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My Rules To Live By, by Brad F.

Author’s Introductory Note: This was written for high school students that are attending the Alternate High School in the American Redoubt which the local Rotary Club has taken an interest to mentor and expose the students to various job possibilities and for a few, higher education opportunities. This was to be a handout and discussion on each topic as this was to be an opening to talk and expand each item as the students wanted. Then a presentation on being an entrepreneur either by buying or starting a business and how to finance such business. Of course, a person will be required to have knowledge of his/her business along with empirical working time in same business.

Because Covid-19 lockdowns, this has yet to be presented. Perhaps it will in the first quarter of 2022.

SurvivalBlog readers most likely will have this information, but some will have children, grandchildren, or friends that could benefit from some of this. I have found there are some adults that could use this as not everyone was taught how some of the world works in relationship to money. This is not intended to be the end-all about life and money, just the beginning.

Some rules to live by, some are for personal and some if you plan to have a business.

You are responsible for yourself. No one made you do it, if you study and get a great grade, you earned it, if you choose not to study and flunk the exam, you deserve it, and no one but you is responsible for all of your actions.

Females, don’t become pregnant before 25. Be married, have adequate income. The cost of having a child before a stable relationship and completed education will affect you your whole life. Raising a child before you can afford it will prevent you from an education and keep earnings below what you will have if this does not happen. If you do have a child, you are responsible.

Males, do not get a female pregnant before 25. If you do, you will have a legal financial reasonability to the child for 18 years. This will prevent you from completing an education and affect you your whole life and if you do, you are responsible.

Show up on time every time. An employer is paying you to be on time, put in a full day’s work for the money that is being paid to you. What you do on your own time should not interfere with your ability to full fill

Your obligation to your employer. Like staying up most of the night.

Pay your bills as they come due. The financial world is run on credit and to play the game correctly you must pay your bills when they are due. When you do this you will benefit greatly from the world of credit by having an excellent credit score. The credit score is what the banking system runs on. Having a great credit score will open up opportunities that will not be available to people that don’t have great scores.

Pay yourself first. Anyone can live on 90 % of his or her income as well as 100 %. It is easy to spend everything you make and then some. The prudent person never spends him/herself into debt for items that do not make income or for a house. In addition, a person that saves at least 10% of earned income will become self-sufficient in a much shorter time then other people that do not. When your earnings improve, save more, live moderately. Save enough to cover 3 months of living expenses, 6 months is better.

Learn about investing. It is not only about what you earn, it’s what you do with the money to make it grow. There is a whole industry selling Investment books, etc. and the internet is full of ideas. Learn.

Never stop learning. In your chosen work field it will be beneficial to you to continue to learn about what you do and to keep informed of industry improvements, developments and changes that will affect your income and advancement either working for a company or owning a company. No industry stays static, it is always moving in some direction. If you want more income, continue to learn.

Read everything. I have found usable information by reading all varieties of publications, my industry and an enormous assortment of non-industry written materials. Keeping up with financial trends, labor

Housing, everything affects business and jobs. You can read free at the library, you do not have to subscribe to obtain great information.

Expect setbacks. Nothing seems to go exactly as planned and the world will present you with many challenges in the workplace or especially when you own your own business. Take each challenge and break it down to small chunks and deal with it. My father used to say “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”

Find a mentor or mentors. There are many people that came before all of us that know your chosen work, industry, or profession. It has been my experience that most will be flattered if you ask them for advice and help. When you are considering buying a business or before starting one, the Small Business Administration, SBA, of the Federal Government has retired business owners, retired executives in most industries and they will consult, give advice and help for free.

Math is king. You will use math as an employee or as a business owner. It is mandatory to learn the math of your chosen profession. As a business owner, you must know how to read an income statement and balance sheet of your business or one that you might be considering to buy. Labor rates, gross margin, net profit, tax liability are just some of the items that you will want to know.

Pay your taxes on time. I have found that the cheapest way to pay taxes is before or when they are due. Government agencies have no tolerance for late payments and the penalties most times are not proportionate to the tax bill. As an example in California a late penalty on your auto registration is 80% added on. When you own your own business, you will be required submit Payroll taxes on yourself and all employees that you have. The IRS and State tax collectors do not have a funny bone in their bodies. They can put you out of business and attach your house, auto, and future earnings by not paying them and they are not dischargeable by bankruptcy, so there is no escape from paying them. So pay them on time every time. Sales tax collected by a business is the same, pay it.

Plan, Plan, and Plan. I have found that committing a plan to paper is helpful and use target dates and financial goals. You then have a working document to adjust as you meet goals. This tool is good for an individual, a couple or a business. When you own, manage a business, manage a department of a business, the plan becomes a formal document that many times is part of a business loan application and it is called a Business Plan.

Cash Flow Statement. It is important to know how much cash is coming in, and cash going out. Similar to a budget, but extremely important to know so you can meet your credit and tax obligations on time and also to know how much you will be saving each pay period. Even a business owner gets a regular paycheck.

Retirement Plans. If you are employed by a company that offers a retirement plan, I encourage you to maximize your contributions to it as it can add up quickly. As a business owner, you will have to decide when cash flow and profits are adequate to start a retirement plan for your employees or you can choose an individual IRA account and you will need some expert advice at the time you decide as the rule continually change.

Checking Account. The bank checking account is essential in order to live, as a normal person. There are a few rules that apply. One of them is never overdraft your checking account. The banks keep track and report it to Checkex that almost all banks are subscribers. If your checking account is over drafted several times, the bank will close your account and because they are reporting that information, you will not be able to open a checking account at any other bank for seven years. This means NEVER write a postdated check, and never write a check that you do not have current funds for the check to clear your account when deposited by the person/ business that you gave it to. Do not ask someone to hold a check for payday as they could deposit it before had and cause an overdraft and fees of at least $35.

Credit Cards. A credit card is almost a necessity in order to live life well.  You can’t rent a car or many other items if you do not have a credit card. A debit card will not perform the same way. The use of credit cards is very important as the debt that is not paid when due will be charged a very high rate of interest, in excess of 21% is usual. Consumer debt is not good for anyone. If you put debt on a credit card and it takes five years to pay off the balance, then the cost of that item will almost double the cost. The use of credit card philosophy is only use a credit card for the items that you will purchase anyway and in the amount that you can pay IN FULL each month. With the rewards programs offered by most credit cards, it makes sense to take advantage of them, only if you will pay the bill in full each month.

There is no free lunchlife is not fair – Always move forward and remember most family members give bad advice unless they are very successful, only ask advice from someone that knows the subject matter that you need advice about.

Do not loan money – Keep your own counsel – Be honest above all and be trustworthy.