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All Your Worth

December 6th, 2007 at 09:13 am

I made more progress on this book.

I liked the chapter on "wants" though I think it could have been more useful. Yes, it is important to spend money on wants. & on wants that you really want, not what other people want or what you think you should want. I think that is one thing that bugs me sometimes in the blogs/forums. Lots of crticisms of other people's "wants." If you are in the budget, who cares. If you are following the 50/30/20 plan, want whatever you want in that 30%. IT shouldn't be up to criticism. Everyone has very different wants.

I would have probably took it a step forward, in the book, and talked more about priorities. Make a list of what you think you want and then prioritize. When you realize you can afford a few things at the very top, the rest of the list seems to matter less.

I'm not personally on a mission to ALWAYS save more and more and more. I just want to be in balance. So I think this book is good in that regard. I am on a savings binge because we are out of balance. But if squeeze my wants too much, I'll just fall on my face or be miserable. No one wants that.

That's what strikes me as so wrong with Dave Ramsey. I really as a whole think he is a great motivator and very helpful to many. But I cringe when I listen to his show, people on rice and beans and working 3 jobs for a few years as they pay down their debts. Once they make that GREAT accomplishment you think they would relax and enjoy, even if for just a bit. Instead they all go on paying down their mortgage like a fiend. I think the overall concept is great; much how we live. But I think a lot of the wants are taken out of the equation. I often wonder how long until these people crash and burn. Seems to me if you pay off a mountain of debt and you can pay your bills and save, you should be able to enjoy a little.

Of course I could cut all the joy out of my life and pay off our mortgage in a decade. I just have no desire whatsoever to do that. I like to enjoy life too. Is the world going to end because I pay my mortgage at 50 instead of 40? No, but if I pay it off ay 40 I might just not enjoy a whole decade of my life at all. We'd tell the "kids, you know what, forget raising you, we have a mortgage to pay insanely early..." That just sucks. I Didn't have kids just to leave them in daycare and pay the mortgage before 40. IT just doesn't make any financial sense anyway when you look at the big picture. All that money is far better off going to retirement and compounding.


Anyway, I think in the want section was the section on credit cards and paying cash. All I Can say, is different strokes for different folks. Gets very Ramsey-esque. I can assure you that I have never paid a dime to the credit card companies and that I don't stress out with a pencil and calculator every day or week as I use my card. Quicken tallies it for me and I always know exactly where I stand. Credit cards are VERY convenient. We've never gotten into trouble with them in the least. IT is very possible to use credit cards for a sound financial plan. So I disagree strongly with this section. I agree they CAN BE trouble, but having used cards for 16 years (& only getting more rewards with time) I don't have much to complain about. One look at those interest rates gurantees that I Would never spend a dime more than I had in cash. {To me it is the same as not overdrawing a checking account. IT really can be that simple}.

That's my credit card rant. If you can't handle the cards, then by all means, switch to cash. But it doesn't mean they don't have their place in wealth building.

Oh yeah, there was a long list of stuff not to waste your money on too. Stuff I learned from my parents (I mentioned before very blessed in that regard). Stuff you should have, like disability insurance & life insurance & wills (blessed blessed blessed).

The next chapter was all about debt and getting out. I completely skipped it. Never been there; so nothing to learn.

That was as far as I got. I peeked at the next chapter and it was also very Ramsey-esque. I wonder what came first. OR where this paradigm comes from.

*$1k emergency fund
*pay debts
*6 month emergency fund

Sounds a little familiar?

Well I'll read more on that this weekend perhaps. They said 5% of your take-home should go to mortgage prepayments. I just don't think I am going to follow that advice either. Wink & to be clear, I am all for prepaying the mortgage, in a way that makes sense, and flows with the big picture. Which is probably mostly what bugs me about standard financial advice. It might work for "most people", but loses all the nuances of what is also different about every person financially. I think I disagree with about every piece of advice out there to an extent, and am better off for it.

Which is why it is good to come to a place like this and think about things and learn from others. Realize there is more than one way to do things.

So yeah, the book started good, then it got all Dave Ramsey. Which is fine since my only real gripe with Dave is lack of balance. & this book adds balance to the mix.

Well I will read the chapter more in detail to see what it says. I'm almost through the bulk of the book. See what I think on the savings chapter... It's probably the chapter that inerests me the most.

8 Responses to “All Your Worth”

  1. Aleta Says:

    I really enjoyed that book and must admit that it took me out of my complacency at that time.

    Her book has so many great points and it make me realize that I was paying too much for my needs. Although, I couldn't quite make the 50% mark because of my homeowners insurance, health insurance and taxes. I think that it depends on where you live.

