Timeless Money Lessons
In writing this headline I pondered whether I could avoid the usual repetitive clichés when it comes to money. After delving into what I feel are some of the most important points I look back on them and think yep definitely clichés, however I am reminded when talking to many people when they ask about my blog that they remain as relevant as ever.
Now they are certainly not as simple as just written on a piece of paper and require immense discipline but they are certainly not unachievable to anyone.
1. Money can’t make you happy
By no means am I someone who is going to live under a rock or sacrifice the pleasures in life in order to save all my money. If you can’t enjoy the journey then you have a reality check waiting when you reach the destination. Money is not going to make you happy, but being crippled by debt can really make you unhappy.
2. Don’t borrow money, unless you really have to
Debt is the ultimate way to erode your wealth. Not only does it compound against you but it leads to many problems in your life. Too many people budget debt into their lifestyle whether it be for a car or for clothes and in the process they spend much more than they ever had to and destroy their ability to save. Emergency funds remain as important as ever in our fight to be debt free.
Note: I am not generally referring to all debt but mainly the kind which many people use to subsidise their lifestyle.
3. Spend less than you earn
This one may seem obvious but for many people it is the hardest of all. Living a lifestyle you cannot afford is like sprinting at the start of a marathon, it’s going to catch up with you and pretty soon in fact.
4. Develop more than one source of income
We all have multiple skills, the hard part is using these skills to provide a product or service which can generate you additional sources of income.
Another (arguably easier, but much longer) way to do this is with your money. You can invest your money into income generating assets which pay you for the rest of your life, such as buying shares which pay you dividends.
5. Shares are the best investment for long term growth
Believe it or not the jury is not out on this one. History has shown this time and time again and there is no reason to assume this won’t be the case throughout the distant future. If shares (hopefully in the form of ETF’s) aren’t the biggest portion of your long-term investment portfolio then you better have a very good reason for it.
6. Create a strategy refine it and stick to it
There is no such thing as psychics, so shut off all the daily noise and spend enough time in the market to develop an investment strategy for yourself, and understand what noise you should focus on. Yes you will make mistakes, and yes some years you will lose money, but sticking to your strategy means you will win in the long run.
7. Avoid trying to make a quick buck
Have you ever been told gold is the best investment to make, or that you can’t miss out on bitcoin right now? “Investing” (this is speculating and not investing) because of fear of missing out is just like gambling. Don’t get caught up in hype where you can make greedy or emotional decisions.
This doesn’t mean you should never take a risk, but a risk going wrong should never cause that sinking feeling in your stomach which many casino goers feel.
8. Never stop learning
Make it your biggest goal to understand. I never would want anyone to take what I say as the absolute truth, take it as my opinion from my own personal experiences. Don’t take what anyone says as the absolute truth, first make it your biggest mission to understand what they are talking about so that you can formulate your own opinion and apply it to your own life.
I am reminded daily that the single biggest influence on our money is our own mindset. Money needs to be respected for what it is; a tool to aid our experience of life. If it is respected, it will respect you and if it is abused well then it will abuse you back.