Happy New Year.
The goal of this newsletter is to teach YOU how to sell your stuff.
If YOU have questions about how to do just that, reply to this email, and I’ll answer your question in an upcoming edition of this newsletter.
That said, since it’s now January, I wanted to take a slight detour this week.
The following is the only financial advice you will ever need when managing your money.
I’ve compiled this information from three of my favorite personal finance books: The Index Card, The Simple Path to Wealth, and I Will Teach You To Be Rich.
So, let’s all get this new year off on the right foot, shall we?
You don’t want to start 2023 like this:
Everything You Need To Know About Managing Your Money in 2023
1. Take all your money out from the commercial banks and put it into your local credit union. What you lose in technological convenience, you’ll make up in saving money on fees.
2. Stop putting your credit card information online. Open a Privacy.com account. This service acts like a condom for your credit card and disguises your financial information while making purchases online.
Note: Not every place will allow you to use a Privacy.com card, but I recommend trying to use it as much as possible.
3. Print out your bank statements every 90 days. This is the simplest and best way to budget properly. Once you’ve done this, add up three months of your MUST-pay bills (food, rent, etc.) Your new goal is to save that amount of money into a Money Market Fund at your credit union. This will protect you if you are suddenly out of money and need to pay these MUST pay bills for three months.
Do this before you do any of the other savings advice I mention below.
4. If you have a day job, make sure you put 10% automatically into your 401K each month. Take another 10% and place it into a savings account at the credit union. Don’t touch this money unless there’s an emergency.
(And yes, I know. Saving 20% is really hard. So if you can’t save 20%, start by saving 1% each month, and slowly increase the amount saved as you can afford to do so.)
And if they offer it? Ensure your employer matches your 401K contributions.
If you don’t have a 401K, read step 6 below.
5. Don’t buy any other kind of life insurance. You just need Term Life insurance. All the other offerings are bullshit.
6. NEVER buy individual stocks. Just stick your money into Vanguard’s VTSAX (an index fund) and VBLTX (bonds).
If you’re over 40, you want to put 60% into VTSAX and 40% into VBLTX. If you’re under 40, put 100% into VTSAX.
If you don’t have a 401k, that’s alright.
First, create a Roth IRA at Vanguard, and put the max contribution into VTSAX and VBLTX. Then once you’ve done that, create a regular IRA account and do the same. Then, open a brokerage account and keep putting money into VTSAX and VBLTX as often as you can.
If you can save nearly half of what you’re making each month into VTSAX and VBLTX, you should be well covered by the time you need to retire.
Once you hit retirement age, you would just withdraw at (around) 4% each year. Never withdraw more than that.
7. Unless you already own one, or you MUST have one, never buy a home. Rent. Your home is not an investment. (Other homes could be an investment, but we don’t have the space to get into real estate here, and honestly, I don’t recommend that.)
-Renting has its own set of problems. It’s essential to actively follow legislation and activism in your area to ensure more affordable housing is built, and that the rights of renters are protected from predatory landlords.
8. Make more money. Don’t worry. If you’re reading this email and following the steps I’m teaching each week on how to sell your stuff; we’ll have this one covered.
But here’s a quick example:
You want to sell 3-4 digital education products that retail for about $50 each. These should complement the other projects you’re working on, and teach skills you wish you had when you first started doing what you are currently doing.
If you can sell 30 copies of a product selling $50 a month, that’s an extra $1,500 a month for something that you can build once and never have to think about again.
9. If you have credit card debt, pay off the card with the most debt first. Then, move to the card with the second most debt and repeat.
10. If you need to see someone about managing your money, make sure they follow and COMMIT to following the fiduciary standard. This means that person needs to put your financial interests first in all their dealings with you. (Surprisingly, this is not the default arrangement in the financial services world. You have to ask for this in most cases explicitly.)
11. Pick two things in your life that you really love. Spend freely on those two things and cut back on everything else.
12. Never buy new. Don’t buy a new car (for example). If it’s got four wheels and runs reliably? That’s all you need.
13. There is no such thing as “good debt”. All debt is bad. This includes those “Buy now, pay later” services that are now all over the place. Pay the total amount as often as possible.
14. Always pay in cash. This is not always possible, but if you have the option to do so? Do it.
The reason is simple: If you pay in cash, you are always aware of how much money you have. If you pay with your card, you’re more likely to spend more money than you should have.
15. Check your banking app once a day. First thing in the morning. Take a look at all the credits and debits from the day before. This is good for protecting yourself when it comes to identity theft, but it’s also a great habit to build so you are aware of what’s being spent.
Speaking of identity theft, sign-up for Just Delete Me. This service constantly scrubs the web for your personal information. It also removes you from the nearly 600 data brokers out there that gather info on you every day. This is critical both for protecting yourself from identity theft AND keeping you from getting doxxed.
16. Always pay your taxes. No, the IRS is not perfect. Neither is the tax code. Both need to be re-worked, and in the case of the IRS, way better funded. (The more funding will allow them to go after the $1T dollars lost each year from the super wealthy and corporations exploiting all the loopholes in the current system.)
Paying your taxes helps fund schools, construction, and other resources that are available to everyone equally. It’s the glue that holds us together, and these services provide opportunities for the people coming up behind us to grow and thrive too.
17. The last step is a little bit of a weird one, but it works: Get an index card. On that index card, write down:
-How much money you want to make this year
-When you plan to make it by
-And how you plan to make that money.
Then, put that index card somewhere highly visible so you can read it once in the morning and once in the evening. Every day.
This will help keep you focused and committed on what you need to do each day.
Alright. I hope this helps.
Feel free to share this with friends or family that might need this advice.
I’ll see you next week.
P.S. Did you catch our Digital Detox episodes on WAYWO.TV?
You can listen to Part 1 here, and then when you’re done, you can catch Part 2 here.
Don’t let your smartphone rule your life.