13 tips for 2013

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It’s a new year, and a new start for most of us. In this period of economic upheaval and political turmoil, I thought it might be a good idea to make a simplified list of how to handle money and life’s problems — basics to refer people back to in one single posting. I’ve made mention of a number of these basics over the years but decided to summarize them in a single column.

Thomas Purcell is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @LotusTom

Thomas Purcell is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @LotusTom

By consolidating them in here for 2013, I can then proceed to write more columns about race cars, left-wing bashing and sock monkeys.

There are 12 of them, one for each month, with a bonus for year-end.

In no particular order:

1.    Get a good job, but upgrade your skills through training or education to make yourself more valuable to your employer — constantly. Upgrade your resume every 5-7 years to keep yourself competitive on the market, and ask for yearly raises or promotions. If you don’t get them after two annual requests, move on.

2.    Save a portion of your paycheck weekly and put it toward a rainy day in a place you can get to it easily, like a checking or savings account, until you have about six months of income on hand.

3.    Invest a portion of your income in a wide variety of long and medium term investments. Do not invest solely in one place, like the market, real estate or gold, since you will then be subject to the vagaries of that single market.

4.    Maximize your tax deductions by hiring a professional to do them. Moreover, use professionals in specific fields to make sure you get the most out of your money, particularly as your net worth grows and you get older.

5.    Don’t purchase a new car worth more than 30 percent of your annual income. Don’t buy a hybrid car — the gas savings aren’t worth it — but buy a similar car without a hybrid. Don’t get a mortgage payment more than 30 percent of your monthly income, and buy location not decoration. Most importantly, treat your home like debt, not an asset or investment, until it’s paid off.

6.    Insure your assets with quality policies, but don’t over-insure yourself and drain your monthly budget. Saving nickels on policies may cost you big time. Always buy all of policies offered in your group plan especially both types of disability.

7.    Don’t carry month to month balances on high interest store cards, and minimize your credit card use so that your outstanding balances are kept short-term — less than six months.

8.    Don’t overspend. Make a budget and stick to it. Keeping up with the Jones’ is a recipe for disaster.

9.    Be emotionally prepared for rainy days, including deaths in the family, divorce and loss of job. These will happen, it’s not your fault, and you will recover if you plan for them.

10.   There is no one formula for success and the only common note to success is hard work and perseverance. Procrastination and denial are the chief enemies to success, however you define it.

11.   Over-consumption and greed will eventually overcome any solid financial plan. Be wary of  them.

12.   Legitimate companies are not evil, they are not criminals and they do not look to rip off their consumers. Most problems arise from ignorance, neglect and a failure to understand that they must remain profitable to be there from year to year and pay a dividend to their stockholders.

And the most important one….

You are ultimately responsible for your own destiny, whether it be a success or failure, by the decisions you make every day. No one is required to take care of you except yourself. Your church, your government and your friend can help, but it is you who must make things right to move forward with your life.

I’m sure there are a lot of others; but truly, these thirteen disciples of good planning and preparation can have you prepared for most of life’s travails. Follow these steps and I can assure you that even when life goes awry you will have a way of dealing with the problem.

This column is not intended to be financial advice. The Brenner Brief, Sara Marie Brenner and Thomas Purcell are not financial advisors and not responsible for the reader’s financial decisions. And yes, the fact that we even have to put this disclaimer on here is utterly ridiculous, and primarily due to the Obama-voter mindset.

Sign up for The Brenner Brief newsletter! Free subscription; unsubscribe any time. Connect with conservative, alternative media — we are “rendering the mainstream media useless” at TheBrennerBrief.com!


  1. All very good points, especially number 2. Important to have a rainy day savings. I agree that a mortgage on a home should be considered a liability not an asset until it’s paid in full.


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