Secrets of Money and Life Success

Here are some little thoughts and things that have improved my finances, improved my career, and made my life better over the past decade.

Don’t throw away your childhood dreams. Find a way to still do them in the spare moments and hours of your life.

You can never judge a person by their appearance. Wait until you know something of their character.

The smell of a home-cooked meal makes a house seem like a home.

A splurge is a lot more enjoyable if you do it once a month instead of once a day.

People don’t hang out with you because of the stuff you have. They hang out with you because of the person you are. Unless you’re famous or rich, of course.

A $20 couch is worth more than a $2,000 couch if it makes you more comfortable when you sit on it.

Your house can’t be a museum if you have active, vibrant, happy children in it.

Stuff you’re not using is money that’s not invested.

Children are expensive, but they save money, too. It doesn’t cost anything to spend the evening playing Calvinball or tag in the back yard.

You can’t control the tides of humanity and society. You can control your own actions and choices.

Whenever I meet someone, I have a choice. I can either respect them and get along with them, or I can judge them. One route leads to good relations. The other route leads to failure.

Don’t overthink your investments before you start. You’re better off starting your investing now and making needed changes down the road.

Time is money. Don’t waste either one.

Your true friends are still there when you lose everything else – and you tend to always remember your true friends.

The more you give without strings or regrets, the better you feel about your own life.

A good book never lets you down.

One real relationship where the other person cares about you is worth a hundred weak relationships where the other person will drop you when it’s convenient.

If you think about every dollar you spend before you actually spend it, you’ll find more dollars in your pocket.

If you want to learn about something, surround yourself with that topic: audiobooks and podcasts in your car, books on your nightstand, printed articles on your breakfast table. Make the ideas flood your mind.

A few minutes spent taking care of your things is much less expensive than buying a replacement early because you didn’t maintain.

If you have high-interest debt, eliminating it should be your top money priority.

There is always a path to a better situation. The question is whether you have the strength to go down that path.

If you don’t feel well, your first line of defense should always be a big cup of water.

No matter what kind of positive life change you’re trying to create, it’s always easier if you have a friend doing it with you.

Tell the people you love that you love them. Often. You never know the last time you’ll be able to tell them that, and if you don’t take that chance, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.

Spend less than you earn.

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16 thoughts on “Secrets of Money and Life Success

  1. Chelle says:

    Sorry, I should say the second to last. I’m still working on the last one!

  2. I really like this one:
    “If you want to learn about something, surround yourself with that topic: audiobooks and podcasts in your car, books on your nightstand, printed articles on your breakfast table. Make the ideas flood your mind.”

    Everyone should have a passion that they can dive into like this and enjoy.

  3. Stephan F- says:

    You know you’re telling your loved one, you love them enough when they tell you you’re telling them you love them too often. Ignore their request to reduce it.

  4. min hus says:

    Love this! The first one is my favorite.

  5. Sara A. says:

    Trent, I have been reading your blog for several years now, and I have to say that it has recently become more of an inspiration blog than a finance blog. The ratio of personal insight posts to finance posts has really changed. I enjoy your thoughts on life, but lately there have just been too many of them, and they are becoming redundant.

    You have a good blog and you should be proud of it, but I also want to offer some constructive criticism where I think it is due.

  6. Jake says:

    This sound like classic quotes!! I can testify to all of these points. It’s funny though that what’s obvious to you is alien to others, often those who have nothing but excuses on why there in the predicament themselves but ofcourse none of it is there fault.

  7. bob says:

    good post Trent! Sara A. somewhat agree but I like the inspiration and it’s really not that complicated of a topic. The top 10 list really covers it. I do like the insight and reinforcement of the basics! Thanks Trent, a recommend your site to folks whenever I can.

  8. “A few minutes spent taking care of your things is much less expensive than buying a replacement early because you didn’t maintain.”
    This one is an important one to me! I like your list. Thanks!

  9. Vanessa says:

    “If you don’t feel well, your first line of defense should always be a big cup of water.”

    I thought I was the only one who did that!

  10. kristine says:

    Nice list-a miscellany of thought notations.

    I have to agree w/ Sarah- this is much more of a “What Trent thinks about life” than personal finance lately. That’s totally fine if the financial posts, now further and farther between, are extremely well researched, and the questions well-addressed.

    Anyway, nice list.

  11. Canan Onat says:

    Stephan F. I agree with you 100%.

    I always tell my mom and my sis that I love them. I give them hugs and kisses when they don’t want them:)

    They are not like me. I know they love me just as much but they are not the kind of people who like to tell. They think I am too mushy:)

  12. Marcey says:

    Bonus points for Calvinball reference :).

  13. Brittany says:

    I think “Languages of Love” are important to keep in mind when telling people you love them–for some people, words are enough. Others need actions. Some need hugs and touch. Some people need stuff. I’m not a “stuff” person, but I can see it–people who need their partners to spontaneously buy them flowers or little gifts. This is not instead of genuine affection and love, but as a sign of it–a tangible ‘You were thinking of me.’ or ‘You were trying to make me happy.’

  14. I don’t know where to start…this is fantastic! A must read for anyone over the age of three!

    Let’s start with “Time is money. Don’t waste either one.” Think about how long you have to work to earn the dollars to buy the item.

    A splurge is a lot more enjoyable…absolutely, that’s what makes a splurge special! It’s also what makes a splurge a splurge. If you did it everyday, it wouldn’t be a splurge, you won’t find it as enjoyable and you won’t have any money left.

    A few minutes taking care of your things…this applies to the car you drive. I have an 11-year-old Infiniti and I change the oil every 2,500 miles. Perhaps a bit excessive, but well worth it. You take car of “it” and “it” takes care of you.

  15. Kittie says:

    great collection of inspiring thoughts, thanks

  16. Patsy says:

    Great post from my point of view. I’ll always be grateful I told my father good-bye and that I loved him when I was 18 and he delivered me back to school; only to be told five days later he had taken his own life. 40 years later, I still miss him, but the fact I told him how I felt about him has helped me to heal and move on with my life.

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