All in Financial Education
“If you’ve got a billion dollars and you’re not grateful, you’re poor as hell.” - Tony Robbins
So it’s been a few days now since I left the Unleash the Power Within (UPW) seminar with Tony Robbins and I am still reeling. I’m a fan of Tony Robbins and found a lot of amazing insight from his book Money: Master the Game and from watching the Netflix documentary, I Am Not Your Guru, but nothing really prepared me to experience Tony Robbins live.
Give a man an education and he will build a new world, but give a man a loan and you can own that man forever.
It’s been 10 years since I graduated from grad school. I still proudly hang up my diploma because it put me on a better path for my career and my income. It was also FREE. No loans, no debt, no soul to be sold. With that, I thought I might offer some ways to help reduce debt if you are a college student or have a child that is about to head to college.
“They sit mesmerized before advertising campaigns telling them to buy trifles they don’t need using debt they can’t repay.”
In “Financially Stupid People are Everywhere: Don’t Be One of Them,” Jason Kelly opens your eyes to the debt driven world we live in and what you’re up against in society. He posits the only way to truly safeguard your own well being is to look after yourself. Provide security and ensure your freedom by following the 4 financial rules that will keep you from being financially stupid.
“It’s been freeing to focus on what works for me rather than what’s wrong with me.”
I just recently finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies. In the Four Tendencies, Gretchen Rubin, outlines four different personality types based on how each one deals with inner and outer expectations: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner and Rebel. By understanding our Tendency, we can harness that to find our own internal and external motivations.
“After you leave home, you may find yourself feeling homesick, even if you have a new home that has nicer wallpaper and a more efficient dishwasher than the home in which you grew up.”
Next week, my parents will complete the sale of their home and journey back to the Philippines. Whether they end up staying in the Philippines for the remainder of their retirement or come back is yet to be decided. For the past few months, our entire family has gone through the exercise of cleaning out the house that we’ve called home for the past 23 years.
Talking to kids about money does not make money hungry kids.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflection lately about where I first started to learn about money and how best to talk to others about money. I’ve also been doing a fair amount of research and found a few books I thought were worth mentioning if you are a parent or an adult that is looking for ways to talk about money to your kids or your students. The reality is that the money conversation should start at home. It think it is the responsibility of the parent to expose kids about money concepts, otherwise, media and peers will create money influences that may lead to a distorted money mindset later on.
“Right now, your prosperity is provided by a plentiful supply of clean air, water, food, and energy. Although some of you like to take all the credit for this, it’s really my ecosystem that does all the hard work: the plants, animals, oceans, air currents, and especially the atmosphere. Without these services, you would lose your ability to create the food and products that form your current prosperity.” - Earth, Mr. Money Mustache
My two passions of sustainable living and sustainable investing are merging as I dive deeper into making my money work for me in a way that aligns with my personal values.
“A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.”
This past weekend, my husband competed in his first ever half triathlon, let alone his first ever Half Ironman. To say that I am awed and inspired my him and all of the other athletes is an understatement. As I was watching the entire race play out before me, I couldn’t helping think about some of the similarities to the Journey to Financial Independence. So here are my thoughts.
"A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life."
I recently came across an article written by Whitney Cummings on the last page of Money Magazine. She talks about her personal money management, but more importantly how she started substituting the word money for the word freedom. So I thought I would compile a list of phrases with this substitution. It's important to note that sometimes changing our language changes our mindset in a whole new way even if we haven't fully internalized it yet. Try these on for size. Speak them out loud. How does saying one versus the other make you feel?
“A woman’s best protection is a little money of her own.”
The gender gap is everywhere. Women are usually paid less in spite of their male counterpart doing the same job. Finance and women are also considered to be poles apart.
According to a survey conducted by Forbes, around 58% of men were of the view that their financial understanding was up to the mark, whereas only 47% of women said so.
But, the situation is changing day by day. Women are now gradually climbing the ladder and gaining financial success.
It's not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.
So what exactly is the Lifetime Wealth Ratio? Well, it is an eye opening number that looks at your earnings vs. your savings.
"you must enter into a relationship
before anyone else"
I've been trying my best to read a variety of book topics to ensure I gain some new perspectives. I just finished Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. While's it's a book about loss and love, I couldn't help relate some of her writing to the struggle of women in managing and getting their personal finances in order.
"No one has ever become poor by giving."
A few months ago, my husband and I were invited to a birthday party for friend's 4-year-old. Given my foray into minimalism and sustainability and personal finance, I didn't personally want to give another plastic gift. I also didn't want to give another item that they would have to maintain or would end up in the landfill a few days later. So after much research, I decided to give the gift of stock.
"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?"
This past week I went to Washington D.C. to attend a real estate software conference. This was my 3rd time going and every time I leave I think my head is going to explode with all the knowledge I’ve just added. This smack in the head is my annual reminder that like Jon Snow, I know nothing. Well, not completely nothing, but probably 1% of what this software is capable of. It’s eye-opening and very humbling.
"How can we be the future if you're not going to teach us about money, which is our future?"
I don't have kids, so this will sort of be my manifesto for when I do. It will also serve as a snapshot of my thoughts at this point in my life. I know perspectives often change especially when there is an actual human being in the picture so I hope this helps me navigate how I want to raise kids that understand what money can do so that I may set them on a good financial path. These are my thoughts today. It could be different tomorrow as the world changes and I change. My husband's perspective and plans will be different. At some point, we will have to compromise as our goal, in the end, is to provide a good financial background for our future kids.
It's better to see something once, than to hear about a thousand times.
One of the biggest eye openers for me in the past few years has been the idea of travel hacking. I had my first credit card when I was a senior in college. It had a $500 credit limit. A few months later, I was already maxing out that limit. I had no concept of credit (despite majoring in Econ), let alone how to use it wisely. Fast forward a few more years, I got into more credit card debt. Thankfully, I was able to put a stop into my credit card debt and started getting wise about its use.
Australia is popularly known as “the lucky country.” It holds the OECD record for economic growth at 26 years and counting. While there are some definite advantages of living in Australia over the United States in terms of reaching financial independence (like free universal health care) there are still many reasons why Australian women need to think about financial independence differently than their male compatriots.
Here’s the kicker when it comes to the waste we produce: this is also money.
We may not realize it right away, but each item we buy not only costs us money, but costs us time. We have to start thinking about the consequences of our consumption. It is actually our consumption that is depleting our natural resources. There is an excess demand for extra stuff. This results in more being made and manufactured. The outcome is not only waste byproducts, but also wasted materials. The lifestyle of product is so short nowadays that it essentially goes from the store to our hands to the trash in a matter of days or even minutes.
The cost of living is going up and the chance of living is going down.
A few weeks I came across this chart on Marketwatch. The original creator is Mark Perry, economics professor at the University of Michigan using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Perry's original blog post can be found here. It’s a startling graph and there’s a lot that we can interpret from it (I recommend you read the comments on the blog post), but of course, since I write from the perspective of Financial Independence, I want to put the FI spin on it.
50 years. That’s how long it took to get rid of the “marriage penalty” in our federal tax system. What’s even worst is that some people never even knew it existed. The marriage penalty arose if two married individuals, both earning income, paid more in taxes if they file with under “married filing jointly” than if they filed taxes separately under the “single” tax status. How is this possible? It’s because the income tax brackets from single status did not rise in proportion to the marriage filing jointly tax bracket.