A lesson this CEO learned while shopping for a car in his 20s still affects how he manages his money

Money lessons can go in one ear and out the other.

For one CEO, a money lesson stuck when he was a college student in the market for a new car.

“The temptation to take out a loan and buy a shiny new model was there,” Elliot Weissbluth, CEO of HighTower, told Business Insider.

“But once I did the maths and saw the true cost of the payments and interest, I couldn’t justify borrowing so much money to buy a vehicle that would start to decline in value the moment I drove it off the lot.”

The experience taught him a key personal finance lesson that still affects how he manages his money today: “Don’t go into debt unless it’s to make a long-term investment that will pay off in the future, like a home that will increase in value over time or an education that increases your earning power,” he says.

Investing in things that build value can pay off tremendously in the long run, but you want to be sure it’s a worthwhile investment. Credit card debt, for instance, only costs more over time.

“I bought a used Jeep instead, learned how to fix it up, and discovered a new hobby of working on cars,” the CEO recalled.

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