Make sure you contribute whatever it takes to max out what your employer will match. Otherwise you're saying, "Nah, I don't want your money.
The same is true if you own your own business. That's a lot of money you can sock away. Which is yet another reason to start your own business. Even if it's just a side hustle designed purely to help you put away more money for retirement.
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Don't buy a car just to impress other people; buy the car that's right for you. Who is the best person to look out for your interests? Always you.
Make spending choices that are right for you. Make investment choices that are right for you. Pick your career, your school, your business -- pick everything -- because it's right for you. And as the Yale historian Paul Kennedy wrote recently in The Financial Times, never before in human history has the disparity between the world's greatest power and the next greatest power been so wide. Moreover, despite all the social-critic jeremiads, Americans have shown this remarkable tendency to remain undecadent.
Look, for example, at how we spend our money. Michael J. Americans in spent less than they did 10 years earlier on steaks, martinis, cigars, jewelry, watches, furniture, toys and sound equipment. They spent less on entertainment and more on education, housing, transportation and computers. Americans spent 10 percent less on food in general though baby boomers spent 15 percent more on fresh vegetables. Americans spent 14 percent less on clothing, the largest decline in any category, though they did spend 12 percent more on shoes.
Overall, this is not a picture of a nation of orgiastic self-indulgence. Furthermore, despite all of our earnest resolutions, Americans are still terrible at languorous ease.
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We can't take a vacation for a week without bringing our laptops along, let alone laze away at health spas for weeks on end slicing sausages, the way the Germans do. American beaches still aren't Rio-style thong expos, nor are they southern European nudist zones, where year-old women who grew up with corsets and propriety suddenly get the urge in advanced retirement to throw off the vestments of civilization and let the vein patterns protrude in the breeze. Despite leadership from the top, we haven't really learned to relax about adultery, and serious sex surveys do not depict a nation of serious kinkiness and sensuality.
Picture a typical American man going on the Internet looking for some pornography. In a few minutes he can't help himself: he's clicked over to LendingTree. His sexually bored wife bursts in on him with disgust etched in her voice: ''What is it men have about refinancing? Can't you at least look at a few leather or barnyard sites and at least pretend to enjoy yourself? The reason America hasn't been corrupted by all its wealth is that in this country we have transformed the nature of money.
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If you have enough of it, and you are sloppy enough with it, and if you have a system that promiscuously sloshes it around from the deserving to the undeserving and back again so that there are great flows of wealth oozing all over the place and great tales of opportunity in every ear, then pretty soon money is no longer just a thing you hoard in the bank. Money has become the environment, and that changes the way it affects people. Money in America has been transformed into abundance. In the realm of money, money is scarce. But in the realm of abundance, money is promiscuous.
And this environment of abundance comes with its own psychology, morality, sins and virtues. It does not create the old corrupting patterns described by the philosophers. The abundance mentality starts with the unconscious premise that there exists, at all times, close by, a happy hunting ground, a valley where acres of diamonds are there for the picking.
In the land of abundance, work is worth it, because it is often rewarded. In the land of abundance, a person's lower-class status is always temporary. If the complete idiot next door has managed to pull himself up to the realm of Lexus drivers, why shouldn't the same thing happen to you?
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The psychology of abundance explains why Americans are notoriously bad class warriors. They overestimate where their income puts them in the economic pecking order. Most people think they are above average. They exaggerate their future income prospects. And they perpetually, and not always unrealistically, sense the imminence of great wealth.
In the land of abundance, there are all these wonderful spots just over the next hill, or with the next spouse, or with the next job opportunity, after the next deck renovation or lottery ticket, where all the dreams come true. People who have money in the realm of abundance tend not to be miserly about it. Miserliness, much talked about in the ancient literature, is not a big American problem.
Our national economic flaw, on the contrary, is personal debt. When money is a goo that flows and oozes, comes and goes, people are careless with it. The environment of abundance is found not just on Madison Avenue or on Rodeo Drive. It is also evident at Wal-Mart and Target and Kmart. Walk into one of those places and you're in middle-American nirvana. You can get absolutely everything you need for a wholesome, happy life.
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You stand at one end of an aisle and look down the length of a Wal-Mart Super Center and you've got affordable plenty as far as the eye can see. There are glitter lava lamps, ''The Prayer of Jabez'' inspirational books, Inca-design polyester place mats, Secret Treasures see-through panties, schools of blue gourami in the fish department and DripMoist Vegetable Garden Soaker Systems in the garden department. You get a sense of the excitement the 18th-century French philosophes must have felt when they dreamed of putting all human knowledge into one encyclopedia.
Here at Wal-Mart all human desires are organized, categorized and shelved -- available in one vast and friendly place, with ample parking. Then you go over to one of those price club stores and you enter abundance on steroids. Here you can get laundry detergent in pound tubs, pound bags of frozen Tater Tots, frozen waffles in 60 serving boxes and packages with 1, Q-Tips -- which is 3, actual swabs since there's cotton on both ends.
These stores have been constructed according to the modern American principle that there is no flaw in design and quality so grave that it can't be compensated for by mind-boggling quantity. The aisles here are wider than most country lanes. The shelves are packed from the linoleum floor clear up to the foot fluorescently lighted ceiling with economy-size consumer goods. Sometimes you look up and consider what would happen if there was an earthquake right now. The first time I went into one of these places and got a load of the size of the household-goods containers, I naturally wanted to see what kind of person would come here shopping for condoms.
But what's really amazing is that wherever you go in a price club, everybody in every aisle is having the same conversation, which is about how much they are saving by buying in bulk. You overhear ''If you use a lot, it really does pay. By the time they head toward the checkout registers, they look like the supply lines for Operation Overlord.
Abundance really does seep into your soul. Even the people who are not blessed with big incomes are affected by it. Many of these people are just scraping by, shopping at Dollar General, very often without access to banks and health insurance, fearing the next layoff or illness. According to a lot of financial giants, becoming wealthy starts in your mind—not in your wallet.
To get rich, you have to believe something so incredibly far from your reach, with a little hard work and dedication, is actually possible to grab. Passion, great ideas and a ton of discipline are the foundation of wealth, so before you chase a fortune, build a wealthy mindset with these 17 motivating quotes.
Related: 19 Wise Money Quotes. Betting is luck and not long term, especially when your addiction will lead to you losing whatever you get eventually as you keep winning.
You are a primary source of income for the betting company as when you lose they make their profits.