Mary Hunt: Seven Rules you need for simple financial success
Over the years, I have taken the lessons I've learned, the mistakes I've made, the principles in Scripture, and wisdom from experts, counselors and teachers whom I respect, and boiled it all down to these simple rules that changed my life:
Rule 1: Spend less than you earn.
Rule 2: Save for the future.
Rule 3: Give some away.
Rule 4: Anticipate your irregular expenses.
Rule 5: Tell your money where to go.
Rule 6: Manage your credit.
Rule 7: Borrow only what you know you can repay.
The Seven Rules are not seasonal, nor are they based on emotion. They work for people who have lots of money as well as those who are struggling to survive on a single income or are between jobs.
The Seven Rules are for every income, every age, every stage of life. They apply to an unemployment check, an allowance, a paycheck, a dividend check, a bonus check, a trust account, an inheritance and even a vast estate.
The Seven Rules apply to individuals and families who are deeply in debt, just as they do for those are are debt free. The rules do not change because they are based on timeless truth and unchanging principles. They're like anchors that keep us from drifting off course or running aground even in the midst of a storm.
Here is the best part: The Seven Rules are simple. So simple, in fact, they fit on the back of a business card. Given 15 minutes, you could even memorize them. In fact, I recommend you do.
About once a month or so, I speak to groups of people about money, something I love to do. Just before I step to the podium, I look out at the audience. I can almost hear what they're thinking: "Great, she's going to talk about money. Why should we care?" That question revs my engine and puts me into my zone. I hope you're asking the same question, right now. Here are four reasons:
1. Because money is important. Its impact is also emotional, spiritual and personal, which can be tricky — especially the emotional part.
2. Because money impacts our lives. It determines where we live, what we drive, where the kids go to school. It's the means by which we pay our bills, protect our families and prepare for the future. Wrong choices and bad decisions can turn an otherwise pleasant life into a miserable existence.
3. Because Americans are finding themselves more financially challenged as prices soar but paychecks remain stagnant. Recovery from the Great Recession is turning out to be slow and uncertain.
4. Because you may be called upon to handle a significant amount of money in the future. It might be an inheritance, a job promotion or a sizable investment portfolio. Or it might be simply a second chance for getting things right. Will you be ready?
Excerpted with permission from Revell Publishing. "7 Money Rules" is available at bookstores and online retailers.
Email Mary Hunt at email@example.com or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.