Counsel of Chalcedon
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How to Ruin Your Financial Life

I’ve long been a manic observer and classifier of how success and failure come to pass. In every action I take, I try to ask myself, “Am I behaving like so-and-so who went into bankruptcy?” or “Am I behaving like my dad, who had a gift for avoiding the pitfalls that leave men and women in desperation?”

Or, to put it another way, when I was a child, we lived in a neighborhood with people who had fancier cars than we did, played at elegant country clubs, and thought nothing of laying down a handful of bills on a horse. They all wound up broke. I try not to do anything in the way that they did. I have friends here in Hollywood who made excellent incomes for decades and now can’t afford to take a vacation. I try to avoid doing which they did, too. Instead, I try to put myself in the mold of the people who wake up each day knowing that they can pay their bills not just for this day, but for a decade, without worrying too much about where the next dollar is going to come from.