925 Ideas... is an easy and readable guide to help you and your family find financial peace. This free ebook is a collection of articles about family financial planning written by Devin D. Thorpe, the author of the highly acclaimed book, Your Mark on the World.
1) how you and your spouse can find agreement on money matters,
2) how to teach your kids about money,
3) how to pay for your children's college education,
4) how to live like a millionaire
5) how to come up with $25,000 in a crisis
6) how to make ends meet on one income
7) how to get out of debt and stay out of debt
8) why home ownership should be your family's top financial priority
9) how to ask your boss for a raise
10) how to use your finances to do more good in the world.
And much more!
This is a pre-publication review draft. Your comments and feedback are appreciated.
Published books: http://amazon.com/author/devinthorpe
The Most Important Financial "To Do" This Year
Over the next twelve months there is one thing that is the most important thing you can do financially. Chances are you can either complete it or make great progress toward its completion over the next twelve months. What it is depends on your circumstances. Consider the following to help you decide what it most important for you.
1. Build a plan: If you feel like your finances are just a mess, you don't know what you have, what you owe or where things are, this may be the year to get it all organized. Figure out what you have and what you owe. Set some goals and develop a plan to achieve them.
2. Credit card debt: If you have credit card debt that has been frustrating you financially for the last few years, you may be wise to focus this year on significantly reducing those balances so you can get completely out of debt, buy a home if you don't already own one and start saving for your children's education and your retirement.
3. Buy a home: If you don't yet own a home and you have a job, you may want to make this year all about saving for the down payment. It will take sacrifice, but you can save enough for the down payment on a modest home in one year.
4. College savings: If you have several kids and no college savings, this may be the year to kick start the college fund by making that the key financial focus of your year. If your kids are in high school, this would be a very good idea. You can't fund four years of college for four kids in one year (it's almost impossible to fund one year of college for one student in one year--which is why we save for college) but you can make a big contribution in one year. By getting a big start this year, you'll start earning interest on your savings which is a bit like having the wind at your back.
5. Retirement: Everyone needs to have retirement savings, but if your kids are all gone and you're still working, now would be a good time to focus your finances on your retirement savings. The key rule for retirement savings is the sooner the better. Making an extra-large deposit in your retirement savings years before you retire will have a bigger impact than saving the same amount of dollars over the remaining years to retirement.
6. Estate planning: If you have accumulated a net worth (assets minus liabilities) of more than $1.5 million (congratulations by the way) you may need to talk to an estate planning attorney to help you organize your wealth for the most tax efficient way to move those assets to the next generation.
7. Charitable giving: Of course, you can and should make charitable giving a part of every year's financial planning. If your retirement is funded, the kids have completed college and your estate is in order, this year may be about organizing major charitable giving, to leave a legacy of having made the world a better place.
Not just this year, but every year brings a new set of challenges. Take the time every year to set goals and priorities for the year to fit into your long-term goals so that you can achieve your financial objectives and retire when and how you want.
How To Live Like A Millionaire
The book The Millionaire Next Door is a thoroughly researched book about the lives of actual multi-millionaires. The insights of the book are astounding. By and large, millionaires live more like the rest of us and less like the billionaires we see in Forbes.
Becoming a billionaire takes extraordinary risk combined with extraordinary luck--and some would add talent to that equation. Becoming a millionaire requires principally patience and discipline.
The following are some observations from The Millionaire Next Door:
1. Millionaires are frugal. Of course there are exceptions, but most millionaires are frugal. They accumulated their wealth by not spending the money they earned rather than by earning vastly more than other people.
2. Millionaires drive frugally. Most millionaires drive cars for a long time. A very long time in some cases. Though they don't necessarily scrimp on the cars they drive, they don't typically buy a new car every year or two. More commonly, they drive their cars for ten years or more.
3. Millionaires live frugally. Typical millionaires live in homes that represent less than ten percent of their net worth. Most do not live in homes that would be described as luxury homes. By living in modest homes, they put themselves in a position to compare their spending to people who generally have much less money and thus feel less social pressure to spend extravagantly on their clothes, cars and vacations.
4. Millionaires save. Millionaires tend to have a discipline to save unusual amounts of their earned income, sometimes as much as 40 percent. Most Americans save less than 4 percent of their earned income.
5. Millionaires aren't lawyers. Surely there are lawyers who are millionaires, but not many millionaires are lawyers or other professionals who work in shiny, tall buildings in major city centers. Such people, the book found, often feel so much pressure to consume their lavish incomes that they fail to accumulate significant wealth. Simply not working with or around high consuming people helps people to save and invest rather than consume.
6. Millionaires are entrepreneurs. Most millionaires own a business. They may not derive huge incomes from their businesses, but the business itself becomes a valuable asset over time. When millionaires retire, they not only have the benefit of savings invested like most of the rest of us, but also have valuable businesses that can be sold to help fund their retirements.
So, if you already live frugally, you already live like a millionaire. If you are young and you are consistently saving and investing your earned income, you can accumulate $1 million or more by the time you retire. Don't fool yourself, however; you can't easily turn a measly $1,000 savings account into $1 million even over forty years. Accumulating wealth, as the wealthy have shown us, requires discipline, living frugally and saving consistently.