1. Spend less than your cash flow. Easy enough concept, and it is the number one rule.
2. Pay yourself first. When you get your paycheck, set money aside for yourself before any person or company you owe. This will determine whether you move up financially or not.
3. Every dollar is an investment. Even if you are going to Disneyland, it is an investment into your personal happiness and an investment into the relationships you are building with your companions. Every dollar you spend must be advancing you in some way. This will fight off instant gratification.
4. Always expand your knowledge on making financial choices. You have never learned everything you need to know. I don't care what school you went to. Keep reading, keep learning.
5. Don't listen to false prophets. Just as I encourage you to learn more, it is important to tune out of the advice of people who set bad examples. If your dad is 65 years old and still has not retired, you might want to think twice about following his instructions. Instead, listen to high-identity people.
6. Set yourself up for financial security, don't have your job do it for you. This is so important, and yet absolutely no one follows this rule. If you get a job, your employer will sit you down with HR, and an unqualified person from HR will give you deferred compensation options. This person is not licensed in financial options, and so cannot legally advise you. Choose your own retirement vehicles, because it is very likely you can hop employers.
7. Minimize your taxes. Do you like financing war? Me neither. Learn how to store and grow your money tax free. If the top 1% can do it, so can you. There are ways. Message me if you think I'm wrong.
8. Shop for competing prices for everything and never buy anything at full price! Clothes, car maintenance, insurance. If you are ever paying full price for a service, you are being exploited.
9. Take care of yourself physically and legally. Smoking will raise your life and health premiums. Getting a DUI will disqualify you from life insurance all together. This closes doors that can save you from being a slave till the end of your days.
10. Your hourly earnings are important. Your annual earnings are not. Someone making $50,000 a year at $500 an hour has more of their time (meaning their life) than someone making $100,000 at $50 an hour. This is the single most important concept in understanding who is rich and who is not. Someone is not living an enriched life because they have amassed wealth and material possessions. Someone is living an enriched life because they have the freedom to spend their time how they wish!This question originally appeared on Quora: What are the ten most important things about personal finance a non finance background person must know? More questions:
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