Spoken to the tune of “Wear Sunscreen”.

If I could give you a single piece of advice. This would be it: Live within your means. The long term benefits of living within your means have been proved by economists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own observations.

Buy a modest home. Make a 20% down payment. Get a fixed mortgage loan. Consider refinancing at the same term if rates go lower. Do not take out a second mortgage. Buy good furniture and energy efficient appliances. Only replace them when they break and cannot be repaired. Turn the thermostat down to 68. Turn the lights off when you leave the room, turning the lights off won’t hurt you. Don’t fill the garage with powertools you never use. Drive a modest car. Shop around and pay cash for it. Maintain it well and keep it as long as possible. Marry a good hardworking spouse with the same financial values as yourself. Don’t divorce. Learn to cook. Eating at home will add to your savings rather than your waist line. Stay in shape. You may think you are fine now, but in twenty years those extra thirty pounds will turn into sixty and come back and bite you. Shop at less expensive supermarkets. Make a shopping list before going to the store. Only buy things on the list. Keep your tastes simple. Don’t buy $3 cups of coffee and drink water instead of canned soda. Don’t smoke. Buy clothes on sale and out of season. Don’t follow fashion for the sake of following fashion. Work hard and save 30% of your income. Invest most of it. Don’t trade. Find ways to have fun without spending a ton of money. Think about your choices with money. Every choice you make has consequences. Oh yeah, and wear sunscreen.

You should also consider what happens if you don’t wear sunscreen and that you can wear a wide brimmed hat and retire extremely early (after all, sunscreen costs money).

Much thanks to E for the donation.

Originally posted 2007-12-21 01:19:00.