Thou shall live within thy means
This simply means, don’t covet the Mercedes when all you can afford is a Corolla. Yes, you should strive to earn enough so that one day you can buy the Mercedes fair and square, but don’t do it by going into debt. Keep your spending in check. Spend less than what you earn.
Thou shall not take out a loan in vain
Debt is modern day slavery. Avoid debt if you can. Yes, there are some situations where getting into debt is unavoidable. Housing, education and auto all are valid reasons. There is absolutely no reason to go into debt to pay off everyday expenses. If you are, you need to take a close look at your expenses.
Thou shall save for a rainy day
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Keep a comfortable sum of money fully liquid as emergency fund. This should come before any of your long term goals like investing or saving for a house.
Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s lawn mower
Every family’s situation is different. Know what’s yours. Just because your neighbor bought a $4000 robotic lawn mower or a flashy car doesn’t mean you should get one too. Don’t try to keep up with the joneses.
Remember thy retirement day to keep it fully funded
If you are young, retirement might seem far off. If you are not young, retirement will be constantly on your mind. No matter what stage you are in, remember to save to lead a comfortable retirement life. Money shouldn’t be a source of worry during your golden years. Learn about IRAs, fund your 401K, contribute to your HSA and save every chance you get.
Thou shall not try to time the market
Timing the market is a loser’s bet. Keep emotions out of investing and dollar cost average into the market. Invest what you can, but do it with discipline and do it regularly.
Thou shall be frugal
Being frugal doesn’t mean being cheap. Being frugal means instead of buying bottled water on that road trip, carrying water with you. It means seeking out discounts, ways to cut avoidable expenses, means to reduce waste. Being frugal means living smart.
Thou shall not neglect thy health nor thy family’s health
Food is cheap, thanks to technology and capitalism. But this also can lead to gluttony. Keep an eye on your health, your family’s health. Don’t neglect that yearly checkup. Even if you follow all the other commandments, it doesn’t matter if you don’t live long enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Thou shall not gamble
Addiction of any sort isn’t a good thing, be it casinos, cigarettes or betting on horses. Your odds of winning are minuscule and you pay with your time and money both of which can be spent elsewhere in a more rewarding manner.
Thou shall not steal
You should strive to make more year after year, but do so fairly. Making money at the misfortune of another is no way to paradise.