Thursday, May 31, 2007

Passion Saving, by Rob Bennett

Just finished an excellent book on how to save. Yes, this is a book that chats about HOW to save. Most of us know we need to, most of us really want to save money and have an account that we see the savings balance steadily rise each month. Unfortunately, it is rather challenging to make this a reality. Rob Bennett wrote an easy-to-understand work on the how-to of saving.

Some of my favorite quotes:

  • Page 106: "To be middle-class almost by definition means to be on a quest for more meaningful work." Go, Rob! I have so many clients talk to me about job dissatisfaction, then I use this quote and we work out a plan for them to become financially independent as quickly as possible so they can go after the job that is more meaningful for them.
  • Page 109: "What spending can't buy: Lessen the extent to which you need to go to work to pay the bills, and you can increase the extent to which you perform work for the growth experiences and personal satisfaction it offers." This is the crux of why a person should become wealthy. So we can do the things we love best in life and help others along the way.
  • Page 129: "Yet another luxury in today's world is free time." Yet how few of us use this wonderful commodity carefully. If you feel that your life could have more meaning and you feel listless, now is time to put together a plan to get yourself out of debt and moving toward the bigger goal of financial security. One of the things that helped my husband and I become financially independent was the dream to retire early and teach at a local community college. It took us 10 years to realize that dream, but then, here we are!
  • Page 177: Here is my favorite line from Rob's book: "It's spending that makes you rich!" Doesn't it sound so counter productive? However, over the next two paragraph's Rob takes time to chat with you about the main reason for saving...that is, to spend money on things that add quality to your life. Lovely!
Read "Passion Saving" and tell me what you think. No, I don't get a commission for this, I'm just curious what you think.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Women of the World Acoustic CD

This is how wonderful girlfriends are! I got a package in the mail today from Diann and Jodie and guess what? It was an awesome new acoustic CD. I absolutely love it. I was cleaning my home office while listening to the lovely voices of women like Sandrine Kiberlain, Luca Mundaca and Marta Gomez. It was excellent.

My girlfriends know that for the last three weeks I've been learning how to play the mandolin. I've only just managed to get two songs down, "Old Joe Clark" and "Cripple Creek." I'm still having trouble singing and playing at the same time, but like my teachers have always said, "Practice, practice, practice!"

Race for the Cure

Here is a pic of my girlfriend Lisa and I as we do a 5K walk in Las Vegas. Lisa was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and she asked a bunch of her buddies to walk with her during the Race for the Cure held on May 5th. We had a blast!

This was especially significant for me since my mother died of breast cancer in 1987. It was fun to be with 18,000 other people who were all supporting the work to fight this disease. Lisa is wearing the pink hat because she already sees herself as a survivor! Bravo, Lady! Rock on!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Plugging Holes in Pockets

So, you have some money burning a hole in your pocket. What you want to know is how do you play the money game to win?

The first thing to do is to stop and ask yourself a question: “What do I really want from life?” If you don’t know what you want from life, how will you know whether or not the item you want to buy is something you really need? Remember, you work hard for your money, so you want to make every cent count. You want every dime that you spend to be worth the amount of life energy you spent in accumulating it, right?

I want you to have as much happiness as you can get throughout life, and the wise use of money is a major factor in how happy we feel. Yet at the same time I want you to be able to save enough money to meet your future expenses, while avoiding the feeling that you have to exist in a lifelong state of deprivation. So, how do you balance all these things?

This principle is so simple that most people miss it. Know exactly what you want out of life. That’s it. Figure out where you are going and what you need to get there, and then only spend your money on things that will help you move along the way.

Let’s take an example. Say you have $10 in your pocket. One day you find yourself at the mall with some friends, and they decide that they want something to eat. You go along because you enjoy their company, even though you’re not very hungry yourself. What’s the best thing for you to do with your money? Buy lunch anyway and then leave most of it on the plate, or have a glass of water while you chat with your friends as they eat? What is the primary point of being with your friends? Is it to spend time talking, laughing, and enjoying their company, or is it to spend your hard-earned money?

In most cases we are actually seeking the companionship and not the cooking. So be conscious about what your real needs are in life, and you will keep more of your money. By asking yourself the quick question “What do I actually want?” when faced with a possible purchase, you quickly lead yourself down a path of reasoning that shows you how to best spend – or keep – your cash.