By in Asset Allocation, Budget, Debt, Investing, Personal Finance | 12 comments


pay yourself first

save for emergencies

save for the future

save for vacations and other known events

start investing early

money rules to live by

live beneath your means

don’t borrow for depreciating assets

buy a used car and drive it for more than ten years

 Car loans: Use the 20/4/10 rule

Ideally, you wouldn’t borrow money to buy an asset that loses value, but you may not always be able to pay cash for a car. If you can’t, protect yourself from overspending by putting 20% down, limiting the loan to four years and capping your monthly payment at no more than 10% of your gross income.

Use credit cards strategically

You don’t deserve it

Use a rent vs home buying calculator

Put down 20% down payment on a mortgage

Practice smart behavioral money tricks

invest early and often

how can i be better with money?

money rules of thumb

budgeting rules

50/30/20 rule

paycheck allocation

what should i do with my salary

how much should you have in savings?

Simple Money and Wealth Building Rules & Links

I’ve read Trent Hamm’s The Simple Dollar ever since I knew what a blog was. I was particularly curious to check out his 14 Simple Money Rules. Especially as I frequently receive questions from readers about how to manage the overwhelming crush of debt and money mismanagement.

Trent Includes Some of the Money Rules Standards:

  • Spend less than you earn.
  • Don’t over-think your investments.
  • Stop trying to impress others.
  • Eliminate (And Avoid) High Interest Debt.
  • Plan Ahead Every Time You Spend

There’s not much to debate in these money rules. Yet there were a few others in the list that I disagree with, and I’ll tell you why.

First off, let me disclose that I’m quite a bit older than Trent and have hit most of our family’s financial goals. I’ve also had decades of investing, work, and entrepreneurship experience. I also dislike conflict (a lot) and am hesitant to put my critique online. That said, there’s room for disagreement and discussion in  personal finance. Additionally, I’ve communicated with Trent and know him to be a stand up, generous, and genuine guy. I expect he is open to a friendly discussion.

With the above disclaimer………..



Money Rules You Should Not Necessarily Follow

Talk About Money (And Be Honest)– If excess spending is not a problem and if you and your partner share values, then you don’t have to talk much about money. Some folks don’t particularly like to talk about money, and that’s okay. If you and your family live within your means, don’t have a lot of debt, and are saving, then you don’t have to talk about money.

Watch Your Progress (But Make It Fun)-You are well advised to avoid looking at your investment accounts or net worth too frequently. Investments go up and down and its best to set up an asset allocation in line with your risk tolerance and then avoid checking it too often. If you check your assets too frequently, you may feel the urge to act. And frequent trading in investing leads to sub par results. On the other hand, keep an eye on your spending, to make sure you’re not over doing it!

Do it Yourself-I have a mixed response to this one. I believe anyone can set up their investing portfolio themselves with a small amount of study. But doing everything you are capable of yourself, leads to too much to do and too little time left. I suggest prioritizing. Do what you are best at and most highly compensated for, and outsource other activities. For some it might be hiring a housekeeper. For others it might be ordering groceries on line. You’ll get too bogged down with minutia if you try to do everything yourself.

Now for a peak at what I’ve been reading.

Barbara Recommends:

The College Investor has a FREE downloadable book; The Definitive Guide to Student Loan Debt. Pass this link to anyone with debt, you need to read it.

Yahoo! Finance writer Nicole Goodkind shares, Top Secrets of Penny Pinching Billionaires; Warren Buffett Has Company. This is so inspiring. You must read this article if you suffer from “keeping up with the Jones’ syndrome.”

New website alert, Rockstar Finance. J. Money of Budgets are Sexy birthed this awesome site which highlights best finance articles from across the web. Personal finance writers can even submit their articles for consideration.

Copyblogger writes about 4 Oldschool Ways to Thrive in Any Economy. If you’ve never read this blog, there’s something for everyone here. And keeping with the title of this article, Money Rules, who doesn’t want more ideas and inspiration?

Jim Wang of Bargaineering fame has a new blog, Microblogger. In this article he asks, Do You Conduct Competitive Research? This is a good read for any entrepreneur. It was especially interesting to me as I’m in the midst of a marketing research project for my own business.

