Things that took me 50 years to learn. Almost 50, anyway.

  • The cool car is not nearly as awesome as the paid-for car. Really.
  • A house payment should be the only non-utility payment you have.
  • Credit cards are evil and those that push them are the devil incarnate.  How much love do you feel from your credit card company?  Dump them. They exist to dick you.
  • A few amazing friends is all anyone needs.
  • A big screen TV that you bought with cash is a hell of a lot more fun to watch.
  • Being able to put two kids through college at the same time costs a LOT more than I expected it would.  But it is also much more rewarding than I thought it would be. Doing the above allows me to do this one.  This is paying it forward on a very personal level.
  • Having a job that you wake up every day, and look forward to the day – that is worth more than money.
  • Having a  job where you know you move the ball – you make a difference – there is very little that is as meaningful as that. We should all want to change the world, in our own ways. To the extent we can.
  • Employees that trust you to have their backs.  They never question it.  They just know that you will be there, and you will support them.  Earning that kind of trust is priceless.
  • Having bosses that are willing to bet on you – because you have established some track record. Being able to make larger wagers over time because you have proven ideas over time.
  • Having a set of absolute values you will not waver from – or let others waver from.

I know there are millions of posts like this on the Internet. But this is the only one of them that is my post. About the things I have learned that I think are really important.

And just to prove how much of a screw up I was when I was younger – I owned an Alfa Romeo before I owned a house.  I owned a MG MGA convertible before I had money in the bank.

I owned two houses once and could not afford either one of them.

I won custody of my kids when they were 10 and 12 and learned a lot about what is important.

Dying poor is not a bad plan.  Living poor is.

I will leave my kids with college educations, and a lot more advantages than I had when I was their age.  I doubt I leave them much money though.  Today I can afford the stuff I wasted money on 25 years ago. 🙂

Looking for another Alfo Romeo.  One I can buy without feeling guilty about it.

And that is the difference between where I should have been spending money 25 years ago, and where I *can* spend it today.

Today is my payoff for getting my shit together ten years ago.

If you are under 50, have credit card debt, don’t have money in the bank and only own toys – you need to reset everything.

But stuff.  Stuff you can pay for.

Seems easy.  Takes a huge comittment.





  1. Good observations, every one of them.

    However, you never owned an “Alpha” – trust me on this.

    It’s ALFA.

  2. TheDebster says:

    Awesome post, KR8tr…wisdom always come with age but in your case, it looks like it has!

  3. I think your comments are great. I took me almost 40 years to figure it out. Pay cash … Credit is evil.