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If you understand the previous principle, this one makes sense. Many people plan bonuses into their
lifestyle. That is a quick way to get into financial trouble. Remember that bonuses aren’t guaranteed
income. They change year to year, and sometimes they don’t come at all. If this happens, you can end
up in a bad financial state.
So, treat your bonus like a pleasant surprise at the end of the year (or whenever you get it). Take a
little bit of it (10 percent or less) and buy something you really want (not need!). Take the other 90
percent and save/invest it. Remember, you weren’t planning on getting any bonus, so it truly is a
You should also apply this principle to any unexpected income (like inheritances or tax refunds). Use
unexpected income as an opportunity to get ahead financially. When you take the attitude that it is
found money, you tend to waste it rather than use it wisely.
The last two principles should show you that there is a way to enjoy the short-term and effectively
plan for your long-term financial goals. The key to doing this is not to get in debt. Live below your

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