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The 10 Commandments of Personal Finance

August 04, 2015
1.       Don't Be Greedy, Give Back To The Needy
Be a good steward of all that you have been blessed with in life.  There are many people who don't have, and may never have, the good fortune that you do today. There is no better feeling than seeing the bright, smiling faces of the people you have helped.
2.       Hunker Down And Legal Up
Sit down with your attorney and craft up Wills, Living Wills, Healthcare Powers of Attorney, and Financial Powers of Attorney. If you do not have these documents, the state has them for you, and you may not like what they have.
3.       Protect Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
No one likes paying for insurance because you hope you never use it.  Who wants to pay for something they never use?  The point of insurance is to provide certainty around income and protect assets from creditors and predators when something bad happens.
4.       Only The Brave Will Save
The national savings rate in this country is 5.6%*.   Most of generation XY isn't saving anything, and that needs to change.  Save for opportunities, save for emergencies, save because no one else will do it for you.
5.       Be Stan, The Man With The Plan
If you don't have a plan, you won't get it done.  It's like a grocery list (thanks, mom). If I go to the grocery store without a list of what I need to get, the next thing I know I've bought 12 different things that I didn't need, and spent $50 extra bucks. 
Make a plan for what you want to accomplish in the short and long term.  It may change over time, but you’re more likely to get where you want to go if you create and stick to your plan.
6.       Invest In The Best
Investing back in yourself will have a greater return than any investment in the world.  Invest in your knowledge, your business, your family, and your future. Knowledge is power.
7.       Spend It Like You Mean It, Not Like You Need It
Everybody loves to spend their hard earned money, and there's no shame in that. It's important to prioritize our spending habits and understand them, before they take over our lives.  Let the Joneses spend their money like crazy right now.  When they overspend and have maxed out their credit cards, the Joneses will be the ones trying to keep up with you.
8.        Points Are Good, Miles Are Great, And Credit Card Debt We Hate
If someone could offer you an investment that is guaranteed to return 15-20% every year, would you do it?   When you have credit card debt, that is what you are paying the credit card companies. You're just padding their pockets, and they love you.  If you have credit card debt, pay it off as quickly as you can.
9.        Don't Fret Over Debt
There is good debt, and there is bad debt.  I'm talking about good debt here. Student Loans, Mortgages, Business Loans are all debt vehicles that allow you to gain leverage for a future opportunity. Have a plan, keep your credit score high, and look to refinance debt if and when it makes sense for you.
10.   Income Streams Should Be In Everyone’s Dreams
A financial empire is not built on one single income stream.  You need to build assets that can produce income in order to grow more assets exponentially. This could be in businesses, real estate, investments, etc.  Do the things you love, and do them with a burning desire to succeed. 

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, April 2015