Set pragmatic financial goals for yourself. Yes, the Internet can make becoming a location-independent entrepreneur seem enticing, but if your biggest accomplishment to date is having binge watched all 3 seasons in one week, your long-term goals should reflect that reality. And when Frank Underwood says with hard work and good grades, one day you, too, can be POTUS, remember how exactly he got there himself.
Tempting as it might be to dip into your savings to cover expenses, beware of courting disaster. Borrow a little from yourself here and there and suddenly you'll need an emergency fund for your emergency fund. If you do choose to raid your rainy day treasury, just be sure to check the weather forecast, first, so you can be sure there aren't any hurricanes about to make landfall.
Thinking about investing your college graduation money in your friend's cousin's sorority sister's "innovative" new start-up? Well, think again. Open up an IRA, instead. In a few decades, you'll have plenty of money with which to play venture capitalist ... or influence a close friend in the Oval Office.
It's a bit harsh, sure, but you should try your best to live within your means and save for your twilight years as if there'll be no Social Security or pension benefits awaiting you. And, if by chance they are, it'll be a surprise bonus you can use to buy a houseboat down in Venezuela to hide any hacker friends you may have, who are on the lam from the FBI.
When the cost of a salon coloring can be upwards of $200, getting back to your roots can be an easy way to save some much-needed pennies. Look at it as an opportunity to reinvent yourself. And, if it's gray you've been hiding, just think how wise you'll look. Unless, of course, your President husband keeps sabotaging your international diplomacy efforts for his own personal gain.
6. Power is Better Than Money, But It Never Lasts.
When given a choice between financial compensation and a power position, always opt for the former. With solid financial planning, you'll put yourself in a position of power. Plus, money can get you cool stuff, like food, a place to sleep, and a partner at the law firm of Glendon Hill to do your devious bidding.
Take out a life insurance policy on yourself. If you leave behind dependents, it can shield them from the burden of any outstanding debt you may have in addition to covering your funeral expenses. This advice goes doubly if you're employed by a murdering political sociopath.
8. The Higher up the Mountain, the More Treacherous the Path.
Be sure to start investing for retirement as soon as you start making money, even if it's only a few dollars per paycheck. In the early years, you can invest more aggressively, but the closer you get to retirement, the more conservative your portfolio needs to be to minimize losses. And regardless of where you are in your saving career, be sure to never antagonize a cold-blooded killer in the dark depths of the subway.
Investing in select pieces of art is a great way to diversify your portfolio. Choosing items that can serve in both a functional and aesthetic capacity will give you even more bang for your buck. It's also a great way to impress a moody, manipulative Russian President.
Conventional wisdom says borrowing money from friends is a losing proposition for you both. However, there are times when a friend may be the only willing financier you've got. If this is your only option, repay your debt in a timely manner and with interest, even if the interest comes in the form of a good bottle of bourbon or an Everlast heavy bag kit.
11. When the Money Is Coming Your Way, Don't Ask Questions.
This is clearly reverse psychology. Always ask questions. Lots of questions. Especially if you're a politician and the money's being funneled to you by a multi-billionaire whose business interests are aligned with those of the Chinese.
When you find yourself with some extra cheddar, it's tempting to start outsourcing little jobs like shoe care, laundry or bribing congressmen. But, a lot of little jobs can quickly add up. Pay off your car loan early or start a 529 account for your niece with the money you save instead. And, please, stop bribing congressmen.
13. Don't Waste Money on Six Lawyers When Only One Will Do.
Hiring legal counsel to help protect your assets can be a sound financial strategy, but there is such a thing as overkill. And, if your strategy for protecting wealth involves laundering foreign money through Super PACS, no amount of lawyers can save you from inevitable incarceration.
Financial markets rise and fall on a near daily basis and it can be easy to let that fluctuation influence your positions. Remember building a portfolio is a marathon not a sprint, and with the right diversification, you'll weather any market corrections. Diverse investments can't keep a sitting President from being impeached, though.
If you should ever find yourself in the market for a beat up van with which to commit a heinous act of violence against an innocent victim who's just trying to start a new life, bringing your own license plates can save you a few dollars off the price. But, we strongly recommend abandoning the whole idea and finding a new line of work.