You’ve been thinking about making changes to save more money. Getting motivated to actually take action, and knowing how to start, those are the hard parts. Here are 3 of the most inspirational personal finance posts on the internet. They are guaranteed to make you think differently about money, and open your eyes to how small changes can make a HUGE impact on your life and your finances.This post was inspired by one of my former residents who has been working at a major hospital for the past couple of years. She wrote to me saying that she is happy at her job and enjoying her life. But she has been thinking about making changes to her finances, and is having difficulty finding the motivation to get started.
Before I got motivated, I needed to be truly inspired. There are a number of great blogs on the internet. But here are 3 of the articles that have been most inspiring to me.
#1 The Shockingly Simple Math… by Mr. Money Mustache
It’s no secret that I am in love with Mr. Money Mustache (MMM). He inspires me to punch debt in the face. He also holds up a mirror to the ridiculousness that has become our “fancy pants”, “complainy pants”, “clown-car driving” lifestyles. Above all else, he inspires living life through bad@$$ity.
The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement has received some “it can’t be done” comments. I presume the complainy pants who made these comments are broke, as MMM has developed a cult following of people who proved IT CAN BE DONE!
Don’t listen to those clowns! A great piece of financial advice is don’t take advice from broke people. (I can’t find the source of this quote, let me know if you know who said it first.)
The numbers don’t lie!
You have to check out the chart that outlines how many more years you have to work based on your savings rate.
- If you are able to live off 50% of your take home pay (which, by the way, I was able to do when I first started working and used the rest to pay off my student loans, then save the money to put down on a house), then you can retire in 17 years.
- If you can save 75% of your pay, you can retire in 7 years
- However, if you’re only saving the often-recommended 20%, you will have to work 37 years!
I have embraced MMM’s take home message that decreasing your spending rate is more powerful that increasing your income. It has worked for me!
#2 Money Boss 101 by JD Roth
For a change in mindset in how you think about your finances, check out Money Boss 101. I mentioned this post in my recent article Net Worth Calculation. Money Boss is one of two great blogs by JD Roth (the other being Get Rich Slowly (GRS)).
Be your own CEO/CFO
In Money Boss 101, JD makes the case for treating your personal finances as you would a small business: in terms of profits and losses. He provides some suggestions of how much money should be set aside for different expenses (housing, vehicle, savings), some of which are different from what I mentioned in cutting your monthly expenses, but are still great recommendations. Like MMM, he advocates for a savings rate of at least 50%.
JD convinced me that I am both “the CEO and CFO” of my own life. It’s up to me to make changes because “Nobody cares more about your money than you do.”
#3 The True Cost of Stuff by Leo Babauta
The True Cost of Stuff was written by Leo Babauta. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s one of the most popular bloggers in the world. This post comes from the archives of mnmlist. Leo also has a blog called Zen Habits. He writes about finding simplicity and mindfulness while clearing physical and mental clutter so that we can focus on what’s important in life.
nothing is free
This post increased my awareness that nothing is free. While we tend to think of purchases in terms of monetary costs, there are a number of other (often unseen) costs that we seldom consider. There is the cost to our environment to source, make, and transport the item. Caring for the item also takes up precious time, space, and possibly more money. Most importantly, the proper disposal of that item has a cost.
I am guilty of using an item one or two times then throwing it away. How did this ever become okay? The item doesn’t disappear when I throw it out. Many of the things that I throw away will still be here on this earth long after I am gone.
Leo’s post inspired me to think carefully about everything that I bring into my life (or gift to someone else). “Free” items are often tempting, but I’ve taken the approach to first ask myself whether it is something that I would pay for.
If it is something for which I would pay money, then I will accept one for free and do my best to take care of it and dispose of it properly at the end of its life-cycle. But if it is not something I need and wouldn’t pay for, then I refuse the item… and remind myself that nothing is really free.
I hope these articles are both inspiring and motivating. Personal finance is based a lot on psychology and behavior change. If you want to do something, don’t think about how you haven’t been doing it, learn how it can be done!
Who has motivated YOU to make changes to your finances?