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I want more money. Personal Finance 101 

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Do you want to have more money? Most of you are probably shaking their heads and even getting excited with the idea of more money.

This is trickier than you think and you have to analyze what do you really wish when you want more money. Do you want to make more money or do you want a combination of saving, living wisely, and spending wisely, or do you want long-term security? 


 

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It is not the money you make; it is how you use your money that will make you rich. Very few people get rich by saving. So you have to think of other ways to create wealth for yourself.



When it comes to money management you need to think long term. Money management is not only how you manage your money right now; it is how you will make sure your income and wealth will increase over time. 

More money: If you want to make more money, most Americans take the easiest route: get a second job. This is easy; it will give more money immediately, but it may come at a very high cost. If you have children, it may come at the cost of precious time with them or your family. If you are single and have no children, it may cost you peace and time for relaxation. But beyond that, it may cost you long term: not being able to pursue bigger dreams. In other words, if you devote your time to learn a new skill or start your own business, this will not give you money immediately, but in the long term it will give more money and personal satisfaction than a stupid second job.

So money and career wise you have to be smart and not take the shortest path, but the best, high-value path. Beside what you do for a living, the money you save has to be invested well so that you have good returns. One of the best investments you can have is a home (unless you need to rent since you will be in a specific location only for a very short time). To pay rent is to literally put money down the drain. The home you buy has to be such that you can make profit in a few years so that you can buy a bigger home or a similar home and save the rest. Learn to invest your money, and learn to make more money from your money. And if it means that you must do more research and learn how to make your money work for you.

You can save money in many ways including buying less, or buying cheaper, or even buying smarter. I always admired people who seem to have money for everything and still do not carry credit card debt. This is the case of my friend Melissa and her husband. They own a nice home, beautifully decorated in a nice neighborhood, they have regular cars in good condition (though with more than 100K miles on each car), they dress well and travel to exotic destinations once a year. How do they do it?

They live wisely. They do not buy a new car just because people say that after 100K miles a car is good for nothing. Their cars look good and run well because they take care of them. They are not planning on buying a new car anytime soon. This is a huge expense that they do not want to take; they own their cars right now and they do not want additional debt. They do not eat out often, but they invite friends at home very frequently. For these parties, they buy food in BJ’s and for the price of a couple going out, they can entertain a dozen guests. They do not buy clothes often but they are always well dressed, because they buy stylish clothes. They are conservative in all other expenses including groceries. They always shop around to find economic ways to shop since even in the same town two supermarkets can have very different prices. They only have one cell phone, which they use on an as-needed basis.

Even if it does not look sexy, but in reality my friends have good lives. Their jobs do not pay a fortune but they love them and their lives are stress-free. And no one would guess that they make so little because they live much better than many of their friends who make a lot more. So if you want more money you have to count your pennies; there is no other way than to spend wisely.

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