A List of 8 Guiding Principles For Money

Welcome to another day of being a live and growing that money! How lucky are we??

(Answer: very)

Stumbled across a brand new finance blog that dropped a couple of weeks ago, and was sold after seeing her list of financial commandments. The blog’s called “The Freedom From Money” and here are her commandments, followed by my own quick thoughts:


#1. Avoid Waste. 99% of humans are wasting insanely large sums of money. Don’t be one of them.

(Same goes with “stuff” too)

#2. Only spend money on things that truly make you happy. If it doesn’t make you happy or make you a better person, don’t even bother opening your wallet.

(LOVE! But don’t forget to pay your pesky bills too… which fortunately is in our control)

#3. Learn what happiness actually is… and what it isn’t.

(This is probably the BEST THING we can ever do in our lives. Not even with just money, as that’s pointless if we don’t know how to use it to improve our lives. But there’s a big difference between loving money itself and using money to power the stuff we love. Whether that’s freedom, family, charity, etc. Gotta stop and adjust every now and then to make sure our actions are still aligned with our vision!)

#4. AVOID ALL FINANCIAL EXTREMES. Never sacrifice important things like your relationships or self-care in order to get ahead financially. Instead, ignore societal norms and cut out pointless expenses. Never save money to the point of misery or spend to the point of excessive. Binging and purging is unhealthy in both eating and spending.

(All kinds of YES!! Save all your money and you’re a hoarder, spend all your money and you’re in trouble. Always a balancing act and figuring out what makes you tick the best.)

#5: Debt is evil. Dispose of it immediately and never take out loans again.

(#Truth. Though it’s okay to take some out if you do it responsibly (for a house, business, etc). Just don’t be an idiot like me.)

#6. You can do anything you set your mind to, even if it is not the norm or seems hard.

(Cheesy, but accurate! Some of us have more obstacles than others – whether self-imposed or due to life’s circumstances – but by and large we all hold control over what we accomplish and what we don’t. You have to look out for #1 as no one else will! (Except for maybe our mothers, God bless them))

#7. Saving money will make you happier than spending ever could. 

(Oh man – it’s like the financial angels are coming down on us today!! I can’t even express how true this is. And the beautiful part is that the highs from saving lasts a helluva lot longer than those of spending. Helping to compound the awesomeness (and the $$$) even more!)

#8. Life is short and fleeting. Financial freedom is about creating a life that allows you to focus on the things and people that truly matter. Never lose sight of those things (and people) as you work towards your goals.


What a great set or principles to live by, eh? I feel like each of these could be made into one of those motivational posters, haha…

Actually, here.

I remember seeing a lot of these in her Instagram feed I was also stalking:

not how much we have

BOOM! She’s just oozing inspiration over there ;)

Her about page was full of fascinating items too:

  • She’s squirreling away 50% of her income right now
  • She’s working on paying off her $13,000 of student loans over the next 11 months
  • She writes 3 pages in her journal every single morning
  • She goes to the zoo at least once a week
  • And she’s obsessed with personality types. (Here’s one for ya, Taylor: What’s your financial personality?)

Anyways, a cool new chick in the land of money if you want to check her out… Here are some others I’ve recently come across (and been thoroughly enjoying) too:

‘Till next time, lovers…

PS: I wrote this entire post while blasting Black M in my ear (a French rapper – not goo). Highly motivational if you’re looking for some good music to check out too…  And since you can’t understand a lick of what he’s saying, it doesn’t get in the way of writing either, haha… Or was this whole article a bunch of gobbledygook?

(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)

Get blog posts automatically emailed to you!


  1. Mr Ricket October 28, 2015 at 5:20 AM

    Thanks for your excellent articles as always, you truly inspire me.

    I have started out my own blog to document my journey to Financial Freedom.


    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 6:19 AM

      Rock on man – hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Love that you’re blogging from Malta too. This $$$ stuff goes all around the world, eh?

  2. Chris Muller October 28, 2015 at 5:58 AM

    Thanks for the suggested reads. The one that stands out is #4 – avoid all financial extremes. I’ve really tried to become more about balance with money. It’s hard when the stuff we read is so extreme though. What works for some may not work for others. I’ve actually tried doing 50/50 with debt and savings – so whatever money you can stash, split it 50/50. Some folks say to put it all toward debt or all toward saving, but balance is key in my opinion.

    As for ThinkSaveRetire.com – Steve is the man. He’s totally involved in the PF community and his blog kicks ass. I’m glad you recommended it.

