I’m still undecided about my existential money crisis (and if you haven’t thrown in your two cents yet, please do!) so while I’ve been thinking a lot about what I don’t know about my money, I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I doknow. I’ve been committed to improving my personal finances for almost three years now, and I’ve learned so much about the topic. There’s still a LOT of room for me to grow, but in the meantime, I thought I’d distill the most important PF knowledge I’ve accumulated down into five short soundbites. Feel free to add your own!
1. If you don’t control your money, it will control you
I got into financial trouble because I simply wasn’t watching my money; I wasn’t budgeting or monitoring accounts or controlling costs. Eventually, money worries were consuming my thoughts and driving every decision I made. Some people think it’s a pain to keep a budget, but I like showing my money who’s boss.
2. Anyone can get out of debt
I’ve paid off thousands of dollars in debt on a beginning teacher’s salary. If I can, anyone can. No excuses.
3. If you spend everything you earn, you’re a fool
If you live within your means, you’ll never get ahead financially. Living below your means is the key to being reach your financial goals.
4. If you save everything you earn, you’re also a fool
If you’re just working to pay the bills, you’re not living. We all need to determine what’s really important to us (travel, family, etc.) and make sure that we’re working not only to pay for life, but for living, too.
5. Spending less is helpful, but earning more is powerful
Undoubtedly, spending less is the first step in any financial turnaround. But in my experience, spending less will only get you so far. If you want to really achieve a financial goal, you’ll also have to earn more. But earning more doesn’t have to just be about the money; all the extra income I’ve earned has come with a line item on my resume. Curriculum writing, experience teaching multiple subjects, leadership experience…make your extra work really WORK for you.
What do you know for sure about money?