My bank, ING Direct, recently published the following “We, the savers
” declaration.Â I think it is good advice to live by. It shows a high level of integrity by ING Direct.Â The Real Estate Field Notes blog
explained that this was “ten rules to live by if one is to be financially independent.”
- We will spend less than we earn. Saving a little out of every dollar we bring home is the foundation of independence. Without it, we canâ€™t build equity in our home, we canâ€™t invest for the future, and we canâ€™t be ready for challenging times. We promise to pay ourselves first, always.
- We will use our home as a savings account. Besides shelter and comfort for our family, the role of a house in our financial life is to build equity. We will have a healthy down payment when we buy. Weâ€™ll choose the mortgage that lets us pay down the principal fastest. And then weâ€™ll leave that equity safe where it is instead of spending it on things that donâ€™t last.
- We will take care of our money. Itâ€™s not enough to have money in a bank. We will put it where it will grow. Weâ€™ll keep track of it. And weâ€™ll check every account we have every year to protect ourselves against fraud or escheatment.
- We will defend our credit worthiness. Good credit is going to be precious in the years to come. We will pay our bills on time. Weâ€™ll borrow only when we need to and in amounts we can comfortably pay back. And then weâ€™ll do just that.
- We will ignore unsolicited credit card marketing. We decide when we need a credit card, not some marketer. And mostly, we probably donâ€™t need another one at all. We wonâ€™t even open those solicitations. Weâ€™ll shred them.
- We will know the cost of borrowing. The interest lenders charge us is real money, too. When we buy a mortgage or finance a purchase, weâ€™ll figure out what that interest is really going to cost in dollars, add it to the purchase price, and ask ourselves if itâ€™s still worth it.
- We will invest for the long term. Futures are built out of patience and prudence, not luck. We will not put off being a saver because we think thereâ€™s a lottery win in our future, in Vegas or on Wall Street.
- We will take care of the things we have. We work hard for our money, and itâ€™s disrespectful to waste it â€“ or the planet â€“ by treating our possessions as disposable.
- We will remember what matters. We are not the things we own. If we have to spend and spend on bigger, more impressive things to keep up with our friends, then they are not our friends at all.
- We will be heard. Our representatives in government and the corporations we deal with need to know that we are paying attention. If weâ€™re silent, weâ€™re accepting the status quo, and the business practices that got our country into this situation will continue. We are not going to accept that.