    It wouldn’t be a Chris comment if I didn’t leave you with something, so I’ll throw a blog at you to check out – OurNextLife.com. I know they were nominated for a Plutus while we were in Charlotte, but their blog is great. Excellent, lengthy reads that make you think. Just my kinda thing. Check it!

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 6:26 AM

      AGREED! I’ve been featuring them lately over at Rockstar Finance – both of them actually (Our Next Life and Thinks Save Retire). In fact, I’d known about Steve’s blog for a while now but never really dove in until last week and WOW. It shot up to one of my favorites within minutes… That guy has a way of keeping my attention, I love it.

    2. Steve @ Think Save Retire October 30, 2015 at 9:58 PM

      Well great, now you’ve gone and made me blush, Chris! Thanks, appreciate the kind words brother! :)

  3. Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless October 28, 2015 at 6:38 AM

    Sigh. Yes, debt IS evil. But unfortunately it’s also very well marketed. If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard someone say “Student debt is good debt!”, then, well, I wouldn’t have any student debt.
    Hooray for making a plan to pay off your student loans, Taylor! That’s awesome. :)

  4. jestjack October 28, 2015 at 7:07 AM

    I am “torn” with the statement that debt is bad…MAN….I can recall interest rates on CD’s at 16% (no misprint) and Banks paying folks to surrender their “cheap” 4 an 5% mortgages. So If one was to borrow at say …. 3.5 % and oil prices get crazy…and inflation comes back…You’re looking pretty good. What ever happened with “THE HOUSE”….I seem to remember you becoming a “reluctant landlord” and considering “pulling the trigger” to sell…Inquiring minds want to know…what happened?

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:01 PM

      We decided we wanted to try and sell it but are still in the early stages of it all… Nothing too exciting to report yet, but will as soon as things get moving :)

  5. Malory Largo @ Band of Savers October 28, 2015 at 7:24 AM

    Great post. I love how simply they sum up the important things to remember about life in general.

    I have actually been having to work really hard on #4: Avioding financial extremes. After living in Zimbabwe for 2 years I came home with a hightened sence of what I can live without and how to get along on too little. And a deeply psychological fear of financial instability. Coupled these together and you get a breading ground for financial extremes. I’ve have such a hard time spending that we had to create a budget in order to encourage spending on the things that our family needed but that we were going without.

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:03 PM

      That’s so fascinating!!! man, pros and cons to both sides too! wow… have you written anything on this yet? If not, you need to. I bet people would love to hear more :)

      1. Mr. Largo @ Band of Savers October 29, 2015 at 11:05 AM

        Coming soon. I’m still very new to the blogging world and still trying to get into a routine but I’ll let you know when I do.

  6. Jim Wang October 28, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    Thank you for the love brother!

    These are great commandments, especially #8, which I feel should be #1 if they were listed in order of importance. Relationships are everything.

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:05 PM

      I liked what you did at Bargaineering, and I’m liking what you’re doing now @ Wallet Hacks :) Though I do miss all the factoids on our nation’s coins and currency haha… I don’t know why but that’s what I remember the most from back in the day.

  7. Maggie @ Northern Expenditure October 28, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    Oozing with inspiration for sure! I agree with Chris that avoiding financial extremes is my favorite. I hate it when people burn bridges to make a buck. “Binging and Purging is unhealthy in both eating and spending.” Love it. Thanks for the Wednesday inspiration. And Steve at Think Save Retire is one of my favs, too!

  8. Tawcan October 28, 2015 at 7:46 AM

    So many great personal finance blogs out there. Reminds myself that I need to learn how to write better. :)

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:05 PM

      Hah! You’re doing just fine, my friend… I seem to recall your stuff getting pimped on Rockstar Finance quite a bit over time ;)

  9. Elle October 28, 2015 at 7:49 AM

    As we’re going through this process of selling our place, I’ve seen how much waste we’ve accumulated. Simplifying and being intentional with what we have in homes can reduce stress and wasted time on maintaining stuff.

    Love this J; good way to start today! Thanks for sharing this blog – adding to my list of must-reads.

  10. Curtis @ PayoffmyRentals October 28, 2015 at 7:54 AM

    I’ve certainly leveraged debt over the years. I’ve come to appreciate that all debt is bad inasmuch as All Debt is Risky. I’ll qualify that a little more by saying that if you keep enough cash on hand to retire a loan while taking advantage of a low interest situation, you essentially remove the “risk” of carrying that debt. Unfortunately, few of us can do that, so even the so-called “good debt” is risky debt.

