This “ 13 Simple Money Rules “ will show you what you can adopt to make sure that you get the most value with your money. Money is simple but a lot of people make it complicated. With these simple money rules, you’ll be able to understand more about your money and how to best handle it.
Every payday, I see a lot of millionaires running around the town like there’s Armageddon coming. I see people shopping for clothes and gadgets and carrying shopping bags left and right. I see kids with new toys, which were brought by their parents. A couple of days later, I hardly see anybody around town. It feels like the commotion has stopped and everybody has calmed down. Or maybe there are other reasons.
The truth is a lot of people spend lavishly when payday comes. They don’t mind spending because for them they work hard for their money and it is human nature to treat themselves from time to time.
Of course, what I stated above is only one of the reasons that people end up not having money for the next couple of days before the payday comes back. People have to pay their bills (i.e. utilities, mortgage, cell phones, and credit cards) and buy their needs (i.e. grocery and gas).
In times of great financial uncertainties (e.g. stock market and unemployment), there is a need use money wisely. Even when there aren’t, it’s always best to properly use money for your own benefit.
Simple Money Rules You Can Apply
Money is earned. Whether it is earned easily or not is another question. Money can be your best friend or it can be your worst foe or both. In order to make money work well for you, you need to understand the simple rules about managing money.
Here are my simple rules on money, which my family follows each and every single day.
Simple Money Rules Tip#1: Spend less than what you earn
It may sound simple but it really isn’t. It takes discipline and consistent practice to master the art of spending less than what you earn. This doesn’t mean that you should not start because you are afraid that you won’t succeed. It never hurts to try changing your spending pattern especially when the benefits of spending less will be given to you.
Learn how to spend less than what you are making. It’s an important rule to save as much as you can because you’ll never know when you are going to need your money. Spend on necessities and some few wants. Never try to spend as much as you earn because you’ll never save any money.
Simple Money Rules Tip#2: Don’t treat credit cards as free money
With so many offers and countless benefits of using credit cards, you may be tempted to use your credit cards over and over again. After all, the minimum payments in these cards are so low that you can easily make those minimum payments.
If your reasoning is what I stated above, then, you may need to think your views about credit cards. Credit cards aren’t provided to you for free. Better yet, the charges you place in those cards aren’t free. You will have to pay them back one way or another. If you can’t buy something using cash, don’t bother using credit cards. If you can’t pay cash, then, how would you be able to pay your credit cards when they become due?
Simple Money Rules Tip#3: Do it yourself
Almost anything and everything you can think of are in the marketplace. Nowadays, many people buy stuff out of convenience and they always end up buying things from the market instead of making those items on their own.
As I said earlier almost everything is already in the market. This also means that the raw materials to create the products you need are also in the market. Remember that when you buy a finished product, you are also purchasing convenience. Sometimes, convenience costs more.
If you are looking to build a simple chair, you may go to hardware stores instead of buying finished product from sites like Amazon, Ebay, Wayfair, among others.
The internet is a vast repository of information on everything you can think of and DIY projects are just about everywhere. You can visit Pinterest, which houses a ton of DIY projects that you get inspiration from.
Simple Money Rules Tip#4: Always budget
According to the Gallup poll, two-thirds of Americans don’t have budget. It’s a fact but not really a new, shocking one.
When you are rich or not-so rich, it is a good practice to create budget so you can track both your income and expenses (and also your net income).
If you are one of those people who don’t know where their money goes, then, budget is for you. Your budget, if properly managed and executed, can determine where you have a surplus and a deficit.
Knowing this information is powerful because you are able to make changes on your spending habits that you wouldn’t easily figure out if you just go by what you think is happening. Remember it’s better to jot down everything you can see exactly where things are and what’s happening.
I personally like Personal Capital. It’s similar to Mint but I like the features of Personal Capital. It provides me a complete picture of my financial life. Instead of crunching all the numbers and manually updating my spreadsheet, all I need is Personal Capital. I just needed to link all your accounts to its dashboard to get a picture of my financial life.
It also assesses the health of my portfolio with its free Fee Analyzer and Investment Checkup. I can also look into its Retirement Planner for investment strategy. The best of it is that it’s FREE to sign up.
Simple Money Rules Tip#5: Don’t keep all your money to yourself
According to the Charity Navigator, the total giving to the charitable institutions was $358.38B in year 2014, which was about 2% of the GDP.
You may reason out that it’s your money and you work hard for it. That’s a very good reason and a valid one. But give away some of your money to charitable organizations like your Church and food banks.
Some people may not be as fortunate as you are and a little help from you can go a long way to make their lives better. You’ll feel good knowing that your money has helped improve the lives of people even in your own small ways.
It’s nice to have money and see your savings go up every single day or every time. But it feels even better knowing that you are part of an effort that brings positive changes to the lives of people.
Simple Money Rules Tip#6: Stop trying to impress other people
Don’t try to be the Joneses or try to keep up with the Joneses.
May be it’s just me, but a number of those people who want to impress other people are those who always like to be the talk of the crowd. They always like to be in the center of attention. They always like to be ahead of many people.
For me what this means is that you are just trying to make yourself known. In doing that, you are shelling out a ton of money in the process. If you really want people to talk about you, there are few ways you can adopt that will help you achieve that known status and for better reasons.