    I also realized that I wasn't spending enough on my wants. Like she said, you need balance. It's great to pay off debt (yesterday's money) and plan and save for tomorrow. There's also a area of living in the now and enjoying your life that you're living now. You just can't deprive yourself of every little pleasure. What if you die and you never had any goals for pleasure. The great thing is that you can save up for them.

    So many people do without, die, and the next wife enjoys all of the windfall. You have to enjoy your life as well.

    I like Dave Ramsey too, but he's totally against credit cards and I say there is a place for them if you are a responsible human being.

  2. Broken Arrow Says:

    Regarding wants, although I don't mention it often, I also agree that wants can be justified... SO LONG AS IT'S WITHIN BUDGET. The only reason why I don't bring it up often is that, in numerous occasions on the forums, people who are being criticized simply aren't doing it within budget... or that they're pleading for help because everything else is falling apart. If that's the case, then no, I do not believe wants are justified.

    As for me, although I have plenty of material wants, one of my strongest want right now is a bigger, fatter investment portfolio. So, actually, I am satisfying one of my major wants while saving money at the same time! Big Grin

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    As for Dave Ramsey, I agree that I think his methodology works best for people who are desperate and desperately in debt. However, applying his methods when you are under normal condition will probably burn you out, and if you are doing well, I think it can be somewhat detrimental to your financial health!

    I prefer a much more gradual change in both mindset and lifestyle that focuses on making permanent life changes. It is as you say, to find your balance.

    It does bug me sometimes when people, despite their best intentions, will insist on a particular book or financial "guru" because this person is the way to go. I'll be more than happy to read and learn, but to simply read without thinking critically is, to me, almost as ignorant as not reading at all.

  4. frugalhousewife Says:

    I was spurred on in paying down our debts by Dave Ramsey's FPU course, which I took for free online. I did like the layout of the steps. Like many others I refuse to give up the credit cards. We were never in serious credit card debt, and now they get paid off as soon as the charges post. The second thing I could not give up was saving for retirement. While we are not saving a ton of money for that yet, I could not wrap my mind around stopping completely.

    I also agree that everyone needs to have a little fun money. As Broken Arrow said, if it is within the budget, there is no real harm done. I think the problem starts when your first priority is fun.

  5. Aleta Says:

    On the note of reading, I was reading one book every month that I borrowed from the library. You can always take away a nugget from every book and there will be ideas that don't appeal to you. When I read, I try to put into one sentence one important lesson that will change the way I look at something or that I will change for the better.

    I read the Dave Ramsey book and yes, it is great for beginners. It has structure and that is what most people in debt need.

  6. Broken Arrow Says:

    Er, just so it's clear, I don't mind some of the book recommendations that have been made to me. Your Money or Your Life turned out to be a pretty good book! I would certainly recommend to a friend, and that's saying quite a bit as I most certainly don't feel that way with other authors.

    To be exact, people who recommend Kiyosaki or people who are fanatically beholden to Dave Ramsey are typically ones that bothers me the most.... And even then, I can't say it's the authors exactly. I think it's that mentality some people have that everything these certain gurus say are the gospel truth, and anything else is simply heresy that bothers me.

  7. baselle Says:

    Yeah, its hard to teach balance and moderation these days. Its a pendulum - the folks who really need Dave Ramsay really when hog wild with the spending, so they seem to have to go hog wild with the self denial. Either position is unsustainable in the long run. Best to go a little crazy, and in the planning for a little crazy, strategically tighten. Doesn't sell books though. Can't form a personal finance empire on that ...

  8. monkeymama Says:

    I don't know how many times I have felt criticized, BA, for having my kids in preschool or for having bought a really nice TV. Yet when you look at the big picture, we are well within budget and we don't spend a lot on wants. So it gets old. I think it just grates on my nerves. I have seen criticisms of everyone's luxuries really, on the blogs and forums. That just doesn't bode well with me. I do understand a lot of this community is trying to get out of debt. But yes, even those people deserve a little joy in life.

    (& lord if I need people deep in debt criticizing my spending habits. I think I am doing okay. Wink )

    That is the one thing I noticed when I joined this community. I love it, but there isn't a lot of balance apparent either. A lot of save save save and save some more without real purpose. Someone commented on my blog the other day I could work on saving even more next year; something like that. I was thinking, "why?" LOL. I met all my goals and they were pretty aggressive. Why do I have to pinch MORE pennies?

    I hope I can inspire people to enjoy their money a bit. Big Grin

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