This blog is a way for me to share hard learned lessons about money with those who are just starting out on their own. I hope it's a way for you to avoid making the mistakes I made, and to benefit from my experiences

Thursday, July 27, 2006

12 Rules to Get Ahead in Life

Someone asked a question in Yahoo Answers, "How to you get ahead in life." I started thinking about all I had learned. Since this was in the Personal Finance area, it is geared more to Personal Finance, but I think the more rules one follows, the happier one's life will be. I'm still short of all 12. I may never get there. But I know as I've started following one rule, and then another and another, my life has gotten better.

In no particular order, here they are:
  1. Get a college education. College opens so many doors economically that you will make far more money on average than a non-college graduate.
  2. Choose a career you love. Don't worry about the money at first. You will naturally excel at it and prosper.
  3. Always live beneath your means. Most likely the people you see flaunting their wealth by driving luxury cars and sporting the latest expensive purses, etc., are in debt up to their eyeballs.
  4. Learn the differences between wants and needs. Never go into debt to get something you "want."
  5. Start saving now. Some for retirement, some for a home, some for car, etc. A good rule of thumb would be a minimum of 10% of your pre-tax income. Do it through a payroll deduction, before you ever see any of it. Make it automatic!
  6. Don't get hooked on liquor or drugs.
  7. Do not have any children until you are married and stable. Also do not have any children before graduating college. This means take precautions!
  8. Buy a home. People who own their own home accumulate far more wealth in life than those that rent.
  9. Be assertive. Don't be afraid to go after the things you want. This includes asking bosses for raises and promotions, and going up and talking to interesting people.
  10. Always think about the consequences of your actions. For every action you take, think "If I do this, what will happen?" What will the positive results be? What are the negative side-effects. What responsibilities will you incur?
  11. Take care of yourself. Eat right and exercise. Stay in shape. It's the only body you have.
  12. Use debt only to acquire things that will grow in value, or will help you earn income.

I hope you find some value or guidance in these rules.

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