You can always volunteer to feed the homeless. You can always donate to the Church and join other volunteer activities. There are so many ways of impressing people and those ways can cost your little to nothing at all.
Simple Money Rules Tip#7: Plan ahead of time
The earlier you plan, the better chances you will get good deals on things that you need (but not always though).
One of the best rules of thumb I’ve ever heard from people is to buy almost everything in advance of need. Ever wondered why it’s more expensive to buy airline tickets a couple of days before your intended departure than a couple of months in advance. This is because there is a demand for those tickets.
If you know you will need toiletries, for example, buy them in bulk when they’re on sale and when you have coupons for them.
Don’t buy right away. It’s always best to allot a plenty of time before buying stuff that you need. When you plan ahead of time, you are able to search places for best prices. When you plan ahead of time, you give yourself a room to think things over before making any decision that can cost you a little or lot of money.
Just take buying a house for example, which is a really great example. You don’t just buy a house right away. You take your time and consider all factors involved with buying a house (i.e. mortgage, insurance, and maintenance). The longer time you provide yourself, the better the chance you will make better decisions.
Simple Money Rules Tip#8: Always be honest with money
One of the reasons that people face money problems is that they fail to realize that they have money problems as simple as that.
Don’t pretend that your money situation is in good condition when you really have a mountain of debt and piles of bills that are waiting to be paid. You need to tell yourself that you have a problem and sit down and find its solutions.
Remember that denying your money problems will only make matters worse. Just like an alcoholic, the first thing you need to do is to tell yourself that you have a money problem. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from other people.
You friends and family may be more than willing to lend a hand when you need one. There are also credit counseling agencies and credit repair companies like Credit Repair that can help you with your credit situations.
Simple Money Rules Tip#9: Invest early on
Investing early on in life is much better than investing later on. This is what I’ve been telling people especially young people who want to have money in the future for whatever purposes they have in mind.
Gone are the days when you needed to go to brokers to place your investments. Gone are those days when you didn’t have enough information to make smart investment decisions. Those days are long gone. Nowadays, you can search the internet for information for investments (e.g. stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) you want to invest in.
I’ve said in a lot of my posts that the early you invest the better chances your money to compound. The law of compounding interest is powerful and works great especially for young investors. When you make an investment of $10,000 at 8% return per year for the next 30 years without touching the money, the value of your $10,000 could be $100,626.57 in 30 years, according to Investor.gov.
There are online investment companies that you can use for any investment decisions you would make. There’s the TradeKing, which will cover transfer fees of up to $150 if you have other investments from other stock brokers or trading platforms. Its stock trading cost is just $4.95 and there’s no account minimum.
Simple Money Rules Tip#10: Value your time and worry less about a few dollars here and there
Always value your time monetary and non-monetarily speaking. Avoid chasing a few dollars or cents because you want to save more when in fact you are consuming a lot of your time.
I’m not saying that money even a few dollars isn’t important. What I am saying is put a hypothetical dollar value on your time. If you are trying to chase 50 cents of grocery savings because the cashier made a mistake but you have to wait an hour to get it back, you should re-think about doing it. Although 50 cents is still money, consider what other important things you can accomplish in an hour.
Sometimes, thinking about a few dollars can cause you valuable time, time that you can be used for greater purposes that will generate more monetary and non-monetary value to yourself.
Simple Money Rules Tip#11: Find your true passions and stick with them
Sometimes, those who pursue their dreams end up making less. It may be true that the money that’s coming to your way may be small but if you are pursuing what your true passions are, the rewards far extend to other things considered valuable in life.
There is a sense of enjoyment and fulfillment when you follow and do what you really are passionate about even if it means that you aren’t earning a lot of money. I do believe that money is important but doing what you are passionate about is far more important.
In many cases, those who pursued their passions have become even more successful than they initially thought. Successful people are those who pursued their dreams and passions no matter how hard they were and how difficult the challenges they faced to pursue their dreams. For me, it’s better to try and fail than not try and always think what could have happened if you did try.
Simple Money Rules Tip#12: Check your progress
For sure, when you are on a budget you always keep track of your income and expenses. When you want to improve your health, you check your calories, exercise completed, and food intake. The same reasoning applies to managing your money or your net worth.
From time to time, you may want to check your net worth. This is a good way to check how far you have gone with saving money and building your fortune. But, as always, don’t be obsessed with checking the figures constantly. You don’t want your day to be consumed with checking your net worth.
You may want to check your progress to make sure that you are in the direction where you want to go or your path is still leading you towards your goal.
Simple Money Rules Tip#13: Be contented and thankful with what you have and don’t have
Sometimes, the best rule is to simply be contented and be happy with what you have or don’t have.
Don’t try to outdo yourself just because you want to have more money. Please don’t get me wrong. There’s a difference between pursuing what you want and over-stressing yourself to obtain what you want.
Stressing may do more harm than good to you. Remember that no matter how much money you want or have amassed that money means nothing if your health is failing. Slow down and breathe.
Be thankful that you have what you have because not a lot of people can get what you have. Don’t brag that you have a lot of money. Just be thankful that blessings are constantly coming your way and treat everything you receive whether money, friends, relationships, and other as additional bonuses.
In a life with filled complications and difficulties, I am certain that you can always simplify some things to make your life easier and lighter and one of these is handling money. Money can be complicated but there surely are simple money rules that you can adopt right away.