Creating a top 20 personal finance tips list is hard to do because everyone’s situation might be different. The thing is, there are some fundamental things you NEED to know if you want to be financially free.
These are money habits that you need to learn, and then remind yourself regularly, so that you live by them.
Below are the top 20 personal finance tips that have helped impact my finances for the better.
Last thing before I get started, all of these tips are golden nuggets of wisdom that I found from various books. I’ll make sure to credit each tip as best as possible, incase you’d like to dig further into the tip.
#1 – Keep at least 10% of what you make
It’s not a mistake that this tip is #1, it sets the foundation for all the other tips, and quite frankly, your financial health.
Whether you make $2,000 a month or $10,000, if you’re not setting aside some money for savings or investing, you’re doing yourself (and maybe your family) a huge disservice.
The best part is that you usually tend to live just fine with the 90% that you can use to pay bills and live life. I’ve done this myself for 5 years now, and it has done wonders.
Others who I have talked to also have seen a huge upside in savings from this little nugget. That 10% starts as a small seed for a huge tree to grow, and once you flex that 10% muscle for several months, you see yourself sometimes flexing higher to maybe 20% one month.
When I heard that some people consistently save 60% of their salary, I had to try it out.
It’s not something that I could do consistently every month, but it’s like working out to me, I had to try it once or twice so that it became something possible.
Now, I tend to stick around the 30-40% range on a monthly basis.
The takeaway is simple, keep at least 10% of your salary for saving/investing, and then go higher after a few months if you can. But never ever stop putting 10% aside, its a habit you need to set for life.
This tip was taken from my all time favorite personal finance book, The Richest Man in Babylon.
#2 – Don’t invest in anything you don’t understand
Another tip I got from my fav book The Richest Man in Babylon. We tend to see things in the media that get sensationalized and we want to invest in it.
It could be Bitcoin, it could be a new company that released an IPO, or maybe a new talked about cannabis stock.
Whatever it is, feel free to educate yourself about it, but if you’re not well versed in the area, then don’t invest in it.
There are millions of places to put our money, and Warren Buffet’s rule #1 is to never lose money.
It’s not too hard to find companies to invest in.
#3 – Fill in the gaps of what you don’t know
I wish personal finance was a required thing in high school.
It’s a shame that we all can’t have a strong understanding of money by the time we’re out in the work field. With that aside, and you being on this site, you should know to increase your knowledge in what you already know (stocks, bonds, crypto, etc..) and make a list of things you don’t know so you can fill in those gaps (umbrella insurance, option contracts, REITs, etc..)
I’m constantly watching personal finance videos on YouTube or reading some sort of article, and when i’m doing that, I will sometimes note down specific finance phrases that I have no clue about so I can start learning.
There’s always something you could improve your knowledge on, so start making that list, and keep knocking phrases out once you have a strong understanding of what it is.
#4 Personal finance advice should work for you
The internet is amazing, so much information out there. The internet is terrifying, too much information out there, either causing you to believe it all or get paralyzed and do nothing.
You should read everything (including this article) and take away what works for your extremely unique life. Your age, your current location, your salary, your goals, everything is different than everyone else you know.
And we’re always changing, growing, adjusting our life goals.
So don’t get paralyzed by the mammoth amount of information online, just read it, and filter it with your current filter set in place.
Maybe you’re a married 31 year old female who wants to have a short term goal of maxing out both you and your spouses 401k.
Maybe you’re 34 with 2 kids, and a decent amount of debt (say it’s a mortgage and some student loan debt). Your goals might to be pay down the debt and save for your kids future education.
Everyone’s life is different, doesn’t mean the advice is bad, it just means it’s coming from that persons perspective.
Quick example, I just read the notes from the 2021 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting recently, and Charlie Munger talked a bit about cryptocurrencies.
I think I should say, modestly, that I think the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization, and I’ll let leave the criticism to others.Charlie Munger
I was a bit surprised at the intensity of what he said. Of course it’s no surprise, I know he hasn’t been a fan for years.
Regardless, I consider his age and his life experiences and compare that to mine. I’m definitely an advocate of crypto and blockchain tech, so I take the advice from a very smart man like him, and still make my own choices.
Are you surprised to not see all 20 tips? That’s done on purpose. I want to share the tips as I go through life, I tend to add one or two more every month or so, after some further reflection.
I think this list will be better that way, sharing my 20 best personal finance tips, from my lens. I hope you enjoyed, learned something new, and took away a few bits of insight for your own life and goals.