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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Money

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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.
  • 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.
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.

  • 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. 
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.  

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!

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.

Cancel your unused memberships and subscriptions.

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

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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RELATED IDEAS

Everyone should have a back-of-the-envelope idea about where their net worth (assets – liabilities) stands.

 Before knowing where you want to go you have to know where you are.

11

IDEAS

Debt is a liability unless you use it to finance income-generating assets. Don't take on debt for anything that does not increase in value over time.

Suitable forms of debt include buying real estate as a rental property, investing in your business, or a student loan.

  1. Save on vehicles. Before buying a car, investigate vehicle reliability, pricing and financing.
  2. Rent. Most rentals offer more flexibility in case you need to move. Also, not having the mortgage payment allows you to start saving earlier.
  3. Don’t be a consumerist, buy only the things you really need.
  4. Save a percentage of your income so you have more money to invest.
  5. Work hard on your current work regardless of your feelings for it. It’s easier than finding a new great opportunity and may lead you into a promotion.
  6. Educate yourself even if it doesn’t bring any immediate benefit, being educated opens new opportunities on the long run.
  7. Invest in yourself and your marketing to open up new opportunities.
  8. Being an entrepreneur is the best way to maximize your earnings, short of being an investor. Try it, even if it fails the learning from it will be invaluable in your next attempt.
  9. Real estate won’t make you rich overnight, but it’s a solid strategy to increasing your network. 

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