Failing to plan is truly planning to fail. Don't learn that the hard way! It is easy to spend everything we have (and more, it's called credit), yet it is simple to save a small percentage over the years and develop freedom from the bill collectors.
Some economists say that the only thing you can buy is ... human labor. Natural resources are free, except for the effort required to get them. It also takes effort to build the tools. By this analogy, diamonds and oil are free. You pay for the human effort to get them to you in the condition they are in when you get them. If you accept that view, then whatever money you save, saves you effort because it represents effort and time. To get something done, either find the time to do it, or the money to get someone else to do it.
Some say that if you finish the month with as much money as you started the month, then you didn't EARN anything that month for your time. You broke even, and if you break even often enough, you'll still be broke. It's not how much goes in and out of your hands that counts, it's how much stays there, or how much more you have at the end of the month than you did at the beginning.
If all your money goes to bills, then you are keeping the businesses around you alive with your work, BUT YOU ARE DOING NOTHING FOR YOURSELF! They all appreciate you working hard to support them. A key to having financial elbow room, a key to MY financial elbow room was "paying yourself first". Ensure that every month you put something away for your own future use. 10% of your pay is a very good start for "paying yourself first".
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The Value of Time, author unknown I got this from a friend, it makes sense.
Common Sense. A booklet that helped me to realize how important to prioritize my spending and to finance my investing. IT IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Since it is out of print, and the publishers have not responded to my questions, I have now posted it on the web!
Stolen Credit Cards? What to do if they ever are stolen, and something to do before you lose your wallet or purse to protect yourself. You can recover faster if you are prepared!
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The Richest Man in Babylon, by George S. Clason This book really helped me to set my priorities for using money. A key concept in this book is the one about "paying yourself first". My wife and I made it through a tough time because we were prepared for it by the wisdom in this book.
The Millionaire Next Door Did you know that a majority of today's millionaires are people that had slightly above average income that under-spent their income and over-saved? By having a standard-for-living they raised their standard-of-living! A must-read for all my children!
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Roy Reinhold This man is a an excellent financial planner, and a good friend. He also has a great newsletter, with timely, quality advise. Go Visit!