The Best Advice about Money I have ever received

  1. Don’ t let anyone borrow money unless you can afford to NOT get it back. People really do have good intentions but things happen that are out of their control or perhaps they just don’t make wise decisions.  The point is if you need to have that money back by a certain time for a specfic reason then say no to your friend or perhaps give what you can instead.  Money issues between friends and family rarely end well and you will be considered the bad guy if you make a stink.  Just don’t do it.
  2. Don’t spend what you don’t have.  We do not have credit cards and have not had them for a decade or more.  We have not missed them.  There are reasons to have a credit card but for our particular situation we don’t need them.  It is a scientific fact that people will spend more when they purchase items with a credit card than cash. That fact is pretty scary if you ask me.  You are incurring debt on stuff you wouldn’t normally buy because it’s easier!
  3. Be thankful for what you have.  We live a simple life and sometimes I forget how very good it is.  I get to work from home so no commute…I just walk up the stairs to my office!  Recently I was laid off and thought I might have to drive an hour or so to work.  I’ve done that in the past and the thought of doing it again was sickening!  I had forgotten how very grateful I should have been for that situation.
  4. Set goals for yourself and find ways to achieve them.  Whether it be saving a certain amount of money, returning to school or getting organized if you structure some workable goals and hold yourself accountable then you are more likely to accomplish the task.
  5. Think about what you are doing and how it is going to impact you down the road. If you didn’t plan dinner and now you are buying dinner out are you going to have enough for the bills on Friday?  I mean it really is that simple.  Don’t walk through life not mindful of your goals, of your budget, or of your financial health.
  6. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I think this one is my husband’s favorite things to say to me.  I am definitely a glass half full kind of person and he is definitely not.  I am famous for saying “IF we save enough money we can do…this”  and he will answer that we don’t have the money yet so why talk about it.  It really does drive me nuts but keeps me focused as well.  When he says don’t count chickens I will reply with “Stop smashing my eggs”.
  7. Always have a budget. It can be as detailed or as simple as you like but it’s best to have a guide to keep you on track.  It can be as simple as writing it out on a simple piece of paper, print out a specific form from Pinterest or use an app like Mint, Level Money or Wally.  The point is to have one!
  8. Ask for help from your debtor.  If you are having trouble paying call them up, they might let you skip a payment or stick it on the end of your loan. You can sometimes spread a payment you can’t make over several months as well.  Letting people know what is going on is much better than simply not paying.
  9. Invest in yourself. Whether it be education or making sure you are contributing to your 401K Plan, please put yourself first.  Pay your savings account, pay your bills and THEN what is left is for play. Make that savings a part of your budget.
  10. Build an emergency fund and don’t take out of it unless it’s an emergency. Period. Here are some great ideas on how to do that:
  11. My grandmother used to say “Just because you don’t have much doesn’t mean you can’t be neat and clean”.  She was fastidious about taking care of her things, her clothes, her silverware, her everything.
  12. Save your change.  It’s true not many people use cash anymore, it is rare for me to even have any in my pocket but there are applications out there for that. Acorn rounds up your debit purchases for you.  So, for example if you spend $3.59 it will round that off to $4.00, take .41 and put in an account.  Then in $5 increments it invests those dollars for you. If you prefer to know exactly how much will come out you can do automatic withdrawals as well.  You can find a great list of investment apps here:
  13. Save your windfalls.  If you get an overtime check, save it.  If you get a big tax return, save it.  If you sell an old cell phone, save it.  These little things can add up over time.  Now you can save for a particular thing (that new outfit you’ve been eyeing), use it to fill up your emergency fund OR something big like a car or a house.
  14. Make it difficult for you to touch your savings. Get a separate savings account not attached to a debit card. If you want to spend from this then you actually have to go to the bank and get it.  Or better yet get an online savings account that takes several days for your money to transfer to your checking account.  Do whatever you need to do so that you won’t be tempted on a whim to just spend it.
  15. Use apps that can help you save at the grocery store.

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