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What were some things related to personal finance you wish you were taught earlier on in high school that you only learned later in life?

Until I took it upon myself to learn about personal finance and future growth of my own wealth, I was never taught at any point how to save, how to make a budget, how to invest my money properly.... I would spend my money on everything shiny and new. While my parents were the only ones telling me to save my money because "money was king," I had no reason to believe them as I was not hearing it from anywhere else. I thought they were crazy! Boy was I wrong.

Finally I took it upon myself to figure things out and how the world of personal finance / wealth worked. It's pretty simple actually but takes lots of dedication and a change of habit. Here are my personal finance tips I would tell my younger self:

1) Pay yourself first. No matter what lays ahead, always pay yourself first. This forces you to create a savings account for your future. It also makes you find ways to make money to make sure your expenses will be covered. Be it selling junk laying around or another part time job.

2) Interest is your friend. Your money needs to work for you. Invest in something that will generate you more than what you put in.

3) "Never" buy new. Always try to find something slightly used as depreciation on new objects is your biggest enemy. Be it a car, new computer, or the likes. Yes there is always an exception to this rule, but for the most time we could be just as happy if it's not "New In the Box"

4) Budget Budget Budget. Make one, give yourself goals and stick to them.

5) Get full use out of your purchases. Drive them into the ground as they say. Do not upgrade or change unless it's really time to. Always wanting the new one or changing your mind on what you bought will cost you a fortune. Again, always exceptions to the rule but for the most part, if your happy with what you bought, use it until it can't be use any more.

6) Don't rent, don't lease. Own your stuff. You will not regret.

What would you suggest?

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    Oct 10 2011: Im not sure whether what is learned in high school or college has to do with the implementation of it to real life. I feel that no matter how many things we learn during our school days, nothing compares to the experiences after that. And for the experience we cannot do much apart from living those.

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