There’s so much advice out there about money. The lessons we remember best don’t come from detailed presentations complete with calculations and charts. Instead, we benefit most from the bite-sized nuggets of wisdom behind those lengthy sermons.
Think about one of the oldest money adages out there: A penny saved is a penny earned. It’s simple, to the point, and memorable.
Over the years, I have compiled a list of my favorite one-liners on wealth creation. Here is the short list of my personal favorites. These easy-to-digest sentences might make you rethink your approach to earning, spending and saving your hard-earned cash.
1. The Person Who Cares Most About Your Money Is You.
Why? Because you earned it. You have an emotional tie to your cash, so remember that and prioritize your spending and saving. Make a budget and stick to it. Cut your spending in favor of socking a few more dollars away. No one is going to make these day-in, day-out decisions for you.
2. The Happiness You Get from Spending Won’t Last as Long as The Satisfaction You Get from Saving.
It’s so easy to forget this invaluable lesson when we see something shiny and new in the store. Once you buy something, the value of that object begins to diminish almost immediately. The “joy” it brings you is fleeting. But when you meet or exceed your savings goals, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and well-being that will last far longer.
3. Taking Out Credit Takes Minutes; Paying Back Debt Can Take Years
There are times in our lives that merit taking out a loan – buying a house, getting a new car, or paying for college. Other things, not so much. While you may have excellent credit, and be able to get financing for a new Maserati, that absolutely does not mean you should do it. No way, no how.
Remember that taking out a loan is an investment that should provide a return. And the benefit is not the thing (like that shiny Maserati), it’s what the thing allows you to achieve. Homes typically increase in value, cars get you to and from work, and a college degree makes you better equipped for higher paying jobs. Remember this point before you go into debt for anything. Always ask, “Will this be an investment that will benefit me over time?” If the answer is no, skip it.
4. Always Max Out Your 401(k) Contributions to Your Employer’s Match.
Can you say free money? That’s the perfect description of employer’s match of your 401(k) contributions. Don’t leave this cash on the table – rake it in. Say you can contribute up to 5% of your salary, and your employer will match half. That’s an extra 2.5% in your pocket with no sweat off your back. Take the money.
5. The Most Important Investment You Will Ever Make Is in Yourself.
Whether it’s the choice to get an advanced degree, to learn a new skill, to broaden your network or to focus on your fitness, putting time and energy into bettering yourself is the best investment you will ever make. You will reap the rewards of continually improving yourself for decades to come.