Even Though I Want Financial Freedom, I’ve Still Got a Long Ways to Go

I Want Financial Freedom

Recently when I was asked to do an interview with the Mint website, it got me thinking a lot about how much I want financial freedom and where I’m at so far with my own savings goals.So I decided to try this fun game - You can try it too.  Pretend you decided to stop working tomorrow and were going to live off of absolutely nothing else other than your financial assets (and good looks) for the rest of your life.  Call it an early retirement.  Call it what you will.The magic question would then be: How much money would you be able to pay yourself each month?  How Much Money Would You Need? In the past I’ve determined that my magic number to reach financial freedom was somewhere around $5,000 per month.  In other words, if … [Read more...]

How Do You Keep Yourself From Becoming Who You Don’t Want to Be?

Don’t Want to Be

Have you ever looked at someone and just plain thought to yourself: That’s who I don’t want to be in 20 or so years from now? Recently I was re-reading a great book “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss.  One of the thoughts that stuck with me was his conversation in Chapter 4 about how he and a friend keep trying to avoid becoming that “old, fat, bald man in the red convertible”. To them, that was the epitome of a pathetic, wasted life.  It was their stereotype (and we all know someone like this) of a broken middle-age man making his last desperate effort to experience life when he had already wasted too much of it working long hours in the office missing out on the prime of his youth.  It was someone who waited too long to see the true … [Read more...]

Learning About Yourself and What You’re Really Capable Of – Through Travel

Learning About Yourself

One of the most over-looked and under-appreciated arts around is that of travel.Every year 1.5 billion fly somewhere.  Some people do it well.  Others completely freak out.The interesting thing about when you travel alone is that it really gives you the opportunity for learning about yourself and what you’re really made of.  You’ll find out just how brave or scared you are to try new things.  You’ll also find out how resourceful you are when it comes to un-foreseen challenges and bumps in the road.  How Traveling Leads to Learning About Yourself: I’m reflecting on this subject after having recently had the privilege of traveling overseas to the UK for a business trip.  This was actually my third time traveling to England … [Read more...]

When Conventional Wisdom About Money Clashes With Conviction

ID-10065573

My understanding and beliefs about money began at the same place most do - with one’s parents. My parents' handling of their personal financial life was truly a work of art. Transferring money from one budget envelope to the next to meet a need, hitting all the local auctions and thrift stores, and using the credit card for emergencies were all the norm in our household.One can’t help but carry those same patterns of behavior into early adulthood. Parental modeling of behavior has that much impact.So after college, I tried to follow the conventional wisdom about money by being as frugal and disciplined with spending just the same as it was instilled in me during childhood. I also became more in tune with what society had to say … [Read more...]

Why Is It Important to Save Money Instead of Enjoying It All Now?

Coins Entering Piggybank Shows American Revenues

The life of a child is so simple relative to that of an adult.I realize this over and over again whenever I go out to the store with my; especially my 8-year-old son.  He has a severe problem where the second he gets a dollar, he has to spend it!  It doesn’t really matter on what.  He just has to spend it.“Do you really need it?” I’ll ask him.  “I thought you were saving your money for the bigger one?”He might try to argue.  He may even try to justify making this purchase.  But as his parents we still challenge him because we know that it will be a very important lesson to understand why it’s important to save money for the things we really want later in life.  … [Read more...]

Getting Fit on a Budget and Becoming Healthy for Less

The Beach At Dawn In Thailand

The following contribution is from a reader of My Money Design.  If you’d like to write for us, please feel free to contact me.Staying fit and healthy is important for our long-term health as well as for out short-term happiness and looks.But getting in shape is something that can sometimes seem like an expensive business!  Gym memberships, exercise classes, personal trainers… there is a reason health and fitness is a booming industry and there is certainly a lot of profit to be made from unfit people looking to get fitter.If however you want to become a fitter, healthier version of you without spending a small fortune every month to do so, there are plenty of options that you can choose for getting fit on a budget which don’t … [Read more...]

How the Things I Want for Christmas Are Different Now That I’m An Adult

things i want for christmas

I can’t believe how quickly Christmas snuck up on us.  Can you?We celebrated the season a little early when we made my daughter’s No. 1 present on her list of things she wanted for Christmas come true: She got a kitten!  (Actually it’s for the whole family).  You should have seen her face when she picked one out and we told her yes to actually taking it home.  I don’t think there’s anything else out there that could have compared.So while the love of an adorable little kitten was enough to keep my kids busy, my wife and I were still faced with the endless “what do you want?” “I don’t know, what do you want?” “I don’t know, what do you want?” routine.  Every other day the two of us would say things to each other like “make me a list” … [Read more...]

Recognizing Opportunities to Build Multiple Streams of Income

Dolly Parton

I’ve often heard that great opportunities are not rare.  It’s just that our ability to identify them is so undeveloped that we perceive them to be rare.  Ever since I’ve started reading about how people find different ways to build multiple streams of income and then take full advantage of them, I find myself becoming more aware of them as I recognize them in even the tiniest things throughout my everyday life.  I might see them in a billboard on the way work, in a tool or gadget I have to use, or even in this case while I’m on vacation.  … [Read more...]