4 Keys of Personal Finance

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4 Keys of Personal Finance

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Over the weekend I read several articles on personal finance and economics. There is never a shortage of such. But seeing it is tax season in America and some are still working with recent resolutions to get their financial house in order I think a recap of what I learned could be helpful.

1. Treat your earnings with the respect they deserve.

You spend a significant part of your life earnings. Don't waste it. Know the inherent power of money. Put it to good use making your life and your communities better.

2. Save.

Don't overspend for what you need. Don't spend on things you don't need.

3. Invest wisely.

Shelter money in your company's 401k, 403B or 457. Get an IRA and use that too. If you need professional help, get it. It's worth the money. And by the way, start saving early in life. Your money will grow through the miracle of compound interest.

4. Debt is debt.

Don’t ever apply the economic practices all modern nations practice—that debt is inherently good. Conventional economic wisdom says it is OK for a nation to employ debt as a matter of national fiscal policy. Don't try that at home. It's a recipe for bankruptcy.

The reason these articles caught my attention is because Gary Petty recently did a Beyond Today program on the topic of managing your personal finances. Gary took a very simple approach and built an effective program around three principles: budgeting, getting out of debt, and putting God first. This subject is not really rocket science, but it manages to elude many smart folks.

My suggestion to anyone is to make a study of finances as a regular assessment of how you're doing. Make it a regular check-up for your life. Simple course corrections in any of the above points can make a big difference in your happiness life quotient. And that's a big step toward being a grownup and living a rich, fulfilled life.