Thursday, September 23, 2010

Built it to save!

Having spent a large amount of hours this summer redoing my deck, I had a lot of time to think about deck furniture. My wife and I spent the summer watching for good deals, and nothing seemed to fit our aesthetic and our budget. One day while reading one of our favorite magazines Ready Made, we saw plans for a cute table made of recycled wood. I knew I could make it, so we began the short hunt of rounding up supplies. It only took a few hours to make/sand and paint, its my new favorite place to eat breakfast as I look at the view from our deck. Total cost $8 for paint. 

I would love to see what you have built shoot me an email with the pictures.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Review: "Your Money Or Your Life"

I apologize for not posting over the last few weeks. I am making a commitment to make 2 posts a week from now on.

Over the last month I have cruised through some really great personal finance books. My favorite of which is this book. I have decided that I want my book reviews to change so rather than giving a short summary of the book, I am going to pick out the 3 points I felt were the most important or useful to my readers. (however with any book, I suggest reading the entire thing and applying all of the principles suggested)

The first suggestion is tracking all of your expenses: The authors Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin encourage each everyone to track all of their money for at least 3 months. When the book was written that must have been difficult but in a day where we almost always purchase everything with a credit/debit card this is not nearly as hard. Online banking provides accurate records of amounts spent everywhere. But keep in mind the purpose of this activity is to later cut back, so keep your receipts so you can see exactly where the money is going. Also track money coming in, paychecks, rental income, IOU collected, money you find. After tracking all of your money review your expenses and income and see what you need to do to make sure you are making more than you are spending. Then start cutting out on the expenses you did not need. They give a detailed way of how to do this called the Fulfillment Curve.

The Fulfillment Curve: Is a fancy name for tracking happiness derived from purchases. They suggest that as you review each purchase you take a few minutes to reflect upon how each purchase made you feel. Did you gain happiness from it, did you grow or expand your physical, mental, spiritual, or fiscal well being. After giving a numeric fulfillment value of each purchase evaluate what expenditures you can eliminate and save more money. Also determine what areas you should spend more money on and feel more fulfillment. It's so easy for consumers to justify small unnecessary expenditures that plague them of much needed investment funds.

The third and final point is about reaching the "crossover point". The crossover point is the point where your investment income exceeds your expenses. Enabling you to possibly retire and live off of investment income. Which could enable you to do the things that you have always wanted (work at a job you always wanted to do but didn't because it didn't pay enough, travel to places you always wanted to go but couldn't afford to take the time off, give service or donate money to charities ect.)

"Your Money Or Your Life" changed the way I thought about money. Is making your living feeling a lot more like making a dying? If so read the book!!!