There’s No Such Thing as New Rules of Money

by Jason Unger

Every time I see a headline proclaiming “The New Rules of Personal Finance” or “The New Rules of Money,” I shudder.

It may sell magazines and generate clicks online, but anyone proclaiming to have “new rules” to managing money is full of it.

There aren’t new rules.

There are time-tested, fundamental rules for successful personal finance. And they don’t change over time.

Pay yourself first. Stay away from debt. Attack any debt you do have. Spend less than you earn. Invest for the long-term. Set goals, and work toward them.

If Forbes tells you there are new rules of money, ignore them. If Robert Kiyosaki tells you there are New Rules of Money … definitely ignore him.

It’s one of the reasons I always complain about articles and advice that shows up around New Year’s with “tips” you should use that year. The rules don’t change each year, and the tips shouldn’t either.

New Ways, But Not New Rules

This isn’t to say that there aren’t new ways to manage your money. There are, and this blog is built around one of them – automating your finances. Thanks to today’s technology, we can make it easier than ever to achieve our goals and obtain financial success.

With online banking, we can stay in touch with our money better than we’ve ever been able to. We can avoid overdraft fees, and get higher yields with online savings accounts.

We can automate our payments – and our savings.

Thanks to the introduction of low-cost index funds, we can save more money for retirement without taking the risks (and absorbing the costs) of actively managed funds.

Our money is mobile … and it’s some cases it’s even wearable.

The Fundamentals Haven’t Changed

The tools that we have at our disposal are great, and they’re only getting better. But just because the process has changed doesn’t mean that the fundamentals have.

Every new tool or technology that we use to manage our money is meant to help us achieve our goals. And if they’re used correctly, they can do just that.

The rules haven’t changed. The fundamentals are still the same. We just have a lot better and easier ways to get there — and that’s what we’re doing.

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