(By Janet Novack)
“Money is necessary, but that doesn’t mean it should always be first.”
“The best money advice that I ever got was not to be afraid to spend it, which I know is weird, because most of the time people say you need to save,” says tax lawyer Kelly Phillips Erb. “But sometimes to make money you have to spend it, whether that’s paying for college, buying a house, buying a good stock or investing in a business.”
Erb knows whereof she speaks. At 40, with three kids, she still owes $140,000 on student loans for her two law degrees but doesn’t regret taking on the debt. She practices law with her husband in the Philadelphia suburbs and blogs (most recently for Forbes.com) as Taxgirl. In eight years of writing she’s built a reputation as a voice of common sense and someone who can explain taxes in plain English.
“Don’t let the tax tail wag the dog.” In other words, you should think about taxes when you invest, but “don’t be so paralyzed by the tax consequences that you miss out.” That goes for selling, too–don’t keep holding an asset you should get rid of just because you hate paying capital gains tax.
Money is “necessary, but that doesn’t mean it should always be first.”
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