1) Financial Education is worth more than money. Take the time to learn about money; how to manage, invest, and keep it. Be a life-long learner on the subject. Once you know how it works; it becomes a fun and challenging adventure to improve your finances.
2) Spend less than you make, and invest the difference. You can have anything you want, just figure out a way to increase your cash flow to pay for it.
3) Don't acquire material things to impress people. Shallow people will judge you by your material things. Your real friends, and those who matter, will judge your character.
4) Start investing early -- the younger you are when you start, the more time you have to build wealth. The sooner you start, the more time you have to gain experience, learn, and recover from any errors or bad investments. Just ask anyone over 50 years old, who "dabbled" in investing without adequate knowledge or experience, and is trying to recover from a "bad" investment.
5) There is good debt and bad debt; never confuse the two, or think all debt is the same. Good debt provides leverage and helps you make more money through asset growth and increases your wealth. Bad debt is generally consumer debt which takes your money in the forms of interest due and depreciation. They are disguised to look the same on the outside, but are actually very different on the inside. If they were animals, it is like comparing a dairy cow to an alligator. One will give life-sustaining milk, and the other will eat you alive.
6) Live simply and surround yourself with positive people and not stuff. Realize that the more stuff you own, the more that stuff will eventually own you in time and energy. The more toys you have the more you have to pay for, take care of, maintain, protect, and worry about -- and the less freedom you will truly have. Live simply and choose wisely.
7) Be prepared for emergencies -- financially and physically.
Have a plan and collect the needed resources; including a cash emergency fund.
8) No one cares about your money more than you do. Do not trust another's opinion on the value, guaranteed return, or security of an investment, unless you review the numbers and do the research yourself. Ask me how I learned this one!
9) Think long term and be mindful of your future. Learn to delay immediate gratification, and sleep on all big financial decisions. The opportunity will always be there if it is meant for you. Your future will arrive before you realize, and you are the one who will have to live with your financial decisions.
10) Don't lose money or treat it casually. Welcome money as you would a good friendship; once you make it, take great care to keep it. Treat it with respect and gratitude.
11) Never sell out what is important to you for money. How you do something is how you do everything. Live with integrity and value your character; never compromise either for money.
12) Get to know the whisper of your spirit, and pay it more attention than the trumpeting of your ego. You can create your ideal life. You are never a victim of circumstance. You have the power to control your thoughts, actions, and perspective on life. Keep a positive outlook and always look for the silver lining.
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