Everything You Need To Know About Personal Finance Fits Onto 5 Business Cards

Trent has fit everything you ever needed to know about managing personal finance onto the backs of five business cards. Really! That’s it!

Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on the Back of Five Business Cards [The Simple Dollar]

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  1. Marlin says:

    So I should spend all my extra money at The Gap?

    But I don;t even like their old logo, let alone the new one.

  2. 3skr1mad0r says:

    That truly is a great article. I particularly like the inclusion of “Don’t make yourself miserable”. Many people think that cutting out expenses means not being able to have any fun when it isn’t true.

  3. RDSwords says:

    Step 1: Read obvious tips from 5 business cards
    Step 2: …..
    Step 3: Profit!

  4. savvy9999 says:

    Personally, I would add in something on the 4th card: Hide a little money from yourself every week.

    Assuming you have a job (or 2) and actually have a make-spend gap, one way to increase your pile is to simply take as much as possible off the top. chop off $100 a month before it even hits your bank account and stash it in a high yield account (yeah right) or Roth, etc. Every time I hit the ATM, I take out an extra $10 and stuff it in a safebox in my closet when I get home and take off my pants. I have no idea what’s in there now; maybe a couple hundred bucks. Last time I opened it and cashed it out, I had almost $900; took half of that bought a big bag of silver dimes and quarters with it (and now silver is wayyyy up), put half of *that* in a real safety deposit box at the bank, the other half in my kid’s closet (last place a burglar looks). Blew the other $450 on my hobby (collecting old concert posters). No way I would have saved that $$$ unless I did it on the sly, and incrementally.

    • FatLynn says:

      I do this with my direct deposit. Part of it goes to an account that I never touch, or even really look at more than a few times/year.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      This is especially easy when you 1) get a raise, or 2) pay off a fixed-term loan like a car payment or home equity loan. I’ve got about 50% of what I’d need to buy a new car in cash because after I paid off my last car, I set up an automatic transfer for the amount of my car payment to go into a separate “new car fund” savings account.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Yep. Part of my paycheck goes directly to my 401k and part of it goes to savings. I feel really happy when I take a look at my savings.

  5. The cake is a lie! says:

    I think SNL summed it up with a skit a million years ago with Steve Martin. “Don’t buy things you cannot afford.” Credit is good. Living on Credit is bad. There is something to be said for living within your means…

  6. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    Some of the advice is great, but this bugs me:

    “3. Start a side business. Instead of burning a few hours in front of the telly each evening, how about investing at least part of that time into starting a side business? You can try starting a blog with a few ads on it, or maybe you’re good with woodworking and can make deck furniture. Maybe you’re good at baking bread and can take loaves to the farmer’s market, or maybe you deeply enjoy gardening and can sell vegetables. There are lots of possibilities out there for starting a business that will supplement your current income and perhaps eventually grow into your main income”

    What if I prefer to have free time? The idea that my hobbies should be income streams is, quite frankly, rather abhorrent to me. If I’m profit-seeking in my hobbies, then something’s wrong (in my opinion.)

    • FatLynn says:

      Agreed, though I think it works to think about how you can turn your hobby into homemade holiday gifts. You can definitely save money going that route, and if your hobby is something creative like that, you probably don’t want a thousand wood carvings piling up in your basement.

    • vastrightwing says:

      My brother’s wife has this problem except she won’t work at all. She’d rather vacuum the house after 9 cats than earn money (which they need). She’s really talented at making costumes and other really cool things. I mentioned helping her sell her creations to earn money and she said she was not interested in doing anything as a job. Wow! I still don’t understand her reasoning on this. Granted, doing something as a hobby is fun, while doing it as a job, not so much. But if you need money…

    • Scoobatz says:

      I find it hard to believe that anybody would consider watching loads of TV each night a “hobby”. The author’s not even suggesting that all your hobbies should become income streams. Perhaps you should read the linked article under this item in the original post. The author further suggests that instead of waching TV, you could be exercising, reading a book, starting a business, learning a new skill or hobby, finishing a project, etc.

      I think the author is trying to emphasize that many people probably don’t realize just how much time they waste in front of a TV. Lots of people feel they don’t have enough time to do anything, yet spend a ridiculous amount of time watching TV each week. If you’re a person who could use some extra money… and you have no motivation for non-TV hobbies or activities… perhaps you can start up a side business in the time you would have spent watching old re-runs.

      • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

        Allow me to blow your mind then. I consider my movie watching a hobby. I consider playing Xbox a hobby.

        I even consider watching some of my favorite shows two or three nights a week a hobby. I know, how vulgar of me.

        I work enough hours at my 9 to 6 that I don’t need a second job. But really the argument he’s making is hardly about television. He’s arguing about the monetization of the other stuff you do.

        “There are lots of possibilities out there for starting a business that will supplement your current income and perhaps eventually grow into your main income””

        Yes, there are. But I don’t want my hobbies and side activities to be an income stream. I’m perfectly happy letting my passion for killing Zerg be nothing but a fancy. I also see no reason to feel bad about this, given how much work I typically do in an average week.

        “Perhaps you should read the linked article under this item in the original post”

        I did. Considering that I clearly copied and pasted that block of text from the site (look up, and you’ll see that the article here doesn’t include any of the text I pasted), it stands to reason that I did read the article.

        Also, I read the article again. He never mentions exercise as far as I can tell. He does say:

        “If something interests you, read a book about it. Take evening classes to get certification in a certain area or get a masters’ degree. No matter what you’re doing, there’s some way you can learn more and improve yourself.”

        Sure, if something interests you, read a book. That’s great. But taking classes and higher income? Not always true, though it’s a popular near-truth. Anyone who’s gotten a graduate degree can tell you that many people never see a return on the investment. I certainly never will, if you consider the time and money cost in time-weighted terms.

        Finally, there’s the notion that starting a business isn’t costly. Running a successful business can have considerable costs in the short and long-run. The suggestion to sell veggies at a farmer’s market, for example. Gardening is expensive. So is transportation of goods. There’s a good chance that these side ventures may cost more than they bring in.

        • You hate your job but you're still working there? says:

          The idea is that costs to start/maintain a business are reduced significantly when you’re already providing the goods/services as a result of your hobbies. Yes, it can cost quite a bit to maintain a garden, but if you’re already doing it on the weekends as a hobby why not take what you’re producing (especially if its excess anyway) and turn that into profit? No one is suggesting that you take up gardening because you need an increase in income. You should be focusing on taking what you already have and turning that into income instead.

  7. ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

    Some us have no gap. And that’s when racing to make sure the power doesn’t get cut at the last second. Not while sipping a humongous latte at Starbucks.

    Minimum wage is a tiny thing.

  8. humphrmi says:
  9. criticman says:

    Is it just me, or is this really old? 2007?

    Still good advice, for the most part. Oversimplified yes, but some good key points. I’m a fan of The Simple Dollar. It is a good site to keep you sane when trying to look at fixing your financial future.

  10. dreamfish says:

    Being forced to live within your means is un-American.

    • vastrightwing says:

      Unfortunately, this is not a joke. We are living off other’s money (Yes China & others). At some point, they won’t be giving us more money to live off of. Then what? I hope I’m dead by then. This is too scary to think of.

  11. zantafio says:

    Personal finances for retards

  12. zantafio says:

    I started a side business of reselling on Ebay good finds from my local thrift stores, that brought not hundreds but thousands of $$.

  13. Promethean Sky says:

    I am frightened and disturbed that people actually need to be told these things.

    • Dave Farquhar says:

      The trouble is that this kind of advice IS news to a lot of people. The ONLY financial advice I learned in school at all came from my high school history teacher of all people, and from my macroeconomics professor. But some of that was pie in the sky level; he didn’t personalize it.

      Fortunately for me, my dad was pretty good with money (not a wizard, but definitely better than average) and he would hand me magazine articles about money management and stuff like that. From a young age my parents taught me how to save up my money for what I wanted rather than expecting to have it right now, which was good.

      If they hadn’t done that? I’d probably have a $10K credit card balance like a lot of people, I guess.

      • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

        Heh, there are a whole lot of people who would kill to only have $10k in credit card debt, unfortunately.

  14. pot_roast says:

    So, it’s basically what Dave Ramsey (and others) are saying. Ok. But I still laugh at some of the suggestions. Build furniture? Just start up a blog and put ads on it? Unless you already have the necessary talent, it’s not that simple..