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Everyday Cheapskate: Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner

Mary Hunt on

Like my garden, my mailbox is showing definite signs of spring. Just this week two beautifully addressed, thick envelopes showed up, both of them announcing graduation ceremonies -- one from high school, the other from college. However, neither even hinted at an invitation for me to give the commencement address. But had I been asked, I do have the world's shortest graduation speech ready to go:

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE CLASS OF 2024, FACULTY, FRIENDS AND FAMILY:

Today I would like to share with you seven things I wish I'd learned sooner. I cannot be sure that I would have paid attention, but there's a chance I might have. Now I offer you that same chance.

1. INTEGRITY ALWAYS MATTERS

Integrity is simply doing what you promised you would do. It is telling the truth and doing the truth. It is doing the right thing even if no one would know that you did the wrong thing. Integrity is accepting the blame when you have made a mistake. Integrity always matters because it matters to God. Integrity keeps you the kind of person you want to live with. And that's important because you have to live with yourself your entire life.

2. MORE MONEY WILL NOT FIX EVERYTHING

 

Until you know how to handle a small amount of money well, lots of money will only create bigger problems. Remember to never keep it all (give some away) and never spend it all (save some for the future). Then you will never be broke.

3. SAVE EARLY, SAVE OFTEN

There exists in the universe a simple principle with a big payoff. It is called compounding interest. When you save money in an interest-bearing savings account (yes, they still exist), you earn interest. Then that interest earns interest, or "compounds," which makes your money grow more rapidly. Start saving money now so it has many years to compound. That is the no-brainer way to build wealth.

4. SPEND LESS THAN YOU EARN

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