Meet Elias Rodriguez: a nurse whose investment in education allowed him to build a comfortable life for his family. After years of living paycheck to paycheck, Elias, 29, grew an appreciation for money that later helped him to gain financial footing.
Here are Elias’s top tips for those looking to improve their financial health:
Never spend money for the sake of impressing others.
“It’s so expensive to buy a house. There were several times I was tempted to just jump into one. It was this external image that I was subconsciously trying to portray. It did take a little bit of sacrifice to think, ‘Okay, just hold off. The time will come. Don’t worry so much about what other people think. Just worry about making sure that it’s the right move for you and for your family.’”
Always do your research ahead of a large purchase.
“I like to know a lot before going into a big purchase—like my car, for instance. I get online, I ask questions. I want to know what I’m getting into. What is my monthly payment going to look like? How much of it is property taxes? Can that be separated/can I do anything to help with that? How much is my homeowners insurance going to be?”
Find the joy in saving.
“When we were able to save up a bit, all of a sudden we were able to have these incredible experiences. I now associate saving money with experiences—wonderful vacations. Be a little thrifty, and then you’re able to experience these big moments.”
Embrace your relationship with money.
“Money has allowed me to do so many things. I think of education. I think of this house. I think of these trips. I think of this baby. I think it’s important to embrace the fact that money and finances can really help you in a very positive way and to manage it so that it does.”