Don’t borrow money to live on while you go to school. If you must borrow, borrow only enough for tuition and books. You don’t need cable TV, Fancy cell phone plans, money for eating out or partying. If possible get a dependable roommate. If you work steadily, you won’t need entertainment. Peanut butter, whole wheat bread, and beans are nutritious, high protein foods, and you can keep them in a metal lockbox in your room if your roommate is a moocher.
Buy your clothes at resale shops and Goodwill if you don’t have cash. You don’t need as many as you think, especially if you don’t eat out and party. Take a job, any job, until you get one that pays better. Never quit one job till you have another. If your boss is an idiot, keep your mouth shut. If he really is stupid, he will undo himself without your help.
Live without credit cards. You will probably have to finance your first vehicle. Get a sturdy used car and drive it as long as you can. Luxury vehicles are for people with cash and those who plan to go bankrupt.
Start out with a small house. Pay more than the principle every month. Don’t upgrade till you have sufficient equity and cash. If you are a couple, make sure one of you can make the note if the other is out of a job or out of the picture. It happens.
Do without whatever you can’t pay cash for. You need less than you think. Take care of your vehicles and drive them as long as you can. Cook at home except for special occasions. Get a freezer and buy on sale. Enroll in a retirement plan as soon as you get a steady job at the highest rate you can afford. Increase your investment every time you get a raise. Chances are, the tax withholdings will make you bring home a lot more than you thought.
Take the vacation you can afford. Short days trips to the zoo and local attractions and camping, run far less than cruises and Disneyworld. Kids love this stuff.
When the kids are little, if you have the opportunity, work alternate shifts so one parent is with the kids as much as possible. You will save a fortune on daycare and have a better idea of what is going on. Teach kids the difference in what they want and what they need. It’s a good reminder for them and you.
Decrease your expectations. You don’t need all that stuff. Nobody cares, and if they do, find new friends.
Did I say it was quick and easy? I guess I was thinking in geological terms.