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10 Rules to Make Money Work for You
10 Rules to Make Money Work for You
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Money Management

10 Rules to Make Money Work for You

Eunniah Mbabazi
December 28, 2021

Initially, I used to think that rules of money were a bit complex for me to comprehend, but after the last few years, I have realized that in the end, rules surrounding money are actually simple.

I struggled over the years about budgeting, paying off debts and my money management. I have spent so many hours trying to get it all right. If only I could go back in time to my younger self and guide myself to the epiphany I recently had; that it all comes down to prioritizing myself.

Of course, there are no definite rules that surround money. It all varies from person to person. Goal should be that the money works for you. Money rules need to be simple to be effective. 

Here are money rules that I chose to adopt. 

Rule 1: Always pay yourself first

Warren Buffet said:

“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”

As soon as your income hits your bank account allocate a portion of it into savings. Its advisable to do this before you start using your money for any expenditure.

Calculate the amount you can save comfortably without leaving you short of paying bills and having some fun.

First, save and then spend. If you don’t, you’ll find that there’s very little left!

Rule 2: Don’t sacrifice living tomorrow for living today

At some point in your life you probably have heard the saying, “Enjoy life now, tomorrow is not guaranteed.”

While it is important to enjoy life, statistically you are, very much, more likely to live through tomorrow and following day and the day after than you are to die young.

There is a great probability that a lot of us living now will live to at least 70 years.

So while we should purpose to enjoy life we do have to find the correct balance between enjoying ourselves now and still be able to enjoy ourselves in future.

Rule 3: Stop trying to keep up appearances

In this age of  Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram and so many other platforms of social media it’s hard to stay away from people who show off about how great or successful their life is.

Businesses know this and love to encourage it because it make you feel pressured into purchasing their products.

But you have to remember, most of the things you see on these platfoms are exaggerated. Who on earth really has 5000 friends? If a person is spending half their time on a screen taking selfies for shows while on holiday would they really be enjoying it?

Material things aren’t don’t give a reflection of someone’s. who knows? Those thins may be costing them a lot in loan repayment.

Hang out with your real friends and experience things that give real joy and satisfaction. In the long run you will be better off.

Rule 4: The best things in life are free

It’s becomes a lot easier to save up when you realize that the best things in life are free. Being with the people you love, being outside on a sunny day or family games in your living room on a rainy day. These experiences cost very little.

A lot people lay on their deathbeds and when asked if they might have any regrets, they don’t say “I wish I had taken that land cruiser or the new PS5”, they mostly say “I wish I had spent some more time a certain person.”

So remember we only live once, live this life to the full both now and future.

Rule 5: Learn From Mistakes

I’ve got to say. I am so far from perfect. Some of the tips I have given you in my articles come from personal experiences.

The lessons that came with the mistakes changed the direction of where I was headed. A more specific example is how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.

After deciding to become honest with myself and the silly decisions I made financially, it became easier to move on and learn from my mistakes.

Do not make the same mistakes and expect progress. Wake up and learn. Do something different.

Rule 6: Take calculated risks

Friedrich von Schiller said,” He that is overcautious will accomplish little.”
The returns you get are directly proportional to the risks you take. This is, in markets, a fundamental law. It's why a five-year CD (Certificate of Deposit) usually pays more than a six-month one. 

There is a “no free lunch” principle.
Among many other things, this principle suggests:

  • For you to earn returns adequately high to build true wealth, you’ll have to put your money in risky assets such as stocks. This kind of investment beats inflation over time.
  • If a person tries to tell you that their product offers high returns without risk, get that claim in writing.

Rule 7: Mix it up

Nothing can defy the law of risk and reward, but having a diversified portfolio can surely bend it. Spreading your money among various asset types, an increase in some will offset a tumble in others. This will mute the overall risk without a corresponding drop in return. That is the closest it comes to a free lunch in investing.

“It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow and not to venture all his eggs in one basket.”
said Miguel de Cervantes
A piece of advice; do not invest entirely in assets whose up and down cycles are in harmony.

Rule 8: Just do it

Financial planning doesn’t come naturally. The brain is made in a way to make us undervalue long-term objectives and blow out of proportion the cost of a sacrifice made for the short-term. Studies show that persons who do even a little planning for retirement end up with at least twice the savings of another who did almost none. Try to heed the following

  • Set solid, attainable goals
  • Then commit. Share with someone your new plan and agree to a penalty in case you do not deviate.

Rule 9: Borrow responsibly

Face this truth: lenders are too willing to advance you more money than is healthy for you and your family. They can only do this if you let them. Banks and loan issuing companies don’t care whether or not your monthly repayment plan will make it impossible to save for your goals. You have to set your own rules. Like:

  • Credit-card debt is a no for me. Period. It's not okay to repay 15% to borrow for consumption.
  • You’ll only take a loan to finance assets that appreciate like a house and an education. But a vacation, fancy dinner or a 50-inch  TV? No way.

Rule 10:  Keep money in its place

Jonathan Swift advises that a man should not have money in their hearts only in their heads.

People who claim to value money highly report that they’re less happy in life than those who care much more about love and friends.

Wrapping Up

Having money does not necessarily make you happy, but yet again not having any money or poor money management skills can make you very unhappy.

It is time to take full control of your finances, do away with any stress you might have with money and take up new methods so that money becomes a force for good in your life.

I believe that if you adopt these money rules they will most certainly help to deliver the kind of lifestyle you would desire. 

Eunniah is an experienced business writer and editor. She is also a published author with two titles under her belt; Breaking Down and If My Bones Could Speak. You can find Eunniah on Twitter @Eunnyversal

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