I understand that we are extremely lucky to live in the democracy that we do. I just, I don’t know, can’t stand the few weeks leading up to election day. I mean, society as a whole must be extremely ignorant. Otherwise, why would every politician known to man spend millions of dollars slinging mud at each other? The only reason I can think of … it works. That, my friends, depresses me. Instead of focusing on the issues and how each candidate will address them, they decide to interrupt the damn world series, when my Texas Rangers are playing in their first world series in franchise history, with infuriating and clearly framed commercials (note: I wrote this draft back in October, 2010.)
In other words, I could watch a commercial from one party with the exact same data as a commercial from the opposing party and end up feeling swayed in either direction due to the way the information has been presented. You can read more and even see a demonstration if you would like to make sure I’m not making this stuff up.
Regardless, when it comes to which party is in office, I just really don’t care when looking through my personal finance lens. By following sound and basic money rules, well, we should all be just fine. Here’s a few to keep in mind:
Spend Less Than You Earn
Without successfully implementing this most basic rule, none of the other rules will ever work. Period. It sounds extremely easy, and it can be. But don’t be surprised if it doesn’t come naturally even when you are paying attention. You’ll need to create a budget of some sort if you have never tried this thing before, and you’ll need to follow. My wife and I have had great luck at mint.com, but maybe an Excel spreadsheet or just pencil and paper will suit your style better. Regardless of the method you choose, you much adhere to the budget as if your life depended on it for the first few months. Eventually, it will become second nature, I promise.
Quit Trying To Keep Up With Me, Or Your Parents, Or your Brother, Or your Neighbor
No one cares. Really. If you are trying to impress your friends, why? Do you think they are only friends with you because of they way you spend your money? (Notice I didn’t say because you have money, because you obviously don’t when you spend it all trying to impress people who don’t matter.) If your so called “friends” really won’t like you after you quit spending all of your money on things that don’t matter, then you might have bigger issues than I can help you with.
Quite Procrastinating and Get With It
Rome wasn’t built in a day. How do you eat a whale? One bite at a time. Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried. Procrastination is like masturbation, in the end you are just screwing yourself…too much? Sorry, but you get my point. If you aren’t aware of how time and compound interest work together to do amazing things, click here. Otherwise, just take this as a friendly reminder from your future self proclaimed Millionaire Next Door.
For a complete list of my money rules, see the side bar, or read my “How Not To Be a Broke M.B.A.” post detailing all the rules you need to not give a damn (at least regarding your personal finances) about who’s in office.