I am 49 and started working at age 16. One GOLDEN rule I always followed was to PAY MYSELF FIRST, no matter what. Each and every week I put money away for a rainy day and for my retirement. Over the years I started from scratch and successfully developed 2 businesses and working 36-hour days was very common for me in my younger years. I sold my last business in 2006 and am now retired!
Never in my working career did I rely on Uncle Sam for any handout, never did I live beyond my means. Even for my retirement, I do not expect to rely on Uncle Sam for anything. I have actually been accused of being everything from a miser, thrifty, frugal, cheapskate and a bunch of other adjectives.
Who do you think has had the last laugh? At 49, our house is paid off, we have a 2nd home in the Meditteranean and we spend like 60% of our time traveling.
Sure the USA is the biggest economy in the world and if you asked me it is all based on PEOPLE LIVING WAY BEYOND THEIR MEANS. That's what keeps the motor of the world (as I like to refer to the good old USA) running. If people just take charge of their finances and live WITHIN their means, most Americans would NOT be in the bind they are in. I have no tolerance or sympathy for whiners and losers who live every day of their lives way beyond what they can afford and then who expect Uncle Sam to bail them out every time there is a financial crunch/crises. I cannot recall how many times I have driven by shitty houses that are rental properties and seen $80,000 automobiles parked there and I wonder to myself, if anyone can afford to drive that kind of car, can't they afford to live in a better house? See my logic? The most expensive automobile I have ever purchased was a $19,000 1999 Chevy that I still drive and I sure as hell can afford to be driving around in a $100K Corvette but fiscal restraint tells me I shouldn't.
Anyways, I better get off this soapbox, I apologize if I offended anyone or if I sounded like bragging. I guess by now you all know I like to speak my mind out and I don't like to mince my words.
Just my take on this subject.