I think this is my favourite quote, it’s something I try to use when talking to people starting in their work life or buying their first home. It’s a simple rule, which if followed can save you from so much financial stress. Like most quotes I manage to misquote this on many occasion, but this is it in all it’s glory.
Mr Micawber’s famous recipe for happiness, taken from Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”
It’s so simple but so right. If you start out spending a little bit less than what you have you’re on the right path.