I was speaking with a friend of a friend last week. His daughter had recently entered the workforce after obtaining a very good education. The job she’d taken wasn’t exactly what she wanted to be doing, but she was happy to have it. (He was happy she had it, too. Wink, nod.)
He had offered to give her an old family car to start out with. It was a 20 year old Volvo, cosmetically challenged, but reliable. (She hadn’t needed a car in college.) He had also suggested that she reach out to an college friend of his in her new city as a way of locating an apartment that might be a value.
Wanting to be independent and make her own decisions, she declined both offers. She purchased a new car–inexpensive and economical, to be sure, but one that still required a down payment and monthly payments–and signed a one-year lease on a very nice apartment. Flush with a paycheck or two, she furnished the place with brand a brand new sofa and dining set.
A month later, she received an email from a friend about a position she’d applied for a couple of months before. It was the perfect job: in her field, working with people she admired, with tremendous room for growth. The only catch was…the job was across the country, and they wanted someone to start immediately.
The young lady was instantly on the short list for the job, thanks to her friend. But she ran into some problems: she was going to have difficulty getting rid of her car, as there were three more years of payments to be made on it; if she broke the lease on her apartment, she’d sacrifice her security deposit, which she would have used to move into a new place with her new job; and the furnishings that she’d paid retail for were not going to be easy to sell, and paying for moving and/or storage made no sense. All these things stacked up against her as she looked at making a quick move to a new city.
In summary, she couldn’t get her affairs and finances in order quickly enough. The job–and the opportunity–went to someone else. It was painful to hear her father recount the story. He’d read my book, and he’d recommended it to his daughter. She had declined that offer as well.
If you’re just starting out–or just starting over–consider ordering a copy of The Old Money Book. It’s full of advice, insights, and strategies on how you can maximize your opportunities by minimizing your baggage.