While many of us like to think of ourselves as grownups, we still don’t know our way around a 401K (what?) or an IRA (who?). Managing money, especially with the burden of debt, is not only intimidating but possibly embarrassing. Michael Arceneaux, who wrote a book (his second) aptly titled I Don’t Want to Die Poor, once sat in and sometimes still boards the struggle bus with us and has a few tips to bestow as we all ride into the summer with no A/C.

Many young people first experience debt by way of a curse: student loans. “College is worth it in that you kind of have no choice, for the most part, to attain a certain type of level of social mobility if you want to do certain types of work,” Arceneaux tells Jezebel. In other words, if you want to be successful and not broke in the future, chances are you will have to start off not successful and very broke. And the first step in learning how to be less broke is to stop daydreaming and face reality: “I need you to really be realistic with yourself about what type of life you’ll potentially be leading,” he says.

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If you’re at the point where debt collectors are blowing up your phone 25/8, Arceneaux says to take a moment to put your phone on silent and remember these two words: Treat yourself.

Watch him share some sobering money advice in the video above.

Creative Producer and a Cubanasa from the 305.

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