Simple Ideas that Will Improve Your Finances

“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” (Source: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki) When you find yourself repeatedly overspending and not able to pay off credit card debt at the end of the month, put the credit card away and stop spending. You must change your spending habits.

“It’s your money!” (Source: ABC Nightly News) Yes, it is your money. You should be in charge and not let anyone else tell you what to do with your money. You can listen to advice, but you must make the final decisions.

“Never buy a financial product recommended by someone who makes a commission on the sale.” (Source: the Money Coach) A financial advisor should provide unbiased advice; when the advisor works for a commission, the advice could be unfair.

“If something can’t go on forever, it will stop.” (Source: Fed Chief Bernanke used this term to describe growing federal deficits.) This also applies to those who spend more than they make each month. Don’t deceive yourself that you can continue doing the wrong thing, and the problem will go away by itself.

“Things will cost more in the future.” (Source: the Money Coach) I rarely make financial predictions, but I am pretty sure that this one will come true. A very simple example is the first class stamp. When I first started collecting stamps, it cost 5 cents to mail a letter. Buy “forever” stamps now if you plan to mail anything in the future.

“When you are educated, it’s harder for people to take advantage of you.” (Source: The Best American Travel Writing 2004, story “Faces in a Crowd”) The more you learn about family finances and investing, the better off you will be.

“Stop, Look, and Listen” (Source: Beardstown Ladies) Before you buy something, think “do I really need this?” and “can I afford to buy it?” Look before you leap – find out as much about the product as possible. Listen to yourself; you know best what you should be spending your money on.

“A winner does more than the job requires. A loser says, I only work here.” (Source: Attached to a bulletin board in an American Express Office from No Kids, No Money and a Chevy by Chuck Mansfield.) Do more than your neighbor or your co-worker when it comes to managing your money. Go the extra mile.

“Don’t worry about the economy.” (Source: Warren Buffet) Don’t worry about things you can’t control. Worry about your own budget; don’t worry about the world economy. Do the best you can in whatever economic circumstances you find yourself in.

“Look both ways before you cross the street.” (Source: your Mom) Be careful when investing; there are a lot of reckless products and clueless salesmen out there.