James Clear

James Clear quotes on money management

Author of the #1 NYT bestseller Atomic Habits. I write about building better habits.

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1

Don’t spend what you haven’t earned. Avoid financial debt. Don’t spend money you haven’t earned. Avoid social debt. Don’t spend goodwill you haven’t earned. Avoid calendar debt. Don’t spend (free) time you haven’t earned. The disciplined earner can be a guilt-free spender.

2

You are richer than 93% of people. Not in money, but in time. 108 billion people have lived throughout history. 93% of them are dead. You have what every king and queen, every pharaoh and ruler, every CEO and celebrity of the past would give all their wealth for: Today.

3

When failure is expensive, plan carefully. When failure is cheap, act quickly.

4

Most failures are one-time costs. Most regrets are recurring costs. The pain of inaction stings longer than the pain of incorrect action.

5

The Paradox of Freedom—the way to expand your freedom is to narrow your focus. Stay focused on saving to achieve financial freedom. Stay focused on training to achieve physical freedom. Stay focused on learning to achieve intellectual freedom. The disciplined become the free.

6

Optimize for tomorrow—as in, literally, one day from now. Save to be a little richer tomorrow. Exercise to be a little fitter tomorrow. Read to be a little smarter tomorrow. 1% better every day.

7

A paradox of life is that the greatest returns come in the long-term, but the opportunity cost of moving slowly is huge. Long-term thinking is not slow acting. Act fast on things that compound. Never let a day pass without doing something that will benefit you in a decade.

8

Successful outcomes are built up through good choices over time. A profitable business is never a choice, it is a series of choices. A fit body is never a choice, it is a series of choices. A strong relationship is never a choice, it is a series of choices.

9

Wealth is a game that compounds. Health is a game that plateaus (and then declines). As we age, we should spend more time staying fit and less time making money. Increasingly, working to ward off the effects of aging and allowing the effects of compounding take over.

10

Build before you have to. - Build knowledge before you have to. - Build strength before you have to. - Build an emergency fund before you have to. Let internal pressure drive you today, so you can handle external pressure tomorrow.

11

Overrated goals: -Get a high-status job -Build a big social media following -Hit the bestseller list one week -Raise lots of money from investors Underrated goals: -Get a flexible job -Build a big email list -Write a book that sells every week -Earn lots of profit from customers

12

Needless commitments are more wasteful than needless possessions. Possessions can be ignored, but commitments are a recurring debt that must be paid for with your time and attention. “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” —Henry David Thoreau

13

Getting a PhD is far more expensive than I initially realized. The true cost of a PhD is not merely the cost of school. You lose nearly a decade of earnings during the exact period when your savings would compound the most. Even if you get a full ride, it might not be worth it.

14

When an online course tells you how to make money in real estate remember they are making money by selling online courses. When a conference covers how to build an online business remember they are building an event business. Learn from what people do as much as what they say.

15

When invested wisely, time compounds faster money.

16

The two-sentence guide to wealth and weight loss: Spend less than you earn. Eat less than you burn.

17

It costs nothing to ask a successful person how they succeeded, but it may deliver more value than 1,000 hours of hard work. Others are under no obligation to tell you their secrets, but it is surprising how much you can learn from sincere, direct, and thoughtful questions.

18

Increasingly, I believe getting rich and staying rich require different skills. Qualities needed for getting rich: -focused -optimistic -confident -lucky Qualities needed for staying rich: -diversified -pessimistic -humble -lucky Ideally, you’d learn to alternate as needed.

19

One pitfall of modern life is that we often measure ourselves by that which is easy to measure. -the number on the scale -the ROI of the portfolio -the number of likes on a post It is unlikely that what can be measured is the best way to measure a life. You are not a number.

20

Here's a mind trick I've started to play with money: I calculate how much my current purchases are costing my future self. (I use 7% interest.) Spend $100 today? I'm taking... $350 from myself in 20 years. $1,000 from myself in 35 years. $3,000 from myself in 50 years.

21

Optionality increases freedom, but decreases focus. When you have options, you can more easily switch to an alternative when things get difficult. This is optimal in matters of money, but suboptimal in matters of creativity. Be diversified financially, but “all in” creatively.

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