    As of tomorrow, my 3.5 year goal to pay off $177,650 on my three rental property mortgages is down to a balance of $29,639. I’m 33 months into this trek and on track towards converting that debt to $1,476.46 of net monthly income in just a few more months. Whooooo! Can’t wait to be on the other side of that debt canyon.

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:07 PM

      NICE!!! That’s damn impressive!

      Love the sentiment on having the cash to wipe out the debts – great way to look at it. Always a nice feeling to be able to pay it all off in one fowl swoop if you wanted/needed to!

  11. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies October 28, 2015 at 7:57 AM

    These commandments or priorities are articulated very well. Makes you think that everyone should do something similar (formally or informally).

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:08 PM


      Actually, Jim up there above said we should get all the $$ bloggers to share theirs :) You want to be the second one in the movement? Hehe..

  12. Kalie October 28, 2015 at 8:23 AM

    Great principles. I don’t know if I’ve heard anyone say “avoid financial extremes” so clearly. It can be tempting to paint financial matters as more black and white than they are, perhaps with the goal of convincing people to make good changes. But keeping it all in the balance is so important for maintaining motivation, and for enjoying life.

  13. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar October 28, 2015 at 8:35 AM

    Debt is a tool, but like most tools, can be used for evil. And the odds are stacked against you. I know that people say that a mortgage is the “right” decision long term since you can get the extra returns on stocks… but damn, the 7% return vs. my 4.25% mortgage (and of course there’s the tax on the return, so really, i’d be getting ~1%)…. So from my rambling I’m trying to say I love that a mortgage let me get the home I wanted but I really want it gone even if I’m losing out on 1% in returns. :-P

    That’s a good list though.

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:10 PM


      all I know is that if they had forced me to come up with a down payment on my house years ago I wouldn’t have a mortgage on my hands right now cuz I didn’t have the $$$ to plop down!

      I kinda want mortgages to go away and force everyone to use cash – is that bad? :) No way in hell I’d ever buy a house in that case as the time it would take to save it would be forever and then wouldn’t want to blow it all!

  14. Free to Pursue October 28, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    Pure gold. Wisdom beyond her age, especially points #4 and #8.

  15. LiveYourDreams October 28, 2015 at 9:10 AM

    thanks for great article ;)

  16. connieK October 28, 2015 at 9:37 AM

    LOVE THIS! I would also add, as someone who lost her well-paying Corporate America job/benefits six months ago, but hey, life goes on, that CASH IS KING… primarily as “bridge money” if one wants to retire early… you use the bridge $ until you start tapping possible social security/pension/401k/IRAs at say age 65 or even 70! So thank god I saved up a lot of bridge $ which is intended to get me through the next 20 years (I’m age 45 now). Seriously– if you as a reader here have not lost a job, realize that if you’re not your own boss IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU… which means your life changes (financially) literally overnight… so be prepared! CASH IS KING… I’m saying this from experience!!! Love ya, J!

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:16 PM

      Yup. And it can happen to you even IF you are your own boss too :) Nothing is ever 100% stable.

  17. Taylor October 28, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    Wow! Thank you so much for the AMAZING write-up and blog love.

    After immediately taking the financial personality type quiz (thank you for the recommendation!) I learned that I too am the Storyteller. So I guess all the best people are? ;) Just kidding! It was actually pretty spot on (although I don’t agree with the relationship part either). It’s interesting to think how much I’ve trained myself to fight a lot of my impulsive spending patterns/urges and how much happier it’s made me in the long run. Thanks again for the fantastic post and shout-out, fellow Storyteller! :)

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:20 PM

      You know it, girl. Story tellers = awesome. And I hope your blog catches fire and goes viral over there!! I really do like the way you think/write (obvs).

  18. Lisa O October 28, 2015 at 10:23 AM

    Love This Article! I wish you could share it with our government and they would run the country by it! I am not sure they understand #5 – Debt is Evil! This will be a re-read for the inspiration that it gave today….Have A Nice Day!

  19. Harmony October 28, 2015 at 10:39 AM

    Great list! I can attest to the pure evil of debt. It sneaks into to your life and all of a sudden, it has control of everything. I’m so thankful that we changed our ways and found our path to “true happiness” so we can enjoy our “short and fleeting” life.

  20. Alyssa October 28, 2015 at 10:40 AM

    Ahh, I just found The Freedom From Money yesterday too and she is awesome! Those 8 commandments are such a brilliant idea. Nice to have your own “money mantra” in that sense.

