We all have our own set of core values in life. Work hard. Be loyal. Don’t lie. Have a positive attitude…
But have you thought about your financial core values? Here are mine:
1. AVOID ALL DEBT
Long before I paid off my $86,000 mortgage in two years, I paid off my bills in full every month. Especially the credit cards.
Once you owe nothing you won’t have to think about money as much.
2. START SAVING EARLY
After dropping out of high school, I got a job and immediately started building an emergency fund.
At 19, I opened my first retirement account, after graduating college.
Over the past 10 years, the amount of money I’ve contributed has changed depending on where I worked.
At my most recent employer, I contributed 15% of my earnings.
3. KNOW YOUR WORTH
I’ve never been afraid to ask for a raise because I always worked hard to be a standout employee.
Research salary data to determine where you stand.
If your employer doesn’t appreciate you, is it time to find something else? Don’t be afraid to move on.
4. “THINGS” DON’T MATTER
I’m hardly a cheapskate, but you won’t find me wearing the most expensive jeans, shoes or watches. I don’t wear a watch at all.
Materialism stresses me out, so I do whatever I can to avoid it.
5. EXPERIENCES DO MATTER
Last year, I skipped town about once a month. It wasn’t always a long trip. Sometimes, just a weekend.
I didn’t hesitate to spend those travel dollars– thousands of them.
For me, experiences are worth the money because I enjoy exploring new places with my family and friends.
I can justify the cost because I’m making forever memories.
6. IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT, YOU CAN BUY IT
When I paid off all of my debt, including the mortgage, I started to cut myself some slack as far as spending.
I still analyze every purchase. That’s just my nature.
But now, once I’ve determined that I can afford something, I allow myself to buy it if I really want it.
That’s the reward for becoming debt-free.
7. DON’T PAY MORE THAN YOU HAVE TO
If someone else is getting a deal, I want one too. I comparison shop to avoid paying full price on just about everything.
Services? Same thing. I’m always negotiating lower rates with my providers.
8. LEARN FROM MISTAKES
Everyone makes them. I sure have. But I’ve always tried to never make the same mistake twice.
You need to stop the cycle of spending to start building your future.
9. HELP OTHERS
I don’t mean writing blank checks to people, but I do believe it’s important to pay it forward when you’re in a position to do so.
Think about the impact you can make once you’re debt-free.