Why Money Management Matters


Money is a necessary part of life.

Poor money management will destroy your life.

Everyone needs at least some money management skills.

While loving money is evil, money has no inherent morality, and giving money to those who need it is one of the most moral things to do.

Contrary to public image, most wealthy people save, invest, and build their career to get there.

What is money?

Money stores value and influence, so it’s an informal measurement of power.

We need money to do almost anything with other people.

However, money is only as valuable as other people interpret it to be.

We always manage money toward our desires.

  • People save for long-term priorities irrespective of their income when they have vision for what they want.

Poor money management destroys lives

When we react on feelings or interpret a crisis, we mismanage money:
  • We do need to manage a legitimate crisis, but it’s often not the most efficient use of our resources.
  • Impulsively buying things is harder to resist when we’re stressed.
  • We only focus on the present when we don’t expect the future to come.

Long-term money mismanagement creates disastrous consequences:
  1. Poor budgeting creates chronic stress and anxiety over any major life event.
  2. No savings inhibits investing in good ideas or lucrative endeavors.
  3. Poor money management is one of the most common causes of divorce.
  4. In the long-term, poor money management makes people victims of their circumstances and eventually of others who do manage money.

Your mental wellness, as well as everyone who depends on you, depends on proper money management.

Everyone needs money management skills

You can’t out-earn reckless spending habits.

Proper money management simplifies life:
  • Self-managed money gives power and control.
  • Well-discussed budgeting eradicates money conflicts in marriage.
  • Purchasing staple items don’t cause guilt, shame or fear.
  • Good management directs money to future goals and dreams.
  • Unexpected events become far less traumatic.

Wisely managing money feels like getting a raise.

  • Saved money is more than earned money because it isn’t taxed.
Saved money can let you exploit the powers of compound interest:
  • Assuming the same rate, investing a lump sum and waiting 40 years will always give more return than investing that same amount across 20 years.
  • On the other hand, a credit card borrower making a minimum payment will often pay 5-20 times the original debt by the time it’s paid off.

Loving money is the root of all evil, but money is amoral

Money is power to get or do things.

Money travels toward what we value:
  • More money shows someone’s priorities.
  • If we can’t manage a little, we’ll mismanage a lot.
  • The amount of money you have measures approximately how much value you’ve added to others’ lives.
  • Our availability of money is closely connected to our people skills.

Wealth is a completely relative concept:
  • People are only “wealthy” or “poor” based on how they compare themselves.
  • Living in complete luxury in many parts of the world is cheaper than living adequately in the United States.
  • Often, a life-changing adventure for a long time costs less than a year’s salary (e.g., sailing around the world for 15 months costs ~$18,000).

We naturally find happiness when we save for a goal we want or serve a non-money-related purpose.

People should prioritize giving money

The most moral giving should be on something that doesn’t benefit the person giving:
  • Most people have trust issues because they’re afraid of losing money.
  • Giving or not giving money is a highly spiritual experience, since it reflects our higher values.
  • Having more wealth than we naturally need is an absolute waste of existence.

Scientifically, we get the most happiness out of our money from helping others.

  • Even when we’re doing terribly, we have enough to at least help someone else.
Not needing money is more valuable than wealth itself:

The public image of wealth is false

Pop culture portrays an inaccurate demographic of millionaires:
  • Late 20’s to mid 30’s without children or adult children are heavily dependent on parental support.
  • Makes a very high income from a professional trade or art.
  • Works 60+ hours a week or less than 30.
  • Later-generation affluent, usually as an heir.
  • Drives the newest cars and has many expensive hobbies.

Statistically, most millionaires fit a humble profile:
  • In late 50’s and married with three children with all of them economically self-sufficient.
  • Self-employed in a practical business that supplies peoples’ needs.
  • Typically not retired and works 45-55 hours a week.
  • Skillful at targeting market opportunities.
  • Well-educated enough, usually with a college degree.
  • Allocates time, energy and money efficiently to effectively build wealth
  • First-generation affluent with an average net worth of 3.7 million acquired slowly over time.
  • Invests an average of 20% of their median household income of $131,000.
  • Never plays the lottery and stays away from debts they can’t quickly pay back.
  • Live well below their means:
    • Owns a home worth about $350,000.
    • Buys older-model automobiles and never leases.
    • Attended public schools, but likely sends their children to private school.
    • Still clips coupons and looks for discounts.
    • Lives a lifestyle that doesn’t show their wealth.
    • Bought their home once they’d amassed about 4 times its value in their net worth.

Anyone with the determination to change spending habits can become a millionaire.

All wealth-building “secrets” are a few key concepts

If you fully understand a few concepts, everything else is gradations of detail:
  1. Keep a healthy distaste for debt and instant gratification.
  2. Spend less than you earn.
  3. Curb reckless spending.
  4. Save, invest, and give away everything you can.
  5. Research everything you pay for.
  6. Only spend on what you understand.
  7. Stay hyper-aware of “want” versus “need”.
  8. Make your money work passively for you when you’re not working.
  9. Give much more to others than satisfying yourself.
  10. Find legal ways to avoid paying taxes.
  11. Fight against all risk and spread any risks around that you do take.

While understanding it is easy, we need self-discipline to properly manage money:
  • Determination – focus creates success through changing a lifestyle.
  • Long-term oriented – We consume more and invest less when we don’t say “no” to our present self.
  • Optimistic – you must believe you’ll attain your goals and things will work out because you’re defining your future.
  • Realistic – “get rich quick” is only possible with tremendous sacrifice and you probably won’t hit the precise goals you’re aiming for.
  • Practical – certain chances to save money can dramatically sabotage opportunities.
  • Patient – wealth comes through many small victories over a long period.
  • Grateful – we spend less when we’re thankful for what we already have.
  • Independent – social status is subordinate to financial status.
  • Tenacious – spend less time thinking about the future and more time working toward it.
  • Open-Minded – You need to see opportunities to take advantage of them.

To live well, we must also practice a few other out-of-the-box habits:
  • Pray consistently and expect unexpected things to happen.
  • Whenever possible, produce more than consume.
  • Ignore what everyone else is doing, and have pre-planned responses for others.
  • Invest in your career, mind, strength, and health.
  • Be prepared for high-risk investing.
    • Only rich people can live on and invest interest income.
    • Even a high income doesn’t guarantee high net worth.

Avoid the cyclical trap of serving your lifestyle:
  1. A job creates income.
  2. That income forms a lifestyle.
  3. The lifestyle creates financial obligations.
  4. The obligations make the job necessary.
  5. Get a higher-paying job and repeat.

Managing money is managing life

Learning about money is one of the most significant investments toward your finances you can make.

Before talking about goals, however, we must address many misconceptions about financial slavery.