Working hard and being smart with your money aren't things you just should do because they seem virtuous; these behaviors ultimately allow you to get more enjoyment out of life. You'll have no regrets when you're able to accomplish what's important to you because of your savvy ways. These are 11 golden rules that I try to live by:
- Live Within Your Means - In order to be truly independent, it's imperative to live within your means. Your freedom is limited by owing money to anyone, whether it's a credit card company or a family member, so set yourself up for an unrestricted life by saving for the things you want and spending with a plan.
- Work Hard - Your job and the salary you command are your biggest assets in building wealth. Do your best at work and take the steps to make yourself indispensable to set yourself up for the highest level of success.
- Research Before You Act - Whether you're comparing travel package and a la carte prices for a vacation or looking up a company to see if it's legitimate, research is almost always worth your time.
- Avoid Buyer's Remorse - Feeling guilty just doesn't sit well. Avoid buyer's remorse by asking yourself these questions before making a purchase: Do I love it? How often would I wear or use it? Can I afford it? Could I find it cheaper somewhere else?
- Avoid Saver's Remorse - There is such a thing as being too thrifty for your own good. What's the point of squirreling away so much cash if you can't splurge occasionally on yourself and others? Include an amount of discretionary money into your budget to spend on things that you might not desperately need, but would make you smile.
- Strive for Happiness - Finding a job that makes you happy most of the time is possible, and it's worth taking risks to discover what fulfills you. If for one reason or another you're stuck in a position that isn't ideal, at least strive to end your day with something that does make you happy.
- Go for Quality, Not Quantity - Stuffing your closet with items that will fall apart in three months is a silly way to spend your hard earned cash. Buy a smaller quantity of things that are made to last, and you'll be the owner of higher quality items that look and feel like they're worth your money.
- Face Your Weaknesses Head-On - We're not perfect, but admitting that you have weaknesses and doing your best to improve will allow you to continue growing. Invest time in yourself to be the most well-rounded person you can be.
- Save for the Predictable and the Unexpected- We're all going to face retirement someday, and the best time to save for it is now. The golden years are inevitable. On the other hand, we also need to be prepared for the unexpected, like job loss or a medical emergency, so that we can remain in control of our finances even when other things aren't going our way.
- Negotiate - Doors aren't closed until you hear the word no. Negotiating things like salary and benefits can get you ahead of the game, and all you need is the confidence to ask.
- Set Goals on Top of Goals - Cap the feeling that you're going through the motions by revising your goals when you've accomplished your old ones. Whether it's saving for a vacation to a place you've always wanted to visit or considering the next step in your career, there's always something to keep you moving and motivated.
How-To: Set and Achieve Financial Goals
6 Ways to Take the Work Out of Work
Back to Basics: Balancing Love and Money