4 Guarantees Besides Death and Taxes

by Jason Topp on 6 July 2011 1 comment

"In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes." At least, that's according to Benjamin Franklin.

Perhaps back in his day this was true, but I don't necessarily agree with him anymore.

Yes, death and taxes are certainties, but I believe there are a few more guarantees in this world.

1. Spend Less Than You Make, and You'll Get Ahead Financially

It doesn't matter if you make $30,000 per year or $300,000, you MUST spend less than you make. (See also: The Many Reasons to Make Do With Less)

And when you do, you can guarantee you'll get ahead. Why? Because cash flow drives everything. If you spend less than you make and start saving regularly, you too can become a millionaire!

Take those who participated in research for Thomas J. Stanley's book Millionaire Next Door as an example. The millionaires questioned all had a few things in common, but one in particular was that they spent way less than they made — and they saved aggressively too!

2. Money Alone Does Not Buy Happiness

There's no denying that money does buy some level of happiness, but it's only to a certain degree. Generally speaking, experiences, not stuff lead to greater joy. Simply put, money alone will not buy it! After the initial luster of your new toy, car, or watch has worn off, there is a diminishing return on your happiness.

Don't get me wrong, I think everyone should try to make as much money as they can — legitimately, of course. But instead of trying to achieve the next cultural status level because we think we'll be happier, perhaps we should discover our purpose, make it a point to pursue our passions, and strive to build great relationships.

3. If You Want Maximum Joy, Give Your Money Away

To achieve that ultimate happy life that we all search for, one would think spending lavishly on ourselves would do the trick. But if you really want maximum happiness, you should become a more generous person and help others in need.

I know, it sounds absurd doesn't it? Our culture tells us the opposite all the time. Media and advertising scream for us to gain happiness by buying the latest and greatest toys, gadgets, and expensive clothes!

If you don't believe that it's better to give than to receive, I dare you to try a generosity experiment. I challenge you to be less consumed with yourself, look for opportunities to bless other people, and use your money to help others in need over the next 30 days. I'm willing to bet that your "joy-ometer" will be much, much higher than if you were to spend lavishly on yourself.

If I'm right, continue for the next 30 days, and so on.

4. Investing in Your Close Relationships Yields the Best Returns

As investors, we all want to achieve the greatest return on investment. But what investment yields maximum results? Family and friends.

First of all, you can make no greater investment in this world than into your soul mate. Spending quality time together, building memories that last, and connecting with each other on a regular basis will yield a fruitful marriage for years to come.

Secondly, if you are a parent, your children will be forever grateful that you invested quality and quantity time regularly with them. If you are single, think about investing into your close friendships by looking to others' needs above your own.

Your joy will increase, your ROI will be spectacular, and you'll be on your path to true wealth.

What are your thoughts on these guarantees?

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Tony De Angelo

I have been in tax, trusts and estates for thirty years. And I am firmly convinced of one thing: The less you have by way of complications and material things, the more time you have to be happy and concentrate on what really matters. Excellent article.