6 Universal Laws of Life and Money

spring cleaning mug

In general, we tend to make things in life much more complicated than they really are. But, no matter how hard we rationalize certain ideas or pump our excuses full of human philosophy, there are certain laws that can never be avoided.

Universal laws of life are simple, well known facts that can’t be disputed. They will happen whether we like them or not. However, this doesn’t make them any less annoying or frustrating.

Below are 6 universal laws and facts of life, that I’ve discovered relate to money as well.

You reap what you sow

I’ve heard this saying since I was little – most of the time when my mom was upset at me, and yelled “I can’t wait till the day your child does this to you”. It’s funny, how we become our parents and our kids become us.

Life has a sense of humor and what you sow, is what you’ll reap. If you plant financial ignorance and stupidity, that’s what you’ll get. But if you spend time to sow a good money foundation, it will produce rich, prosperous fruit.

The grass is always greener on the other side

When I hear this phrase, the green always makes me think of being green with envy. Which is exactly how this relates. Because we always want the lifestyle another person has, with their big salary, fancy house and expensive cars.

Little do we know, that lifestyle is most likely financed, put on credit cards and comes with mounds of debt and stress. From where we are, the grass really is greener, until we change our perspective.

What goes up must come down

This statement is normally referenced to gravity, but I think it relates to the stock market too. Why are we all so surprised and shocked when the market skyrockets, then crashes within a week or two? What goes up, must come down and that’s a fact of life.

If you want to invest in stocks, you need to understand and accept there’s a risk factor. It’s very exciting to watch your investments climb higher and higher, but don’t get too emotionally involved because in the future they will fall just the same.

Nothing is certain but death and taxes

With the ever changing tax laws, tax season is definitely a  dreaded affair. And like the coming of death, tax season will be here whether you like it or not.

The best thing you can do is accept it and prepare for it. Don’t ignore it, and think you can “get out alive”. The Grim Reaper (aka the IRS) will find you, and you will pay.

Murphy’s Law: If it can go wrong, it will

This is the law we love to hate. It wrecks our budgets, hinders us from reaching financial goals and comes at the most inopportune moments.

But since we know this, we can make a plan to handle it. Having an emergency fund in place for a money crisis, is the perfect solution to overcoming any Murphy’s Law setbacks.

Out of sight out of mind

When it comes to getting your statements and paying your bills, putting it off till tomorrow or promising to deal with it later, is not a smart solution. If it’s not within your direct view, it’s likely to be forgotten.

Instead, choose to face your financial truth, no matter how ugly it may be. Deal with your money troubles head on. If you don’t, your situation will continue to get worse, not better.

What laws of life do you apply to your money?

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  1.  I’m a big believer in the reap what you sow principle. Also the Murphy’s Law is a good one! We love our emergency fund and it acts as a great repellant!

  2. How about “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” I’d like to apply this one to investing. You know, when I get that big cash windfall I’ve been waiting for. 😉

    Just kidding. I need to find the lemons I already have, don’t I?

    • Carrie Smith says:

      Oh yes, that’s a very good one! I’ve had quite a few lemons in my life, with investing too. I think life should start giving us lemonade instead. 🙂

  3. Modest Money says:

    I think a lot of laws of life can also be applied to money.  I just wish I could think of a good one to share.  Damn my bad memory.

    My favorite that you listed is about the grass being greener on the other side.  We live in a world where we are constantly faced with pressure to keep up with other people.  We feel the need to live a similar lifestyle and attain the same possessions.  That endless pursuit isn’t what is going to make us happy though.

  4. Two extra laws I would add to this are “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” and “Energy is neither created nor destroyed, it only changes form” (I’ve had a lot of physics classes).  In both situations, our economy is a great example and it explains how many things go through the years in cyclical patterns.

  5. Zack Jones says:

    Having read the Automatic Millionaire over the weekend I’m going to borrow a phrase from Ron Popeil “Set it and Forget it!” Meaning to automate as much of your financial life as you can. Such as 401(k) deposit – payroll deduction, mortgage payment – automatic bill pay, etc. Basically once you get everything setup and and running on its own you don’t have to spend as much time managing your money as everything happens automatically.

  6. Kendal says:

    “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.” This is especially true for money-making schemes and “fail-proof” investments, but also relates to your point about the “grass being greener.” Someone may make their enviable lifestyle seem effortless, but ultimately there’s more to it than meets the eye. I guess that’s another phrase, too!

  7. Robb says:

     “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

    This is something I had to learn the hard way – because I’m very much inclined to look for and take shortcuts on darn near everything. I’m the person who would rather fix something with duct tape than epoxy because you have to wait for the epoxy to set.
    The same goes for dealing with money, it takes time to build wealth, time to pay-off debt, but going slow and steady with a plan will get you there.

    • Carrie Smith says:

      You make some excellent points Robb! As Americans we are all about instant gratification and shortcuts. I have to remind myself to slow down and be patient too.

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