Today I have the second part of my discussion with Alice Wood - author and founder of 'Wealth Watchers'. I love it when I find experts who agree with my take on various subjects related to students and money. I asked Alice her thoughts on student debt and her answer didn't surprise me.
"Students should be taught to avoid debt. In fact, they should be terrified of debt. The exception to the rule is that a reasonable amount of debt is ok if there is a likelihood of a return on the money borrowed. Eating out and buying clothes they don't need isn't good debt but it's unbelievable how much debt students rack up doing just that. A reasonable amount of debt for school is ok, but students should do everything they can to find a way to go to school without borrowing money. You can work two hours a day at a fast-food restaurant and cover your college costs if you're smart enough to go to a community college. Maybe one way to get a four year degree is to go to night school so a student can work during the day to cover the cost of their education. Even if it takes five years to get a degree, someone could save a fortune by not taking out student loans. Most employers would be in awe of the work ethic of a student who was willing to do that."
I couldn't agree with Alice more! The number of students graduating with tens of thousands of dollars in debt before taking a single step out into the real world is absolutely mind boggling. Do everything you can to have as little debt as possible - or no debt at all - once you get that diploma in your hands.
Finally I asked Alice for a little 'out of the ordinary' tip. Something she would say to students which many might think is a no-brainer but which makes a lot of sense.
Students should try to stay out of trouble. Legal problems can be very expensive and an arrest will most likely show up on a background check. It's not the end of the world to have that kind of setback, but it's a challenging job market and it helps to have every advantage possible when it comes to looking better than the next guy.
I would like to thank Alice Wood for taking the time to give my readers a little taste of her knowledge in the area of personal finance. I encourage you, the readers, to check out the Wealth Watchers website. Cheers!