Friday, September 26, 2008

Get Rich Slowly

During these times of economic uncertainty, thoughts of the future and financial security are in the forefront of my mind. I came across this article that I thought was worth sharing.


About Get Rich Slowly
Wednesday, 11th June 2008 (by J.D.)

Get Rich Slowly — recently named most inspiring money blog by Money magazine — is devoted to sensible personal finance.

You will not find any get-rich-quick schemes here. Nor will you find multi-level marketing fads or hot stock tips. I am not pitching any product or book. Instead, you’ll find daily information about personal finance and related topics.

I share stories about debt elimination, saving money, and practical investing. I also post occasional reviews of books, magazines, and software. And, of course, I scour the web for the latest personal finance tools and articles.

Please note that I am not a financial professional. I’m just an average guy who found himself deep in debt. When it finally became too overwhelming, I began reading personal finance books, hoping to find answers. I wanted swift solutions to my problems. My research revealed that few people get rich quickly, but almost anyone can get rich slowly by patiently following some simple rules.

Since April 2006, I’ve been sharing what I learn with thousands of daily readers. By following my own advice, I’ve managed to ditch my debt and actually begin saving. I really am getting rich slowly. Along the way, I’ve developed twelve key beliefs that form the core of the Get Rich Slowly philosophy:

Money is more about mind than it is about math.
When we overspend, we’re making mental mistakes, not math mistakes. We all understand the math. Fortunately, we can do things to trick ourselves into making the right choices, and eventually those choices will become second
nature. Further reading:
Why smart people make big money mistakes (and how to correct them).

Goals are important.
Without financial goals, you have no direction, which makes it easy to spend money on things you’ll regret later. But if you know that you’re saving for a house, for your daughter’s college education, or for a new car, your goal will keep you focused. Further reading:
The road to wealth is paved with goals.

Spend less than you earn.
Track every penny you spend. Avoid debt. Avoid debt. Avoid debt. Easier said than done, I know, but the fundamental rule of personal finance is this: in order to get out of debt and build wealth, you must spend less than you earn. There’s no way around it. Further reading:
How to get out of debt.

Pay yourself first.
Before you pay your bills, before you buy groceries, before you do anything else, set aside some percentage of your income to save. Start small if you have to — even 1% is good — and increase your savings as you’re able. Aim to reach 20%. (My wife saves 25% of her paycheck!) Further reading:
Which online high-yield savings account is best?

Small amounts matter.
Don’t be frustrated if you’re only saving $25 per month. I started small, too. Though the going seemed slow at first, these small moves helped me develop good habits. And don’t underestimate the power of just one small change. When I cut my cable bill from $65/month to $15/month, that extra $50 made a huge difference. Further reading:
The magic of thinking small.

Large amounts matter, too.
It’s good to clip coupons to save money on groceries, but it’s even better to shop around for the best deal on a mortgage. Everyday frugality can save you a little money consistently, but by making smart choices on big ticket items, you can save thousands of dollars in one blow. Further reading:
Want to save? Give up the big things!

Do what works for you.
Each person is different. What works for one person may not work for another. There’s no one right way to save or to invest or to pay off debt or to buy a house. Don’t believe anyone who says there is. Be willing to experiment until you find methods that are suited to your life. Further reading:
8 ways to take control of your finances in 2008.

Slow and steady wins the race.
The most successful people are those who work longest and hardest at something they love to do. Find ways to make frugality fun. Recognize that you’re in this for the long haul. You’re making a lifestyle change, not looking for a quick fix. Further reading:
How and why to start an emergency fund.

The perfect is the enemy of the good.
Too many people are reluctant to start getting their finances in order because they don’t know what the best first step is. Don’t worry about getting things exactly right. Choose a good option and do something. Optimize later. Further reading:
The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Failure is okay.
It’s okay to make mistakes. Even billionaires like Warren Buffett make mistakes. We learn from failure. Don’t let a single mistake drag you down. It’s better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all. Use failure to learn how to do better next time. Further reading:
How good habits keep small mistakes manageable.

It’s more important to be happy than it is to be rich.
Don’t become obsessed with money and wealth. Remember Ebeneezer Scrooge! Money gives you more options, but happiness makes life worth living. I believe that if we’re able to stay happy and in control of our lives, money actually becomes easier to manage. Further reading:
What’s the reason for saving and investing?

Do it now.
It’s easy to put things off. But the sooner your start moving toward your goals, the easier they are too reach. Further reading:
Getting to now: Beating the procrastination habit.

These are the basic tenets of my philosophy. These are the ideas that lurk behind every article I post. Please remember that everything you read here is my own informed opinion. Never believe everything you read, and always form your own conclusions.

For more information, check out some of my favorite articles from the past:

How I overcame $35,000 in debt
Quitting the day job: Finding the guts to pursue your dreams
What is a Roth IRA and why should you care?
A simple way to get more out of life
My year-long project: How much does a garden really save?

This weblog is a success because of support from readers like you. The Get Rich Slowly community is awesome, always willing to discuss money-saving and money-making ideas. I feature reader stories and tips almost daily. If you have any comments or requests to improve this site, please feel free to pass them on. (Also note there’s a personal finance forum where like-minded people can exchange ideas.)

Welcome! Enjoy your personal quest toward financial independence.

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