Core Principles

My Framework

The principles below are divided into three categories: financial, lifestyle, and work. These principles are dynamic and may change throughout my journey. Additionally, new principles may be recorded and existing principles may be removed.

 

View these core principles as a general framework and not absolute truths as there are exceptions to every principle.

 

Personal Finance Core Principles

  1. No debt is good debt when you are 23
  2. Emergency funds are not sexy, but they are necessary
  3. Make yourself feel cash poor
  4. Never carry a balance on your credit card (ie: never pay a penny of credit card interest)
  5. Never buy or lease a new car
  6. Focus first on reducing expenses, then focus on increasing income
  7. If you buy a house, always put enough down to avoid PMI
  8. A budget is a necessary evil
  9. Tracking your actual expenses compared to your budget is even more of a necessary evil
  10. No matter what, contribute enough to get an employee match within a retirement plan
  11. Maximize tax advantaged accounts (401(k), IRA, Roth IRA, HSA, etc) prior to contributing to taxable accounts.
  12. If you are making less than $100,000 per year, the common retirement deferral percentages of 3% and 6% will likely not be enough to retire. Aim to defer at least 15% and then increase it every time you receive a wage increase.
  13. After maxing out tax advantaged accounts based on IRS limits, contribute as much as possible to a taxable account and invest in an index fund.
  14. To have a general idea of the amount of money you need to retire, multiply your yearly expenses by 25

 

Lifestyle Core Principles

  1. Focus on experiences over material possessions
  2. Favor long-term benefits over short-term gratification
  3. Maximize dedicated time by listening to audiobooks (exercising, cleaning, laundry, walking, driving, etc)
  4. Be selective of the people you surround yourself with, they have power to influence you both positively and negatively
  5. Take ownership for your success and failures, don’t blame outside forces
  6. Eliminate news (social media and coworkers will be able to fill you in), eliminate watching more than a three hours of TV per week, and eliminate video games
  7. Set goals, write them down, and tell them to your closest friends and significant other
  8. If you’re in the majority, there may be a benefit to switch to being the minority

 

Work Principles (assuming office environment)

  1. Health is more important than working an absurd amount of hours. Working 60+ hour jobs typically leads to caffeine consumption, stress, and “no time for exercising.” Trust me, I’ve lived this, and working 40-50 hours and exercising daily is much more fulfilling than dedicating my free time to a company that could fire me tomorrow.
  2. Get in earlier than most and stay later than most (not every day, but enough times that it is noticed)
  3. Do the hard tasks first
  4. Avoid excuses
  5. Display urgency on requests from politically important individuals
  6. Automate tasks as much as possible
  7. Close Outlook/Email during periods of intense work
  8. You’re only nervous if you’re not prepared
  9. Ask for feedback regularly

 

 

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