If I ask you to tell me three money rules fast which ones are they going to be?
[Take a minute to think about it and let me know in the comments.]
The ones I’d most likely think about are:
- Spend less than you make.
- Stash the difference away.
- Don’t simply save it, invest it wisely.
That’s it! Three money rules to rule them all!
Or maybe not.
These money rules are important but today I’ll share with you 7 money rules that are powerful enough to transform you money destiny. And to top it all, these are money rules that you don’t hear much about and usually don’t think about or remember.
(Before I go any further, I’d like to thank Quora member Lukas Schwekendiek who reminded me about some of these.)
So, the 7 powerful money rules you don’t usually think about despite them having the potential to transform your personal finances are:
#1. Money spent living better is not wasted
You see, most personal finance experts would tell you that paying attention to your wants rather than needs and allowing yourself some luxury is a waste of money.
Living in a nice apartment?
Waste of money paying all this rent/mortgage when you can save it.
Travelling business class?
Waste of money when you can travel coach and save the difference.
Living better, makes you feel better, perform better and brings great returns.
I have introduced a rule that if my flight is longer than four-five hours I travel business (and it matters little whether I travel for my job, my side hustle or pleasure). This pays for itself manifold given that I save at least couple of days recovery time (my time is very expensive), can work during the flight and am less likely to die from deep vein thrombosis.
It is up to you to figure out what ‘living better’ means to you (and for you).
#2. Produce more instead of saving more
Regular readers of The Money Principle know that this is part of my ‘money philosophy’.
There is little wrong with living a parsimonious life style (said simply this means getting most bang for your buck). Still, producing more, and correspondingly, making more money is the secret to winning the game of wealth.
In many cases this is a matter of shifting your mind set from the one of a consumer to one of producer. Simply put, this means a shift from reading book to writing book, from playing games to developing games etc.
#3. Get excited, not afraid, about your money
I ignored this one for close to two decades.
All this brought was a financial crisis which I was determined enough to turn into rebirth. It could have easily been a disaster ending in a bankruptcy court.
Combat fear and turn it into an excitement that will bring about financial success irrespective where your finances stand at the moment.
(Just in case you started suspecting that I’ve gone all new age on you, this is about much more than a positive thinking. This is about framing problems, about the buzz that solving problems and winning give, and about turning misery into enjoyable games. Hard but so worth it.)
#4. You always buy emotions not things
I’ve never been able to understand people who shop for pleasure and remodel their kitchens every ten minutes or so.
Now, having done some research and thinking about it, I do. It is not about the kitchen or about the objects people buy. It is about the emotions this creates.
Buying stuff make people feel powerful, secure and prosperous. Spending is shapes their identity (I’m prosperous and certainly much better than…) and feeds their self-esteem.
Ones you remember that you don’t buy things but emotions, you may start thinking about different ways to achieve the same emotion. Ways that are not going to break the bank and fill your house with clutter.
#5. Decide what matters and spare no expense
When we were in a lot of debt and I kept track of every penny that came in and out of our bank account, there were three things on which I continued spending despite the expense.
- I bought expensive perfume (I love Bulgari) because its smell makes me feel like million dollars (and then some).
- Continues having expensive haircuts.
- Maintained my gym membership and worked with a personal trainer.
These kept me out of psychological meltdown and helped me get out of debt very quickly.
Meanwhile, I clamped down on almost everything else. I cancelled my car parking permit and cycled to work; I stood at the bottom of a ski slope (we borrowed a friend’s house to go skiing) and bought people’s ski passes; I didn’t buy any clothes and shoes (bought clothes and shoes only for my growing up son); etc.
You see what I mean?
Decide what is really important for you and don’t skimp on it. Don’t forget to cut all that doesn’t matter much.
#6. Get help when you need it
To master your finances you have to learn and act. You also have to be able to know when you need help and who you can ask for it.
That is all.
#7. Focus on value not money
This is a mistake that we make in our personal finance and our businesses. Large organisations make this mistake as well and they fail.
What is the mistake, you may ask?
We focus too much on money: we focus on the money we don’t have and we’d like to make. Meanwhile we completely ignore the fact that money follows value.
Which means that if we focus on the value we can contribute (and crack it), the money will follow anyway.
Next time you think about ways to make money, think about what you can contribute to someone’s life that makes their life easier, more enjoyable and more productive.
(As a side line, focusing on value is a very good way to make the difference between internet articles that really offer ideas on how to make more money and ones that only tell you to sell your stuff.)
Personal finance is not simply and only about spending less than you make, saving and investing. There are powerful money rules that the most successful players of the Game of Wealth know, and apply, and most people ignore.