PT Money of Fincon fame writes, Thoughts before the Obamacare Exchanges open on October 1. In my massive project of editing and writing Personal Finance; Encyclopedia of Modern Money Management (ABC-CLIO publishers) one of the topics is the new Affordable Care Act (dubbed Obamacare). I was excited to see a clear cut treatment of this complicated topic. If you live in the U.S. you need to be aware of this one!

Kevin, from Out of Your Rut writes A View From the Economic Cliff. Great commentary and thought provoking ideas about the current U.S. budget negotiations. Although he isn’t a big fan of economic prognostications, I think he did a credible job with the topic. What do you think?

Barbara Across the Web

Financial Carnival for Young Adults hosted by Money Bull Dog
Yakezie Carnival hosted by Wealth Note
Finance Carnival For Young Adults hosted by Money Bulldog
Lifestyle Carnival hosted by Hurricanes Panties & Dollars
Carnival of Financial Independence hosted by Outlier Model
Carnival of Financial Planning hosted by Mel’s Money
Carnival of Wealth hosted by Control Your Cash

 What are your money rules? How are they working for you?

 image credit; google images_wolfsjourney.deaviant art dot com


  1. Thank you for the love! You have a blessed weekend over there, my friend. And see you soon at FINCON 🙂


    September 27, 2013

  2. I talk a lot about money because it is my favorite subject (since 7 years old)! I always made savings a priority which has helped me achieve success. I tend to keep it very simple and only borrow when I can make money from it.


    September 27, 2013

  3. I’m in the keep it simple camp. The key for me is that I use cash and have no credit card debt. If I want something and don’t have the cash I’ll wait until I have the cash.

    Paul @ The Frugal Toad

    September 28, 2013

  4. I always love your take on finances, Barb, and I especially appreciate your suggestion that we don’t have to talk about money all the time if all is well. Great article!

    Eliza @ Happy Simple Living

    September 28, 2013

  5. @J$-Thanks for the visit and keeping money talk fun and sexy!
    @Krantc-Great approach, borrow when you can make money off of it. That means borrow at a lower rate and invest for a greater return than your lending costs.
    @Paul-I would shout that approach from the roof tops. If you don’t have the cash-don’t buy it!
    @Eliza-Although I write about money and finances-there is certainly more to life than $$$$.

    Barbara Friedberg

    September 28, 2013

  6. Nice reflective article. As we age, I think it is important that we open money discussions with our grown children. They might have a stake in the shape of your finances (especially if they feel they might have to support you!). They won’t be able to open that discussion door, so it is up to us.

    Marie at Family Money Values

    September 28, 2013

  7. @Marie, I’d like to add that we also discuss money with our aging parents. Spouses, parents and adult children all need to be aware of money issues that affect the family. I’m lucky that my parents and I have an open money relationship. In fact, I oversee my parent’s financial investment decisions.

    Barbara Friedberg

    September 29, 2013

  8. Barb, I really appreciate your take on the money rules.

    My husband and I have always been on the same page about money and only discuss really large purchases or investments. Honestly, we get so little time together (he travels for work) that the last thing I really want to talk about is money.

    Thanks for the great links….there look to be some really good ones in the mix.

    Betsy @

    September 29, 2013

  9. Well, one can definitely not do all things on their own and while keeping it simple, from time to time its good to seek a different view (professional one) for things like investments etc. They might point out to some other things you can do to improve your portfolio etc.
    I can agree with most of Trent Rules!

    Simon @ Modest Money

    September 30, 2013

  10. @Betsy, My husband and I also share similar values. We don’t talk about money much either. Once investing is in place and spending is under control, what is there to talk about? (Of course I handle all the investing and money planning issues 🙂
    @Simon-There are only so many hours in the day….. so we all have to make some trade offs about how we spend our time!

    Barbara Friedberg

    October 1, 2013

  11. I still see many people trying to keep up with the joneses. It’s important to stop trying to impress others and impress themselves with the size of their savings.

    The Phroogal Jason

    October 4, 2013

    • Jason, I couldn’t agree more. I think about this every time I drive my 1998 SUV around town. I can’t stop thinking about all the money I’m saving 🙂

      Barbara Friedberg

      October 4, 2013


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