Welcome to another installment of iontuition’s Q&A series with personal finance bloggers. We have Well Kept Wallet’s personal finance blogger and financial coach, Deacon Hayes, sharing his financial expertise with us today. Deacon is devoted to helping others achieve their financial goals, which has led him to a career as a Personal Finance Expert. We’re pleased to share his tips with you!

What’s the best piece of financial advice you ever received?

The best piece of financial advice I ever received is that if you want to be wealthy, you need to invest in appreciating, or increasingly valuable, assets and avoid buying depreciating, or decreasing in value, assets.

What’s your advice for those who already have student loans?

If you have student loans, you should have a plan to pay them off. The sooner you can pay them off, the better. This will save you a ton of interest and free up more money each month to achieve your financial goals in life.

How do you stay ahead on paying your student loans back?

The best way to is to make sure that you are doing a budget each month. You should budget in your student loan payments and when you have extra cash, you should pay off high interest consumer debt, then tackle your student loans.

If you could go back in time and give your 18-year-old self a piece of financial advice, what would it be?

I would tell myself to start investing in appreciating assets early in life. For instance, if I would have started investing $200/month in stocks at age 18 and I was able to get a 10% annual return, I would have close to $80,000 by the time I turned 33.

Would you go to a different school if you knew what you know now about student debt?

I would have still went to the same school, but I would have taken it more seriously. My freshman year of college, I nearly had all of my tuition paid for without student loans. However, I did get horrible grades my first year and because of that, I lost my financial assistance and took on student loans to pay for college instead. If you are receiving scholarships or grants that are contingent upon getting good grades, work hard to make sure that you maintain the necessary GPA so that you can take on the least amount of student loans possible.

Read more from Deacon on his blog, visit him on Facebook and follow him on his Twitter.