Is hardcore budgeting at age 19 frugal, cheap, or SMART?
I got an email from a reader. Let’s call him Bruce:
Iâ€™ve got one burning question for you, btw I thoroughly enjoy the down-to-earth style of the way you post news.
I am currently 19 years old, but I am definitely already concerned about budgeting and keeping track of things. Of course my impatience gets to me.
Here it goes:
Should I honestly be worrying totally about this sort of thing so young?
I get a lot of flak from people my age and older about enjoying my life so young etc etc, and I make a considerable amount of money and get enjoyment out of feeling mature, accomplished, and financially well set..
Let me know! Thanks!
Here’s my condensed response. I’d also like your feedback too!:
If only I had your discipline when I was 19. Not knowing your specific situation, like how frugal/cheap you may be, I can only make assumptions. I understand what you said about your friends wanting you to “enjoy your life”, because to them, that means spending money. However, you can spend money and enjoy yourself, but still keep a budget for those expenses.
You’ll see on a number of personal finance sites that there is a difference between Frugal and Cheap. To be frugal means you plan ahead. To be cheap means you sacrifice a lot even to save a little.
Keep up with the saving and budgeting. It will only help you later in life (1, 5, 10 and more years from now) when your friends are whining about their car and credit card debt. I’m one of those friends. I left college with $20k in credit card debt and the same in student loans, then I went and bought a $20k car before I even had a job offer. And then 9 months later, I traded it in for a more expensive car and lost $6500 on the trade-in. I was dumb.
Don’t be dumb, but have fun.
What is your advice for “Bruce”? Were/are you in his situation? How do you manage to have a fun and exciting life while still being fiscally responsible?
Oh yeah, did anyone get the Monty Python reference?