My Money

Advice for a debt free 21 year old who owns a business?

By Dave Ramsey

Question: I’m 21 years old. I graduated from high school but did not go to college. I am not married and not close. I own my own business, which is debt free. I am also personally debt free. What three things in my financial and work life should I pay closest attention to as I move toward 25 or 30 years old?

Wow, what a rockstar young man or woman! That’s pretty amazing. I wish I’d been that smart at 21! In your work life, and in your personal life, you become who you hang around with. So you’re going to speak like, walk like, talk like, read like, save like, be generous like the people you run with. It’s not to say we’re gonna be unkind to someone who has a differing view, but you’re gonna become what your posse is; so choose them. Don’t let life just hit them with default.

Number two: read like a maniac. Read, read, read, read, read, read, read. I have 73 master’s degrees after I graduated from college. All from books. No real master’s degrees. But I have a book open—a non-fiction book—all the time. I still read fiction because it makes airplanes fly faster. But read like a maniac.

If you need the answer to a question it’s in a book If you need to be inspired by someone who’s done something you want to do, it’s in a book. Someone’s done it. You’re not the first one to run into this problem. You’re not the first one to run into this opportunity. Read.

As far as your financial world goes…you’re on track. I mean, if you follow God’s and Grandma’s ways of handling money, you’re always gonna save money, you’re always gonna be generous, you’re gonna live on a written plan; that’s called a budget and you’re gonna stay out of debt. When you do those things with money, you’re always gonna win with money—but those are pretty basic, and easy to understand. But in a world where almost no one saves money, stays out of debt, lives on a plan, and is generous…no one you run into does that, but no one wins financially.

Success is highly unusual. So you’re gonna get engaged in highly unusual activities.