Financial lessons I learned from my father. These are just the basics of learning how to get ahead financially. Number 1, you have to pay your taxes. I know that sounds real elementary, but you have to pay your taxes. You can certainly use legal strategies to try to minimize that, but you cannot get around it. So whether you work for a company or you are self-employed, you have got to set aside money to pay Uncle Sam.

Number 2, give to people who are less fortunate than yourself. This to me is a fundamental principle of getting ahead. In having your priorities in line with your financial stewardship, I believe you should give 10 percent away from the day you start making money. If you do that, I think it will come back to you tenfold – maybe or maybe not in terms of financial blessings, but in terms of life’s rewards. If you chase money and you let money be the object and not simply a tool, you’ll never be happy.

Number 3, pay yourself before you spend money. When you first get that job, pay yourself 10 percent. That doesn’t mean you buy a TV or a car. It means you invest into your future in savings and investments. If you’re not doing that now, just start slow; start at 2 percent, then go to 4 percent, then to 6 percent. When you get a raise, take some of the money and spend it, you deserve it. That way you won’t always feel so tight, but take 30 percent, 40 percent, or 50 percent of that raise and save it. Start getting ahead, until you’re up to that 10 percent minimum, and eventually you’ll want to try and go higher than that.

So the fundamental rules from my father are to pay your taxes, give 10 percent away, and pay yourself 10 percent. Then live on what’s left and not a penny more. Those are lessons that I learned from my father and if you apply those in your life, you can have great success.