15 truths about money

November 16, 2012 Off By Jana

dollar signI’ve spent a lot of time over the last 5 years or so reading personal finance blogs, message boards, books, websites…you name it, I’ve read it. I’ve read the books and information you’re “supposed” to read and a few that maybe don’t give the greatest information. I’ve absorbed stories of the successful and those affected by the recession. I’ve embraced get out of debt stories (and have even told a few of my own). But the more I read, the more I realize that there are a certain number of “money truths”, and when we read or write them, we’re just putting our own spin on them.

It’s kind of like how TV shows or movies recycle types of characters or plot lines. There’s only a finite amount of ideas, but how you present those ideas is infinite. Each writer or blogger is going to give you these money truths, hopefully grounded in their experiences and knowledge and not trying to pass themselves off as something they’re not. Those stories are what make the truths interesting. And those stories are what make the information stick.

I’ll tell you that Money magazine makes my eyes go dry from boredom. There are some blogs and websites I can’t read anymore because they’re dull and preachy and kind of condescending. And I have stopped reading several books because, although they came highly recommended, I couldn’t get through 4 pages. I retained almost nothing from those (although a small nugget may slip through now and again. My brain isn’t totally blocked).  But the blogs, books, and websites that spin that information in an entertaining and engaging way? That’s the information that seeped in and stuck to the recesses of my brain.

Based on all of this, I’ve come up with my list of 15 Truths about Money That Shape the Way I Think.  And here they are:

  1. Marry for love, not for money. But make sure you talk about money.
  2. Spend money on things that matter to you even if someone else tells you it’s a waste.
  3. Have a budget. You need to know where your money is coming from and where it’s going.
  4. Take time to enjoy what’s free even if you have more money than you can spend. No amount of money can replace the beauty of sunset or a rainbow or playing fetch with a dog or the warmth of a hug.
  5. Do something you love every day.
  6. Know your financial priorities and plan accordingly.
  7. Save money even if it’s $5 per month or loose change in a jar on the counter, make an effort to save.
  8. Know the resources in your community just in case you fall on hard times.
  9. Give back. It can be time, services, goods, or money. But give something.
  10. Don’t judge someone else’s choices. Because what you see may not be what it appears.
  11. Ask for help if you need it and don’t be ashamed.
  12. The Joneses are idiots. Ignore them, in real life and on Facebook.
  13. It’s okay not to follow every piece of advice dispensed. Do what works for you.
  14. Not all advice is universal. Some will not apply to you. That’s doesn’t make it bad advice, it just makes it useless to you. Don’t berate someone else for using it.
  15. Money should never be more important than your loved ones.

I’m not going to say that I’m perfect and I abide by these every day. But I do try.

And that’s good enough.

Readers, would you add anything to the list? What would you add?