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“Scared money can’t win and a worried man can’t love.”
― Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

Make more or spend less.

Money is a story: “We ask ourselves questions like: How much pain am I in right now? Do I deserve this? What will happen to the price in an hour or a week? If it changes, will I feel smart or dumb? What will my neighbors think? Does it feel fair? What sort of risks (positive and negative) are involved? (This is why eBay auctions don’t work for the masses).” Our bank accounts are merely a number.

Only borrow money to buy things that go up in value.

“To me, the ultimate purpose of money (is) so you do not have to be in a specific place at a specific time doing anything you don’t want to do.”

Read this if you are 20 (or even if you aren’t).

When you are going through a tough time, get in shape: finances and your health.

Everyone should read “The Richest Man in Babylon” at least once.

A common version is the 70-20-10 strategy: 70% for living expenses (rent, food, clothing, gasoline); 20% for savings, 10% for retirement (IRA, 401(k), company pension), 5% for emergencies (car repairs, medical expenses, unemployment), 5% for specific goals (vacation, car, school tuition, a new computer); 10% for debt (student loans, car payments, credit cards). The 50-30-20 rule allows 30% for wants and 50% for needs.

Learn how to delay gratification.

Every year audit your credit cards and ask for a reduction in interest rate. There is a lot of competition out there if they aren’t willing to help.

Focus on creating great relationships instead of chasing money.

Your car will sit idle 98% of the day so consider wisely how much you value upper your status by buying one that is expensive. Toyota will almost always have the lowest cost of ownership.

Learn to say, “Is this negotiable?” The worst someone will do is say “no.”

Once you make around $70,000, your happiness doesn’t improve.

Create a budget and try to stick to it.

California more expensive to live than the midwest. But, keep in mind the midwest has expenses that California doesn’t.

Do you need a big house?

Buying a boat means that every time you use it be ready to “Break Out Another Thousand.” My brother always said, “it if floats or flies, rent it…”

Have a six-month rainy day fund in case it takes you that long to get a new job.

If you want to buy something from Amazon, but it into your “saved for later.” If you still need it a few days later, then actually buy it. If not, but it in the wishlist and forget about it.

Pay off your credit cards.

Invest in opportunities that you understand.

John Bogle tells a story in his book “Enough” about a conversation he witnessed between Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller at a party of a wealthy hedge fund manager. Vonnegut said that the hedge fund manager made more money in a single day than Heller had earned writing Catch-22. Heller told Vonnegut, “Yes, but I have something he will never have . . . enough.” How much is enough for you?

The American Dream was a marketing campaign developed by Fannie Mae. James Altucher, Ramit Sethi and Kevin Fisher have argued against buying a home. However, if you do own, make one extra house payment a year and you will pay off your home faster.

Know how much money you have at all time. I use Mint.com.

Track your mileage for business and health-related appointments.

Read “Discover How Investing Should Be.”

Always get a return policy or “cooling off period.” Being able to return a more expensive item is worth more than getting a deal on something you can’t. That is why I will always shop at Target, Ikea or REI first.

Set a reminder when you buy something that you are on the fence about keeping (or it is expensive). This way you won’t pass the return date.

Insurance is there to defend your assets.

Buffett: “Invest in yourself.”

A pet will cost a lot. Get pet insurance so that you don’t have to end your dog’s life because of a vet bill.

Monitor your credit score. Once you are at 760, you are getting the best rates. Mint.com will also do that for you.

Arguments about money are by far the top predictor of divorce.

Request a free credit report quarterly from annualcreditreport.com.

If everyone is talking about a great buying opportunity, you are already too late.

Make an appointment with your CPA or tax planner every November to estimate your taxes. A surprise tax bill is no fun.

Using something like Wealthfront is much better than using a money manager.

Acorns.com allows you to round up your daily purchases and that extra money will get auto-invested in the stock market. Some have gone on to become millionaires by doing this.

Compound interest can make you a millionaire.

Corporations are people” and often have much more powerful humans. We want them to do well, but what happens when they get too powerful?

If you ever loan money to a friend or family member, consider it a gift and expect for it to not be repaid.

Everyone wants to pay as little in taxes as possible, but you need to pay enough to qualify for loans. An even better mindset is to look at taxes as your contribution to society.

Further Reading