Like almost everyone today, my husband and I are working to get our priorities in order. Gone are the days when it was "money in and money out" and "what we want is what we buy". After raising 5 children, and if the little statistic that it takes over $2M to raise one child to the age of 18 is even close to accuracy, we've already been millionaires 5 times over. Now as our youngest child closes in on her 18th birthday in a few months, we want to regain a little of that millionaire ground for ourselves and so the other night I decided to pick up a book that for whatever reason, just happened to catch my eye. To be honest, at the time I was looking for anything but a Financial "get your ducks in a row" style of reading material.
I am a firm believer in all things happening for a reason so when a book, sitting quietly on a shelf catches my eye and I at first dismiss it but then it calls me back to it, I have to pay attention and will usually think, "Hmmm, is there something I'm suppose to learn from this?" Such was the case with this particular book and oddly enough, it is rare that I will sit down and read, cover to cover a book that is related to Financial anything - yes, my career path left me that burnt out! However, that's exactly what I ended up doing last night.
In my "past life" I was a Financial Analyst for the US Government - a job I loved but number crunching 8 or more hours a day eventually turned me off of dealing with numbers unless absolutely forced to. With this book though, I once again began appreciating just what number crunching can really do for you if you make it something enjoyable and doing up a lengthy, detailed or mind boggling budget isn't even part of the equation - a nice bonus.
I am pleased to report that this book, although it does touch on investing in real estate, is much more than just a how to get rich style primer. Written by David Bach and with a Canadian slant to it, there is a good deal of exceptional information between its covers that really does make an awful lot of common sense. For instance, there is a section that relates to the "Latte" factor. I am a Tim Horton's coffee freak, I admit it. Not a day goes by usually when I won't have at least one of these extra large coffees. At just $1.65 per indulgence though, I rarely viewed it as anything other than that. This book however breaks down that indulgence and shows just how that lone little $1.65 could, in a 20 year span at an average of 10% (the average is based on what the Stock market has averaged for the past 50 years apparently), when all is said and done could have grown into over $13, 000.00!! Wow. Well that sucks!
My husband's business, now 4 years old, has had its first year of dividend sharing take place which resulted in our having a little extra lying around to either do something smart with, or something lame. We've decided the smart route is the choice this time around and thus one of the reasons this book seems to be making so much sense at this time. By simply making a few small changes in our life, one which includes putting aside just $20/day ($10 for me and $10 for my hubby), plus factoring in the dividends and the "Pay yourself first before the taxman gets it" RRSP contributions, by the time we are ready to settle down and start living as empty nesters we should be able to enjoy a little bit of the good life.
Normally I'm not too interested in the Real estate aspect but this author makes even that sound like a cake walk - his upbeat, positive and straight to the point style really makes the reader sit back and think, "I could do this!" We have several of those darned old plastic cards they call "Credit cards" and we've been considering compiling them into one low interest payment loan and getting rid of all of them save one. This book suggests that by doing that & by taking a Line of Credit instead, you can pay down that debt much more quickly and even purchase real estate. We know of a few people who have actually done this and it has worked very well for them. He further suggests that by doing something as simple as paying down your mortgage twice a month rather than once per month you can actually pay off your mortgage between 6 to 10 years earlier. We've been doing this with all but our credit cards and it has been a relatively painless procedure that not only gives you the dividend of paying something off earlier but it also gets you comfortable with paying things bi-weekly which works out so much better than a once a month affair.
Tomorrow we head into the bank to put our plan of action into motion - this was further prompted by a company that has been literally harrassing us to switch some of our "plastic" over to them at a reduced interest rate that is actually not very inviting. I've already begun to filter savings into our GIC on a bi-weekly basis as well and I like to think that although I've not cut out my Timmy's habit completely - I've trimmed off a few every week which has been switched instead into savings.
By following some of the very simple, easy to understand information that the author provides, we are certain that come retirement time we'll be able to really enjoy all that we have worked for.
I'd recommend this book to everyone - straight forward information written in a way in which it's actually enjoyable to read, easy to understand and even easier to implement. Great motivation.