Chapter 1How to Think About Money: Budgeting Basics

I think the best advice I've ever received is to plan for the future and to save your money. To plan for the future in a way you can have the same lifestyle after you've finished your job? That takes some planning and saving.

—Danica Patrick1

The common denominator of so many successful people I interview is an urge to save money and build for the future. Danica Patrick is the most successful woman in U.S. auto racing—a race car driver, fashion model, and marketing maven. The best advice she ever received? How to take the last turn, how to navigate the pit, how to get the most out of the last drop of fuel? No, the best advice she ever received—and gives to others—is simple and classic. Save your money.

It's really not complicated at all. Money saved today and invested properly—amplified by time—means wealth in the future. It's the little black dress of prosperity. It never goes out of style. Among the many gems from legendary investor Warren Buffett, this sums it up best: “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”2

No one is going to plant that tree for you. The key words here are you and time. Unless you win the lottery (you won't) or have a trust fund (nice, but unlikely) or have the brain of Mark Zuckerberg (don't we all wish?), you will grow wealth only one way: by spending less money than you earn. Investing your savings over time grows wealth.

There ...

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