagram: A friend had recently graduated from college and gotten their first REAL job. As an obvious next step, the individual purchased a brand new vehicle. The photo was flooded with comments like “Congrats” , “You deserve it!!” , “OMG it’s so pretty”, etc.

So what’s the big deal??

The big deal is this: we live in a culture where it is normal for a young adult to take on a $20–30k debt the second they can “afford” the monthly payment. This is sad. For someone starting in a career, you may very well give your entire first year’s salary away ($20–30k + interest) so that you can drive this new pretty vehicle that you deserve. This is a horrible mistake, yet we applaud and congratulate our friends when they do this.

Save your money, pay off your credit cards and student loans, create a budget and track every single penny that you spend. (You will be surprised how much money you spent at Chick-Fil-A & Starbucks last month.) Oh and you don’t need a new car. Drive what you have until it no longer starts or is no longer safe. When you are out of debt and have saved your $$$ then you can buy whatever you want…with cash. And when it comes time to buy a vehicle, buy something used AT LEAST a few years old — never buy new.

Don’t buy what you can’t afford. I will gladly live like no one else right now…to live like no one else later.