It seems everywhere I turn I see books and articles about the rules of money:
- Money magazine has the “20 rules of money”
- Forbes magazine has the “new 20 rules of money”
Both articles are more about how to invest rather than general money management information, however, and they often contradict each other, so they can’t be rules.
Books On The Rules Of Money
In books there are:
- Mary Hunt’s “7 Money Rules for Life”
- “Conspiracy of the Rich – 8 New Rules for Money” by rich dad, Robert Kiyosaki
- Jean Chatzky has 94 rules in her “Money Rules”
- Richard Templar in “The Rules of Money” has 100 rules
- Canada’s money guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade offers up 261 rules in her Money Rules – Yikes!
There’s a lot of information around about how to be smart with money.
Books on money management are almost as plentiful as diet books. It doesn’t matter what your age, gender, blood type, body type or ethnicity is. It doesn’t matter whether your meals are high protein, high carb, vegetarian or grapefruit and hard-boiled eggs.
This is the only way to manage your weight:
1. Don’t gobble up more calories than you expend, and
2. Quit eating junk.
Likewise, managing your money effectively is all about the basics. There are only two things you need to know and do to get your finances under control.
1. Spend less than you earn/Live below your means. (Doesn’t this sound similar to the first rule of eating?)
2. Save a portion for the future. Whether you’re putting aside money for an emergency fund, saving for a car, or setting up a retirement program, know what you need and plan ahead.
Related: Why Do We Save?
Be like the ant in the Aesop fable who worked to store up food for the winter rather than the grasshopper who wanted instant gratification instead and ended up with nothing.
I’ll also add one bonus money rule:
3. Be able to adapt and adjust to changing financial challenges.
That’s it! That’s all we need to know, understand and follow. Do you really need a refresher course on common sense?
- You may need help to manage your cash flow and reduce expenses, prepare a budget, use credit wisely and pay off debts.
- You might want to find an impartial advisor to assist you in identifying your needs and setting financial goals.
- You may require information on investing your money wisely and where to save.
But these are very individual situations and processes. They are not rules. There’s no magic formula.
We know what the rules of money are. We also know the consequences if we break the rules.