    I am all about frugality in certain lights but I also know when it’s appropriate to spend money and I think too many of us struggle with this never-ending “should I buy it?” after cutting back for so long. Balance is life bro.

    PS: Thanks for the mention – you seriously spoil me! It means so much to have your support.

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:20 PM

      What can I say, when I’m excited about something I want to tell the whole world :)

  21. Jason @ Phroogal October 28, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    Avoiding the extremes is definitely something that’s hard to avoid. It’s easy to get obsessed with PF! It’s like all or nothing for a lot of people!

  22. Abigail October 28, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    Thanks for acknowledging different circumstances causing different obstacles. Sometimes unilateral “you can do anything” statements set my teeth on edge, even though I understand the actual sentiment.

    And yeah, unfortunately bills rarely fall under things we love. On the other hand, I do love to have AC in Phoenix summers, water, electricity and so on. So I guess that kinda counts?

    Also, I definitely agree that some debt is okay. What matters is that you’ve considered all the other options, enter into it carefully and have a definite plan to get out of it.

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:22 PM

      I know :( I always feel bad when stuff happens to you over there cuz you’re SUCH a great person!! I swear it all means that one day you’re gonna get a butt ton of love (and $$$) rained down upon you and your fam. You’re just getting all the hard parts out of the way first :)

    2. mollyjade November 3, 2015 at 10:34 AM

      This bothers me, too. Not every obstacle can be overcome. I do agree with the sentiment that your success is your own and something that has to be worked for, which is probably what people really mean.

  23. Heather @ Simply Save October 28, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    This list totally speaks to me! I especially love how #6 says, “even if it’s not the norm.” Sadly most of the things on this list are not “normal” to many people, outside of the personal finance blogging world. It’s so easy to just follow the norm and can be challenging to break away…but it’s so worth it!

  24. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply October 28, 2015 at 3:19 PM

    Great principles to live by. Agreed with the debt part though…absolutely NO to credit card debt but I wouldn’t say never (mortgage/student loan-in some cases). And I just recently took on more debt (rental property). I really liked #7 and will have to check out the new blogs.

    1. J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:26 PM

      Leveraging debt for personal/financial growth is always better than for nonsense in return :) And the stress that comes on top of it! (Which is even worse than the nonsense that usually gets people in trouble to begin with, ugh…)

  25. Chonce October 29, 2015 at 9:55 AM

    I love all of these! Especially #2,3 and 5. As I get older, I’m starting to realize what truly makes me happy and how I what I should and shouldn’t spend money on when it comes to my overall happiness and wellness. Of course, I hate debt and don’t want to have it. I working on getting rid of that ASAP.

  26. Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog October 29, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    Awesome. Just awesome. I just wrote an article about decluttering and getting rid of stuff, and this is along the same lines. As Americans, we waste so much! I know I do it, but I try to be aware of it.

  27. Stockbeard October 29, 2015 at 12:37 PM

    I’ll keep #8 in mind. I tend to overfocus on my financial goals and forget why I set them in the first place. It’s good to regularly remind oneself about these.

  28. Dee @ Color Me Frugal October 29, 2015 at 2:55 PM

    Great stuff! My favorite is the one about learning what happiness actually is! That one took me a long time to figure out- and some days I guess I’m still figuring it out- but know I’m better at it because I don’t feel the urge to spend so much since we set our sights on happiness as a goal. We now have a much better understanding that money cannot buy happiness. But you sure can be miserable if you don’t have any :-)

    1. J. Money November 2, 2015 at 1:19 PM

      I think we’ll always be searching for it to some degree, but once you have that epiphany it speeds you along the track :)

  29. Vic @ DadIsCheap October 30, 2015 at 1:23 AM

    Great post and nice shout outs to other blogs to read!

    I love #2. We as a society get used to spending mindlessly. We go to malls and Target with no idea of what we actually want to buy. I think if we just take a step back and think if our purchases actually line up with our values we’ll definitely be better off.

  30. Steve @ Think Save Retire October 30, 2015 at 10:02 PM

    Seriously J, you rock. Appreciate the inclusion.

    As for my favorite, it’s definitely #8. People often use the excuse “life is short” to rationalize spending, but I use it to argue for financial independence and early retirement. Life is too short, so why spend more than half of it working a full time job?

    It’s crazy! :)

    1. J. Money November 2, 2015 at 1:19 PM

      Haha… #TRUTH