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10 personal finance hacks that everyone should know

Hat tip @chris407x for the idea. My list tries go beyond some basics to hopefully more nuanced ideas.

    1. Keep it as simple as possible

    Mortgages, investment strategies, all of it, keep it simple.

    2. Spend less than you make

    You learn this as a child but it can be difficult to do. Every aspect of life is easier when you live below your means. The easiest examples are to live in less house than you can afford and drive your cars for a long time.

    3. 15 year mortgage

    Simple. You'll save a lot of money in interest. You'll be mortgage free probably around 45 or 50 which will give you a lot of optionality.

    4. Be orthogonal to the crowd and know when to be skeptical

    This is about avoiding group think.

    5. Understand that no one will care more about your outcomes than you

    In that light, it is up to us to prevent/solve our own problems.

    6. Have a Health Savings Account if it makes sense

    HSA eligible health insurance is getting harder to find in terms of it making economic sense. We were lucky that we were able to fund ours for about a dozen years.

    7. Have savings in a traditional IRA/401k, Roth accounts and taxable accounts

    Important to have all three for greater optionality in the face of shorter term emergencies and longer term for tax management.

    8. Be flexible

    Things won't always go your way, the ability to adapt and overcome is critical.

    9. Staying healthy is a personal finance hack

    When you are healthy, you are spending less on prescriptions, maybe nothing on prescriptions and you're spending less money (and less time) on doctor visits.

    10. Time is wealth

    Crucial building block of understanding.

    11. Bonus: Never lend money to a friend or family member

    In your mind, think of it as a gift you'll never get back. Don't tell the borrower that or course, just don't expect to get repaid.

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