Get Rid of Debt Like a Man

stacks of 100 bills

You want to be that guy who buys everyone in the bar a drink. You want to be the guy who whisks a girl off her feet to Paris or Iceland or Buenos Aires at a moment’s notice. You want the Tag Heuer Monaco watch, the vintage Triumph, and if it’s not asking too much, the Bugatti Veyron.

It all can be yours.

Now for the buzzkill: the first step to a lifetime of getting exactly what you want is to responsibly manage your finances. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who nabbed a full college scholarship or at least a full parental scholarship, chances are you entered your adult life carrying around personal debt on your back like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Instead of squeezing a growing hunchback into a John Varvatos suit you can’t afford anyway, man up and take some personal responsibility for your finances.

1. Budget

Hopefully this first step is a no brainer. But if you’re the kind of guy who likes to throw cash down to impress people, it’s possible you ignore this critical personal finance step every day of your life even if you know better.

Stop ignoring it.

There’s a reason so many sports players, rock gods, and millionaires face bankruptcy. It doesn’t matter how much money you draw in, if you overspend your earnings your ship is sunk early.

Set out goals. If you want the finer things in life, figure out how you can save up to afford them over time instead of racking up credit card debt and hoping to hit it big your next weekend at Vegas. Responsible financial planning actually allows you to enjoy the things you buy more, because they are not weighed down with a heavy anchor of interest fees and late payment penalties. Set a budget, stick to it. You can create a line item for fun, budgeting doesn’t have to be austere. It just needs to be smart.

2. Find the Best Deals

The internet makes hunting down discounted items easier than ever. Maximize your budget by finding steals online. EBay, and other sites allow your to get the things your want from the suckers who bought them at full price and then couldn’t afford them. Profit from their mistakes.

Find areas in your budget where the cost of necessities can be reduced. For instance, deregulation opened the Texas electric utilities market wide open. Do a little leg work to research the best utility prices in your area. You can apply this tactic to your business if you are an entrepreneur as well. Texas Commercial Energy prices offer competitive rates. Saving money both at home and in your work finances will allow you to enjoy financial freedom sooner than later. Sure saving a 20 here or there won’t get you a Bugatti, but savings add up and you will notice them sooner than later.

Don’t forget the power of negotiation. Don’t settle for high prices if you don’t have to. On the car lot, when buying property and when going after business deals, approach each financial transaction with tenacity and the cajones to get the deal you deserve.

3. Invest

Part of getting financially secure in your youth means preparing for a superior financial life in your maturity. Struggling with debt at retirement age turns some old men into greeters at Wal-Mart while other men get to be Hugh Hefner. Choose to be Hef.

Work robust amounts of investments into your retirement portfolio. The market of recent years has made many risk averse, however a young man with no responsibilities except to himself is in the perfect position to double down on stocks and bonds. Talk with a financial planner, and then drop some dollars into the market like you would a Saturday night at the club. If you get lucky, you could be looking at the watch, motorcycle, the suit, the girl and very early retirement on the Amalfi Coast.

Part of growing into manhood means taking charge of your financial situation early. Take the bull by the horns pay down debt aggressively, find savings through research and negotiation, and play the markets to come out ahead.