When I was new in this country I received many welcome and unwelcome advise for new immigrant, most of them came from the Chinese friends around us, most of them about money. Over the years I've accumulated a few more.
Some interesting ones:
- Get a stable job that generates steady income (doctors and lawyers, remember?)
- There is no free lunch. If someone buys you a lunch, he either benefits from you (the car salesman that got $500 commission from the sale) or wants something from you (the hiring manager desperate to fill the open req for a job requires working 80 hours a week for the first six months).
- Get a credit card six months after getting the steady job. Before that you may risk being declined and have a bad mark on the credit history.
- Make sure the credit card does not charge a monthly fee, even better, get one that pays reward points. No matter how good the name, if they charge you, dump it. Always shop around.
- Keep the credit account active to create credit history, but pay off the balance every month. Don't let the banks make money on you with those interests and fees.
- The only debt you should carry is your mortgage. Save money and buy everything else with cash, including cars.
- Buy, don't rent. Mortgage is money you pay to yourself. Rent goes to other people and you'll never see it again.
- Never live beyond your means. Always have your bookkeeping in your mind -- have a good idea of your monthly income and expenses, know how much each item costs. Save for the rainy days.
- Think before each purchase. Do I really need it? 9 out of 10 times you don't. Build a relationship with your money and make parting ceremonial.
- Take a little risk once in awhile and get it out of your system. Go to Tahoe or Vegas, buy some stocks, buy lottery, invest in a start up. Be prepared you'll never see the money again.