It is only a game is code for don’t take it seriously! The list of things that we should not take seriously is very long. Unfortunately, too many people do not take school, careers or relationships seriously either. Let’s face it grades affect your career and your earnings will affect relationships. What should you take seriously! Here are five (5) things to take seriously because it will affect the rest of your life!
Do you pay yourself first? Most personal finance experts suggest to contribute to a savings (retirement/investment) account on a regular basis! I take it a step further by making it automatic! I set up a payroll deduction for a 403B (401K), IRA and Roth IRA each and every month. Before there was even an opportunity to contribute to a 401K, I used to contribute to a savings account for certain annual expenses. I invested the excess in income property and made it grow into a thriving business.
Live on Less
I live within my means! How do you do that? All it takes is discipline and a lot of planning. I take the impulse out of spending! My wife and I always use lists to go shopping. The list indicates planning with a budget or financial goals in mind. It avoids going into debt to satisfy some purchase that you probably do not need. Is this too much discipline? Maybe you should think more about the financial goals you will start to achieve vs. the effort needed to succeed.
Although I think budgets are a waste of time, figuring out your financial goals are not! I take goals very seriously and you should too. Remember a goal without a plan is just a wish. You need to figure out a plan for every goal you set otherwise, you will just go through the motions. Part of your plan is to monitor your progress and adjust your efforts to achieve your goals. If you are not achieving your goals, you need to make serious changes!
Long Term vs. Short Term
I am a planner by nature although I see it much more long term as a strategist! I love strategy games or games in general; you know I make the right moves to win. It may take me minutes or hours. My love for games helps me think long term. Long term planning is a strategy for goals that will take longer than one year to complete using short term objectives or tasks to achieve them. It took me seven years to achieve financial freedom by completing a lot of tasks/objectives to reach my long term goal.
This is the area that will help you get to your goals! How much you earn or what you do as a career is tied together! I have always said to “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” (Confucius). If you enjoy what you do, you will be good at it and ultimately earn a good living. Whether you are working for someone else or you start your own business, you should enjoy what you are doing or find something you do enjoy. Take it seriously because it is your life!
There has been a lot written about what is important in personal finance and these are the principles I think are important! I used these principles as a guide to help me achieve financial freedom. In other words they work! Some may say they are the “keys to the kingdom”. Long lists are overwhelming and intimidating. I want to make it easier to achieve happiness or your goals. Take these principles seriously, and you can achieve your dreams. Life is only a game, take it seriously!
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Canadian PF Happy Hour at Canadian Personal Finance
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Yakezie Carnival at The College Investor
Life is only a game, take it seriously!
Roshawn @ Watson Inc says
Krants, I do think we need to keep things fun, a hallmark of any good game. I don’t personally have a problem with doing budgets, but that’s a personal preference. Mixing career and passion is PRICELESS. I cannot emphasize how much of an advantage being a fully engaged professional can have on your performance.
Loving what you do will enhance your career. Too often, we place too much importance on the wrong things in life.
William @ Drop Dead Money says
Good view to take! Here’s another game: the economic cycle. It goes up and it goes down. Everyone knows how to make money on the way up, but most people lose most of it on the way back down.
That need not be. There are ways to at worst keep, but at best, make more money on the way down.
And that’s the part of the game that can have the best payoff!
You can do that in your investing strategy and approach to risk. When I was in business, I kept a reserve for the unknowns and cut back on expenses during the down times.
It may be a game, but it probably isn’t Monopoly (unless you buy every house you visit?).
You’re right, of course. The most important part of the game is the end-game strategy, where you try to figure out in the early to mid game stage what it will take to finish strong. I like the analogy.
Strategy is everything, unfortunately too many people do not know how to play the game.
I bet a lot of people wish they could start their money game over but my key would be to not dwell on past mistakes and to instead focus on moving forward. These are some great principles to follow after a game reset.
You have a chance to start over every day, however most people are not prepared to make the needed changes to do that.
Kathleen @ Frugal Portland says
I thought that “it’s just a game” was only said by the losers, or is that just in checkers?
That may be true, but it is a way of dismissing the importance of the competition. Competition may be a promotion or just a game. I think the individual has to decide what is important and put forth the effort to succeed.
I love making savings automatic. It allows me to focus on the short term, knowing the long term is “taking care of itself.”
I think it simplifies my life and I don’t have to worry about it.
Buck Inspire says
Threw me for a loop. I always think of “It’s only a game” as taking things not so seriously. But the points you listed mean serious business. Thanks for the wisdom. Since you are an educator, will the school system ever change to teach personal finance to the next generation? It would really be beneficial to everyone!
I taught personal finance for several years to high school students. It is beneficial if the students practice the information they learn.
Darwin's Money says
And our health! I think it’s easy to take for granted because the human body is so resilient when we’re young and it takes a long time to slowly get fat and develop various diseases. It should be right up there with the rest!
I agree! I realized that firsthand when I had a pinched nerve for nearly 4 months. Now I am back to (semi) normal and feel great! You should never take your health for granted.
Barbara Friedberg says
I’m a competitive person and don’t even consider “it’s only a game” when I’m playing a game. Don’t get started in a Monopoly game with me, unless you want to lose.:)
We should get together, Monopoly was one of my favorite games!