Saving Money: The First Step to Financial Freedom, Part I

When we begin our quest for financial independence we may wonder where to begin.  A lot of people are plagued with the flawed belief that financial independence only comes by having a great and marketable idea that can earn a million dollars.  While it is true that a person can become very wealthy in the United States this way, it is not the only way, nor is it even the most common way people become wealthy.

Unfortunately more often than not, people who are motivated by the “one good idea” philosophy tend to wind up broke, falling prey to one get rich quick scheme after another.  If you have genuinely found a way to earn a lot of money with relative quickness and ease, good for you!  But this alone will not make you rich or keep you financially independent, because it is not really about how much you earn.  It is about (read more)

Rabbi Daniel Lapin and the Secret to Jewish Success

Lapin, Rabbi Daniel (2010) Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money, Second Edition, Hoboken, John Wiley and Sons Inc.

Thou Shall Prosper is a fascinating exploration into wealth creation amongst Jews and the values within Jewish communities that encourage financial success.  It is organized into 10 separate chapters, titled commandments in imitation of the Laws given to Moses.  Written by Daniel Lapin, an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi motivated by a desire to research and catalog the cultural traits that have contributed to this, making them available to all people.  The book promotes what Rabbi Lapin calls Ethical Capitalism. (more)

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Dave Ramsey: Financial Guru for the Average Person

Dave Ramsey is a financial guru for the average person.  Even if you think you’re doing alright with your money, Dave can help you see the folly of your ways that prevents you from truly excelling financially.

When I finally made the decision to focus on my finance and figure out the secret to creating wealth I explored numerous books, and audio programs by many different financial gurus.  I read Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, Brian Tracy, and even Gene Simmons, just to name a few.  I began perusing business magazines, and  I learned a lot by doing this.

The problem with most of these books and programs was that although they taught me a lot, most of them are written under the assumption that the reader already has a certain amount of capital at hand, ready to invest. (read more)

Gene Simmons; Profile of a Rockin’ Capitalist

Gene Simmons is best known as the fire-breathing, blood spitting demonic bass player of the record breaking rock and roll band KISS.  With multiple millions of fans the world over and across no less than three generations, Gene Simmons and KISS have experienced success that far surpasses that of the majority of eccentric musical acts that sprung up throughout the 1970s. Though many rock and rollers have come and gone in the years that KISS has rocked the earth, Gene Simmons is richer and more popular now than he ever during his band’s classic era.

Rock stars are typically not the best examples of financial wisdom; in fact they are usually the worst.  The unrelated natures of musical talent and financial wisdom detract from the music business as a viable path to wealth as it is.  Couple that with the unlikelihood of success and the well known frivolous spending habits and legal antics of those in the field.  This is why I get certain skeptical looks and responses when I cite Gene Simmons as inspiration for financial strategy. (more)

 

Treat Your Future Self Like a Real Person

There are a few differences between being an anthropologist studying wealth and poverty and an economist doing the same.  As an anthropologist I am more focused on the social, cultural and cognitive motivations that either bind a person to poverty or allow them to experience the freedom of wealth.  This is a significant aspect of what Capitalism Saves is about; contrasting the Culture of Poverty of which I was a product, and the Culture of Wealth to which I aspire.

I had a conversation with a young woman the other day about the importance of financial discipline.  She told me that she had heard it all before.  “I know,” she said.  “Save all your money while you’re young so you can have it all when you’re old.  She continued, “I don’t want to wait until I’m old to enjoy life.  I want to enjoy life now.”  The statement was a bit oversimplified and shortsighted, but I withheld my rebuttal.  I was less interested in correcting her misunderstandings of a financial plan than I was in learning about the cognitive themes of financial self-sabotage.

It took me several days of reflecting on this exchange before I realized what’s going on here. (more)

How to More Efficiently Manage Your Money

Having and executing an efficient money management system is vital to attaining financial independence and creating wealth.  If you live in a country with laws that encourage financial independence, following the steps below will work to help you create a more efficient money management system and a more abundant life. 

 Take Responsibility for You Financial Situation

 Recognize that you created your current financial situation because of your choices and habits.  Consider the Law of Attraction.  A person must accept that only they had the power to create their current situation and that only they have the power to change it.  Until a person accepts this first step their ship will always be blown by the winds of habit and impulse.

Save Money

Saving money is the single most important part of creating an efficient money management system.  You must spend less than you earn and save the rest.  Save one thousand dollars in an emergency fund immediately then shoot to save 3 to 6 months of expenses.  Save 10% of your income every month at the beginning of the month.  If you can’t afford to save 10%, save what you can afford even as little as 1% to begin with and aim for 10%.  Eventually after following these steps you should try to save as much as 50% of your monthly income.  Save all money that comes to you unexpectedly aside from your regular income.  This can include bonuses, gifted money, repayment of a loan and other cash that you have lived without. (more)