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it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep

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Pound Coins in a RowMrs. Micah is running a post on the best personal finance practices you’ve read this year, and this is mine. In many ways it’s a restatement of the old adage to spend less than you earn (or earn more than you spend). But I think it adds a nice flavour.

However much we make, we can actively do something to keep some. And when we compare ourselves to others, we shouldn’t compare what they spend with what we make, but with what we keep. We should strive to be a case of substance over style.

They say you only live once, so make the most of it. I agree, but it’s going to be a very poor most if I pay twice as much for everything as I need to.

They say that finance is boring, but studying money just a little can help you make the most of your hard-earned cash.

They say that being a millionaire takes a long time, and it does, but if you start now, little by little, you’ll get there in the end.

They say that saving money is no fun. They are wrong being frugal with the things that aren’t important to you, leaves more money to do the things that are.

They say that life gets in the way. Without sorting out your money, how do you expect to pay for your life?

They say that understanding money is too difficult. I say with all the help you can get online even rocket finance isn’t that hard these days.

They say that you deserve to treat yourself because you’ve worked hard. And they’re right, but treating yourself needn’t be expensive.

They say that debt is inevitable. This is true only for those who have drifted into it, the rest of us are choosing to be debt-free or not.

They say that the system is working against them, but they haven’t noticed that every single person can choose to try to do something different.

It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.

Image Pound Coins in a Row by iainr

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16 comments for “it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep”

  1. I love this post! :) Great job!

    Posted by Lynnae @ beingfrugal.net | December 21, 2007, 2:08 pm
  2. That’s one creative post packed with great tips.

    Posted by Pinyo | December 21, 2007, 2:21 pm
  3. Solid top level thoughts about money and life, I think. Well done. ;)

    Posted by Patrick | December 21, 2007, 3:20 pm
  4. total link bait, but I like it. :)

    Posted by rocketc | December 21, 2007, 3:23 pm
  5. i have to leave another comment because Mrs. Micah is cleaning my clock these days as top commenter. you need to post about politics or religion so i can get back on top.

    Posted by rocketc | December 21, 2007, 3:24 pm
  6. @rocketc:
    Don’t worry, we’re bound to disagree about something posted on my blog in the new year.

    Posted by plonkee | December 21, 2007, 3:42 pm
  7. Great post, but I’d suggest appending “(and you should use cash)” to:

    They say that you deserve to treat yourself because you’ve worked hard. And they’re right, but treating yourself needn’t be expensive.

    Enjoying the fruits of our labor is very important. But it’s generally a bad idea to borrow someone else’s fruits when our labor doesn’t produce enough to pay for all of our needs.

    Posted by Aaron Stroud | December 21, 2007, 7:21 pm
  8. A little education about money will go a long way. If you’ve never been taught to keep some of what you earn, you might not ever think of it on your own.

    Posted by Fiscal Musings | December 24, 2007, 6:53 pm
  9. I believe the post is about net worth regardless the person incomes and expenses.

    I have seen high-earning professionals finding themselves in debt. While the much lower earning workers stretch their every cents to attain financial freedom.

    Nevertheless thanks for sharing your post and keep us in track of what is ahead in 2008.

    Posted by ylfoo | December 25, 2007, 5:14 am
  10. Good ideals. Often easy to blame the system, or a system or circumstances. But there is always opportunity to make the “Gap” larger.

    There is one thing that often gets me. I don’t mind others earning more than me. I don’t mind others spending more than me. What I do mind is others earning more than me, spending more than me and SAVING more than me too :(

    Posted by Llama for brains | December 26, 2007, 9:56 pm
  11. Very good advice. Managing debt is a great way to keep more in your pocket. Staying on top of instant charge card expenses and not living beyond your means will always keep your cash stash overflowing.

    Posted by Instant Charge Card | July 10, 2008, 12:36 pm
  12. Very informative site, and very interesting posts. I have bookmarked your site, and will be back, good work guys.. thanks

    Posted by debt loans | May 21, 2009, 3:38 am

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