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60 Simple Rules of Personal Finance - The Simple Dollar

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/sixty-simple-rules-of-personal-finance/

thesimpledollar.com

60 Simple Rules of Personal Finance - The Simple Dollar
A while back, I was asked to give an hourlong presentation where I talked about my key principles of personal finance. I chose to give a presentation where each slide was available for about a minute with one simple rule on each slide, giving me a minute to discuss that rule.

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Keep everything as simple as possible

The more credit cards you have, the more chances you have for identity theft and the more chances you have to miss a payment. The more investment accounts you have, the less attention you can give to each one and the more likely it is that you’ll miss a big problem.

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Don’t ever let your “future self”...

...take care of your current situation.

Your future self might have more income, but it’s also fairly likely that your future self might have less income and you’ll find yourself in a really bad situation. 

Even if your future self is doing well, there are probably going to be other big expenses that you’ll want to deal with at that time, like buying a house.

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Focus on...

  • Building an emergency fund: set up an automatic weekly or monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings, then leave the savings alone until an emergency appears.
  • Eliminating high-interest debt: Set up a simple debt repayment plan by organizing your debts by interest rate, then attempt to make a double payment on whatever debt has the highest interest rate.
  • Saving for retirement: It will actually end up being a much smaller burden than you expect,  lifted up by the pleasure of knowing that you’re securing your retirement.

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Build the right budget

The most valuable part of budgeting is actually the process of building a budget correctly. 

You build a budget based on looking at your actual spending over the previous few months. Get real numbers, not estimates. Dig through your bank statements and credit card statements and figure it out. This will easily show you the areas where you actually overspend.

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How much 1 hour of your time costs

  • Figure out how much you earned last year after taxes.
  • Subtract from that all of the costs of commuting, professional clothes, work-related meals, and other expenses you paid out of pocket.
  • Figure out how many hours you worked, plus the hours you commuted and attended other business meetings. 
  • Divide your after-expenses income by your total hours of work to get your true hourly wage. 

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Renting vs. home ownership

Renting vs. home ownership
Rent unless your total monthly cost of home ownership is lower than renting.

It’s easy to get sold on the home ownership dream, but if it’s going to jack up your bills, it’s probably not a wise move.  

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The 10-second rule

Whenever you’re tempted to splurge on something cheap, simply hold it in your hand for 10 seconds and ask yourself honestly whether you need it or not. Actively try to think of reasons why you shouldn’t buy this item. Will you really get enough value out of it to make it worth the cost?

Usually, just 10 seconds will convince you that you don’t really need the item, and if something still passes the test, feel free to buy it!

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The 30-day rule

For more expensive items simply choose to wait 30 days after your first serious impulse before buying the expensive item, provided that it’s not an essential or emergency need.

Use that time to do a little research and make sure you actually want or will use the item, and also give it time to just sit there and see if the desire dies down. You’ll find that, more often than not, you won’t want the item after thirty days.

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Unused subscriptions

Cancel your unused memberships and subscriptions.

Unused subscriptions and memberships do nothing but devour your money month after month.

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Investing money in stocks

Investing money in stocks
  • Money in stocks, over the long term, tend to offer very good returns, but stocks tend to be very volatile, with lots of short-term jumps and falls in value. Hold on and be patient.
  • Shoot for the average by buying index funds with low fees.
  • Don’t bother with individual stocks: they require a ton of research and a lot of attention, and even then they come with a lot of risks.
  • Have some portion of your investments in an index fund made up of international stocks and other international investments (euro and the Chinese yuan).

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Salary is not the same as savings

Having a high salary does not automatically make you rich; having a low salary does not automatically make you poor.

Your net worth is more important than how much money you make. It’s amazin...

Saving is more important than investing

Pay yourself first is such simple advice, but so few people do this. 

The best investment decision you can make is setting a high savings rate because it gives you a huge margin of safety in life.

Live below your means...

....not within your means. 

The only way to get ahead financially is to stay behind your own earnings power.

8 more ideas

Money rules to increase your net worth

  1. Don't spend all your income at once: the easiest way to grow your bank account is NOT to spend it all.
  2. Know how the Economy works.
  3. Avoid debt; personal debt destroys your net w...

It takes more time to make money than to spend it

You work thousands of hours to make a certain amount of money. And then, you can drop it all on a new car, luxury vacation, watch, or anything else that you desire.The easiest way to grow your bank account is NOT to spend it all. It’s solid advice. The ancient Stoics knew about this too. True freedom means you desire less.

Know How The Economy Works

Why do economies generally collapse? What’s debt? Who prints money? Why do they print money?You don’t have to be an economist. The point is that basic knowledge about how all this stuff works prevents panic. “Oh shit! The market is down! What now!!” Panicking will not help you.

When budgeting comes in handy

  • You have no idea where your money is going.
  • You’re chronically overspending.
  • You’re not saving any money.
  • You struggle to afford the things you really want.
  • You...