HEY! HIGH SCHOOL GRADS & PARENTS
Book Review by Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, April 27, 2020
Anything appearing in BLUE is a link to a web site
While listening to Jeffrey Gitomer on his every day morning Facebook live video at 9:59 Eastern Time, he said something that triggered my imagination in a truly great way; hope you agree.
This message is for just about any high school student and all parents and should give them serious, food for thought. Given the high cost of secondary education whether it is a university, a college or a trade school, you would do yourself and your child a HUGE favor by considering the following. First a little personal history to put an exclamation point on the point!
In 1963 I went from graduating high school directly to college on my parent’s tab. It was a state school so the tuition in 1963 was considerably less than a non-state school and unbelievably less than it is today. I was 18 years old. No one in my high school (guidance counselors) ever asked me what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I just went to college because that is (1) what most where striving for and (2) parents thought it was the ONLY way to succeed in life. Both criteria, by the way, were wrong.
In 1963 I enrolled and signed up for a major in Marketing and Advertising. Why I chose those two is anyone’s guess, just “seemed like the thing for me to do at the time.” For the record, I hated college. I stayed in school for 2 years and felt like a round peg trying to be put into a square hole; I just didn’t fit in. By accident I found a home and a career in the U. S. Coast Guard and that did not require a college education! Important point!
Sadly, I don’t know how much my failed attempt at a college education cost or how much it cost my parents. By disliking it so much, I did not apply myself and my grades unfortunately was evidence to that fact; they were horrible. It’s the “cost” that this Nugget hopefully addresses and as per Jeffrey Gitomer’s comment on his broadcast this morning, there is a solution that makes so much sense and I hope to herein prove it.
At 18, who really knows what their life will look like 30 years later or at 18, who really knows what they want to do with the rest of their life? I certainly didn’t and I’m guess that I am/was not alone in that thinking. I have to laugh at some of the educational majors kids are taking in college and have repeatedly asked, “What on Earth are you going to do with a degree in underwater basket weaving (insert whatever field you wish)? I didn’t even know there was such a thing to major in.” Kids are getting degrees in fields that the ONLY thing they will be able to do with their degrees is to find a teaching job that teaches “underwater basket weaving.” You know this is true.
Here's the idea. Graduate from high school! Of course, you should try to get a fully paid scholarship if you can, but most cannot. Therefore, it is a choice of using your parent’s money, get a part time job or both, in order to pay for a college education in a field that may not even exist by the time you graduate. As an alternative, and I love the concept of this, as an 18-year-old, get a job, any job. Do your best at it for two years – set a goal – two years. Live at home with your parents and if you explain the why to them, they will welcome the why with open arms. Why would you want to do this? Let me count the ways:
· You can save a lot of living expenses in two years
· You can use the time to mature and figure out what you really want to do for the rest of your life
· You can save a lot of money over the course of two years to pay for all or part of your own college education or trade school
· And, you can also use the 24 months to begin educating yourself through self-education on courses and subjects that will help you acquire and hold onto a job now and later in life. There are numerous avenues for free and low-cost courses you can take including online courses.
Run the numbers. Let’s say you get a job selling widgets for $10.00 per hour and you work for just 6 hours a day 5 days a week. Before tax dollars would equate to $15,600 a year or $31,200 for the two-year period. At that income level it is doubtful that you would pay many if any taxes on that amount but you might. $30,000 would go a long way to paying for one or even two years of college depending upon your college of choice and that leads me to my next point.
Unless there are only a handful of universities that teach the actual courses that would lead to your desired profession, you can attend almost any university/college and get a degree if that is your goal. So why pick out the one university/college that will cost you the most money to attend? Makes no sense!
Let’s continue with the math. If you were able to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, that equates to $20,800 a year, $41,600 for two years. And…if you are fortunate to get a job that pays $15.00 per hour and work 8 hours, 5 days a week, that equates to $31,200 a year or $62,400 over 2 years. If you decide NOT to go to college because you were able to find a good and lasting job, that money would go a very long way to investing in your first home.
Gary Keller, co-founder of Keller Williams Realty International has the best advice of all – LEAD WITH REVENUES NOT WITH EXPENSES! This is one way you can do that – get a job – work hard for two years or even three years, live at home, save your money and then pay cash for as much of your education as possible.
Another life lesson that I learned the hard way was this, you pay more attention to the things YOU pay for and less attention to the things that someone else (parents) pays for. This applies to a college education, a car or a home or whatever you want to enter into the equation. It’s a fact of life!
Another life lesson I learned from my good friend, Professional Golfer, Bill Allen, NEVER GAMBLE WITH SCARED MONEY! What he means by this is that if you can’t afford to lose the money, don’t gamble with it and certainly don’t throw it away. Throwing money away is what a lot of college kids have done for decades with their parent’s money, me included. Again, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I took courses that I hated and made no sense to me, as a result, I did not apply myself and my grades reflected that attitude. My parents should have saved their money! My initial guess is that you too will save YOUR money if it is YOUR money you are going to spend. Lesson learned!