A while back, somebody asked me to summarize my personal finance “playbook” in a blog post.
Well … here it is:
1. Debt is a form of indentured servitude where people agree to sacrifice a portion of their future earnings in exchange for instant gratification.
2. ATM machines are the Achilles’ heel of impulsive spenders.
3. History tells us that all fiat money eventually returns to its intrinsic value: zero. The US dollar is fiat money.
4. Given a choice, it’s always better to live your life anonymously rich, rather than deceptively poor.
5. If you have to ask your boss for a raise, then you need to find a new employer.
6. When in doubt, always choose credit over debit.
7. It’s almost impossible to effectively manage your personal finances if you don’t track your income and outgo.
8. Only suckers play the lottery.
10. Credit card “convenience” checks are anything but.
11. Frugality has its limits. The most effective way to stretch your income is by finding ways to earn more money.
12. Treat your household like a business; actively manage your finances and continuously look for ways to maximize your income.
13. Not everyone requires a budget to effectively manage their personal finances.
14. When it comes to saving money, patience is a virtue.
15. Nobody should pursue a non-technical college degree until they’ve calculated their projected payoff point and return on investment.
16. Precious metals such as gold and silver are for insuring wealth; not investing.
17. Money does not buy happiness. If you’re looking for nirvana, you need to focus on attaining financial freedom.
18. Only fools and the financially naive believe that everyone who drives an expensive luxury car is financially well-off.
19. Only fools and the financially naive believe that everyone who drives a beater is broke.
20. No matter how nice your financial advisor is, nobody will ever care more about your retirement nest egg and investments than you.
21. When it comes to managing personal finances, those who fail to plan are planning to fail.
22. Keeping up with the Joneses is a fools’ errand. Besides, the Joneses are broke.
23. Personal finance management is not rocket science.
24. Achieving financial freedom becomes extremely difficult if life’s major milestones aren’t accomplished in this order: 1) education 2) career 3) marriage 4) kids.
25. Buy low, sell high, and have an exit strategy for every investment.
26. It’s sometimes better to rent a home than own one.
27. People who believe in personal responsibility, and strive to be self-reliant, control their own destiny.
28. A spreadsheet can help even the most disorganized person successfully manage her personal finances.
29. It’s more important to save for your retirement than your kids’ college education.
30. Americans under 50 who are counting on Social Security to provide for them in retirement will be working until the day they die.
31. If you can’t live on $50,000 per year, it’s your own fault.
32. Failing to save and being financially dependent on friends, family or the government severely limits one’s choices in life.
33. You can achieve financial freedom regardless of how much money you make.
34. He who dies with the most toys, doesn’t win.
35. Actions have consequences, which is why it’s important to always spend less than you earn.
36. You can be financially successful without a college degree; and a college degree does not guarantee financial success.
37. Sometimes it makes sense to splurge, especially when it comes to vacations.
38. The harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.