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Why My Son Will Not Have His College Education Paid in Full

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This has been sort of a hot topic, so I am going to share my thoughts on it from my experience.

I was fortunate enough to be at the top of my graduating class and as a result I received a full tuition scholarship to a great college. My parents were generous enough to pay for my room and board. So here I was going to college and didn’t have to worry about anything except for some discretionary spending money.

It didn’t take me long to start screwing everything up.

Drinking, drugs, partying – you name it I probably was doing it. It’s an area of my life that I am not particularly proud of because I basically lost some valuable months of my life. I am also lucky that I didn’t die or have something horrible happen to me because I was just asking for it by my actions.

I probably don’t have to say it, but my grades were horrible. A 1.9 GPA my first quarter and a 0.75 GPA my second quarter. I was on “academic probation.” Then I received a letter stating that one more time on probation and I would lose my scholarship and be kicked out of college. At the same time, my mom and dad couldn’t afford to pay more room & board (unrelated to my grades because I tried to keep that hidden from them). Everything I was relying on to be able to party and have fun was being taken away from me.

Long story short – I did end up getting my act together and I didn’t get kicked out of school. I don’t want to make it sound like every kid that gets his or her college education paid in full is going to screw things up. My point is that with my experience – I took advantage of the situation and didn’t appreciate what I had in front of me. I wasn’t paying my way so it didn’t mean as much.

I want the best for my son when he’s old enough to go to college (if he wants to). I think a valuable life lesson is learned when you contribute to something that you want to do instead of having it given to you. It means more and you value it more. I want my son to have a good life, but he has to want it and be willing to work hard for it.

Mom and Dad will definitely help, but he will need to do his part with paying for college. I think he will be an overall better person for having to do so.

Post included in the Carnival of Debt Reduction #47 at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity

How a Horse is Inspiring Me to Reduce My Debt

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Yeah, that’s sort of a weird title, but it’s true. I tend to look for sources of inspiration everywhere in my life and I try to remember them in my head. The great thing about this blog is now I can write them down because I tend to be forgetful 🙂

I was fortunate enough to catch the movie “Seabiscuit” on ABC last night. I have previously watched this movie and enjoyed it – but now since I have the goal of becoming debt-free it holds even more meaning for me.

In a nutshell, the movie is about a horse named Seabiscuit that no one imagined could be a race horse. With work and determination (in regards to the horse and everyone involved with the horse) he was soon winning races. This non-traditional race horse also had a non-traditional jockey named Johnny “Red” Pollard played beautifully by Tobey Maguire.

I don’t want to give the whole story away, but I want to mention one thing that Red said to another jockey when discussing Seabiscuit. It’s something that hit close to home with me with my goal of debt-reduction. Unfortunately, I didn’t write it down, so this is not word for word. But, the meaning is there.

Red told another jockey that Seabiscuit knows what he wants and he wants to achieve it when it comes to winning a race. He has the heart (motioning his hand to his chest) to make it happen.

Even though Seabiscuit is a horse and his goal is to win a race, his experience can easily relate to the goal of becoming debt-free:

Do you have the heart to make it happen to become debt-free? Do you have the desire to achieve your goal? Are you willing to do what it takes to defy the odds to make your goal of reducing your debt happen?

My answer – YES!!!

If you cannot answer those questions with a resounding “YES” then I suggest renting Seabiscuit when you get the chance. I think the motivation obtained from this movie is well worth the few dollars it takes to rent it (it’s an older release).

Always look around for sources of inspiration even in odd places. When you find them – hold them close to your heart and remember them. Make your goal happen 🙂

Post included in the Carnival of Debt Reduction #34 at Frugal for Life.