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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money

Debt: An analogy of the trouble with credit that you'll never forget

It's rare that I read something in a magazine that makes such an impression that I can't get it out of my head. But that's what happened when I read "The Smartest Advice I Ever Got" in the August issue of Money Magazine. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love was one of three dozen "great minds" that Money asked to share the best money lessons they ever heard.

If you have trouble reminding yourself why you should pay your credit card off every money, or why you should wait until you have the money to buy that new HD TV or I-Phone, read this. I will forever think of this when I think about debt. Elizabeth Gilbert related this piece of advice that her father told her, which he had gotten from his grandfather:

Borrowing money is like wetting your bed in the middle of the night. At first all you feel is warmth and release. But very, very quickly comes the awful, cold discomfort of reality.

Elizabeth said that this image has stuck with her forever. Well, it made quite an impression on me, too. And now maybe it will be permanently imprinted on your brain as well! Who knows how many of you will shy away from charging something because you think of that "awful, cold discomfort" that comes with peeing in your bed. That's what I call powerful imagery!

And now that you're going to be spending a lot less now, maybe you can bump up your contribution to your 401(k) or your IRA. Check out the info on getting the most out of your retirement plan, and choosing investments, on our retirement how-to-guide at

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