Recently, Adam Chudy issued a challenge for several bloggers to condense all of their financial advice onto a single index card. It was a fascinating idea and I loved reading through them. Go check out the index card challenge entries if you haven’t already.
First of all, here is my entry. It’s a lot less technical than others’ advice (and includes a lot more color. Yay markers!), but I’m a firm believer that if you get the right mentality in place, you’ll be able to figure out the details because you’ll care enough to do so.
I’ll explain my simple advice a bit:
- Picture YOU as your future self, not some old stranger – Research Shows that people that can picture their future selves as similar or the same as their current self, they save more money for the future. It’s easy to imagine our retired self as some grey-haired, shrivelly, person from a movie rocking in a rocking chair on some porch somewhere. The reality is, your future self is YOU. Imagine that! Don’t plan for that boring old person rocking away… plan for YOU and what you would want to do if you retired NOW!
- AUTOMATE as much as possible – This one is obvious. If you don’t get the money, you don’t miss the money. If you get a raise, automatically up your contributions that amount so you never see the new raise. Your savings will increase but your paycheck home will stay the same so you won’t know any differently. Set it up once and you never have to think about it again.
- If married, set and discuss priorities (financial and otherwise) TOGETHER – It’s important to have periodic discussions about your life priorities and how they translate into your financial priorities. In order to successfully manage finances in marriage, it is important to make sure you have the same plan and you’re able to figure out how to compromise on the priorities that you may not share.
- Don’t be selfish. Find ways to GIVE – Once you figure out how to do this whole saving thing and maintaining wealth thing, it’s important to use that wealth to help others. The world is full of darkness and you have the power to be the light. A life with all the money in the world and no love is not a life worth living.
I submitted mine the same day as the first wave of index cards were published, but I don’t think it will be included until the next wave of index cards are posted. I wanted to make sure I wrote out my index card before reading others to make sure it was really what I wanted to say (and not someone else’s words). But after I finished mine, I loved reading what everyone else had to say. As this is an ongoing project over on Adam’s blog, there will continue to be awesome cards posted. From what’s been posted so far, here are my favorite one-liners.
- “Don’t Panic.” – Adam Chudy
- “Investing in yourself (learning, health, etc.) as well as your family, friends, and loved ones will pay out incredible dividends!” – Alyssa from Generation YRA
- “Hate debt.” – Even Steven Money
- “You will always make more money working for yourself – Figure out how!” – Mr. and Mrs. Budgets
- “Save until it hurts.” – Kate from Cashville Skyline
- “Always consider used first, except with bike helmets! (Don’t cheap out on bike helmets.)” – Our Next Life
- “Develop an attitude of gratitude.” – Laura at How to Get Rich Slowly
- “Travel slowly through countries with much less wealth than your own. It will change your definition of need and want.” – Go Curry Cracker
What would you put on your index card?