"You will get what you want, when you stop making
excuses on why you don’t have it." - Unknown
Rule 13 is part rant, part rule.
A lot of people are lazy about money. They'd rather watch The Simpsons or Mad Men than figure out a way to make their lives better. Thats fine with me but there is one nagging thing that I can't stand about many of these folks.... I've had it with their whining! "My life is lousy, I can't get ahead, The Man is keeping me down, There is no way out!" This is pure bullshit. There are many things most people can do, but will they actually do it? In many cases, no.
Jim Rohn is credited with saying "Poor people have big TVs, Rich people have big Libraries." I love this saying. I think it epitomizes a major problem in society these days. Its not that people don't know what to do with their money to make their lives better, its that the don't want to know, and that they would rather spend their free time doing things that rot their brain instead of making their life better through gaining knowledge. There are plenty of free resources on the web or at the library to educate ones self in basic money management or investing, but the it seems people don't seek them out. My iPod is full of e-books and audiobooks on economics, time management, and finances. Its also full of more light-hearted stuff just so you know. I think part of this attitude is due to the fact that many people do not want to make the sacrifices needed to get ahead, so the bury their head or make excuses for not opening a book or asking for help. Financial Success does not come quickly and generally does not come easily. It also doesn't happen if you lack the knowledge and rely on dumb luck to help you make it through life. 80% of North American millionaires are self-made, and they got there because of knowledge, and hard work, not because they are any more special than you or I, or because they had rich parents. They didn't buy into the mantra that someone else should make their life better. They had the ambition to learn what it took and then went for it.
I'm not suggesting you need to manage your investments yourself or go start a business, or that you shouldnt get help to set up a proper portfolio or debt management plan, just that you need to be engaged with your own money and take steps to make your life better financially. There is loads and loads of free knowledge out there waiting for you to learn it. If you need help learning something, ask for help. If you don't understand what company stock is, Google it. Don't just sit there saying "My financial IQ sucks so I am screwed!"
Here are some books I recommend if you are looking to get acquainted with saving and investing money, or understanding how the economy works:
Stop Working by Derek Foster
The Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko
Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan and Burton Malkiel
None of the books are a financial silver bullet, but they will get you thinking about money, if you aren't already doing that, its a good start. I like all of these books because they are easy to read and they take the jargon out of finances, economics and investing. I have either found them at the library or borrowed them from friends for free. I'd start with Stanley and Danko first if you are just starting to think about money. Happy reading.