Sunday, August 29, 2010

43 Things I've Learned About Money in 43 Years

This seems to be a theme around the internet...listing a number of things you have learned about a particular topic during your life. Here's my list:
  1. Never co-sign for anyone. Never, Never, Never.
  2. Don't use credit cards, they will just bury you in debt.
  3. If your man/woman requires continuous infusions of cash because they can't seem to be able to get their life together, kick them to the curb.
  4. Always have an emergency fund because you are guaranteed to have an emergency (or two, or three) during your life.
  5. There will always be "great deals" so you can be OK about not snatching up every great deal you run across.
  6. The fewer things you have, the less time, money, and effort you spend maintaining them.
  7. Paying for experiences is better than paying for material goods.
  8. It's a great feeling to give money to people occasionally (even better if you give the money anonymously or give to a stranger).
  9. Tithing is NECESSARY.
  10. If your habits are making you fat, broke, and depressed, change your habits.
  11. If a salesman ever says "this deal is only good now, if you don't buy THIS MINUTE you won't get the deal", walk away. Quickly.
  12. ALWAYS start a business with as little money as possible, no more than $1000 at most.
  13. You don't need a completely new outfit (complete with shoes and a purse) for every social occasion. Most people have a hard enough time remembering what they had for breakfast yesterday, remembering what you wear to every event is really not important to them.
  14. You can live quite happily in a smaller home than you think.
  15. Families raised in small houses tend to get along better.
  16. You can't fix other people's problems. Especially their money problems.
  17. People should only work 20 or 30 hours a week. There is too many interesting things to enjoy instead of working.
  18. When you die, you aren't taking ANY of your stuff with you so why strive so hard to collect as many material goods as possible?
  19. Travel to third world countries; not only will you spend less on vacation, but you will see how little most people on the planet need to actually survive.
  20. Always think positive, prosperous thoughts.
  21. Appreciate the stuff you have.
  22. There's something you can do right now to make money if you put a little effort into it.
  23. Help others more than you ask others to help you.
  24. Experiment with your life (ie: no spend weeks, no junk food weeks, walk a marathon, etc), it makes life more interesting.
  25. Never buy the first generation of ANY technology, let the early adaptors work the bugs out first.
  26. If you are feeling guilty about things you are doing with money (embezzling from the company, spending the electric bill money on shoes, etc) don't do it. That feeling is your common sense trying to keep you out of trouble.
  27. Stay home as much as'll save money this way.
  28. Be debt free, there is no better feeling.
  29. Vices (smoking, drinking, gambling, drugs) are expensive and addictive.
  30. Never buy a new car on credit, you will be paying 100% of the retail value for a car that just lost 20% of its value when you drove it off the lot. Does. Not. Compute.
  31. Never lease or rent to own anything.
  32. Avoid: payday lenders, time shares, marketing schemes, pyramid schemes, "too good to be true" emails, etc.
  33. Great people skills along with being able to learn quickly and having a unique, necessary, skill set will nearly guarantee you a job.
  34. The internet has put the possibility of becoming a millionaire right at your fingertips.
  35. The library is one of the greatest boons ever to mankind.
  36. If you absolutely must take out loans for higher education, the total should be less than half of the average starting salary for the job you are studying for.
  37. If your job is making you so stressed that you become ill at the thought of going to work on Monday mornings, quit.
  38. Retail therapy (within reason) can be a good quick fix for a number of ailments.
  39. Whatever the masses are doing, consider doing the opposite (the masses are usually wrong as they are often manipulated by the media, peer pressure, etc).
  40. You are only as good as the people you hang around with (this applies to all areas of your life).
  41. When you are ready to give up, turn your problems over to God and relax.
  42. There is no better investment in your (physical and financial) future than preventive maintenance for your health.
  43. Look for ways, no matter how small, to enjoy life every day.


  1. Awesome, awesome list!
    #26 will come in handy for my High School students this coming school year in regards to skipping, slacking, and not thinking about consequences, etc. :)
    I love #7 ~ I hadn't thought of that...
    #10 ~ It really is amazing how many of the things that keep us from being happy & healthy are just habits that can be changed ~ some will take more effort than others, of course.
    I was wondering if you'd give us some examples of #34 in a future post?? Thanks so much for this list ~ I may just have to print this as a daily reminder!

  2. Karin--Thanks for the great idea for today's post!