| Real Life Strategies for Building Wealth

What I day I’ve had! A bit rough at the edges and un-kept, I am, but still…movie stardom was on the cards; I saw two oceans colliding and you thought penguins reside in Antarctica, didn’t you? So did I but we were both wrong. But let me start from the beginning.

My colleague and I had decided that today we’ll rent a car and will drive around the African cape. Bright and early we went to the car rental place where, we thought, a car is waiting for us; we just had to pick it up. On arrival, my colleague presented his driver’s licence, passport and debit card. Just to be told that they don’t accept debit cards – apparently in South Africa it takes longer to get the money and there is higher charge; he didn’t have a credit card – yes one of those!

Having looked forward to this for couple of weeks and feeling rather generous, I offered my credit card to cover the deposit (well, it would be returned anyway and we had already agreed the split of payment). But had no driving licence and the card and the licence need to be in the same name.

That was that! Our trip was not to be. I needed a coffee bar; and on the way we run into this

 Movie 1

Yep! They were filming a movie and we were in the midst of the extras. Before we knew it, we were being herded around and instructed how to join in the dance (they were filming a dance scene). My colleague (who incidentally is German but not a very stereotypical one), after the initial confusion and my insistence that this is our chance to have some fun, started taking the whole thing very seriously, asking exactly what we are supposed to do.

Ten minutes later we were so bored that we decided that we are too good to be accidental extras; and we are not letting our appearance be exploited. So we left. But still, we could have been discovered, you know.

Went back to the hotel where our adventures continued; another colleague had both a driver’s licence and a credit card. He rented a car and we went to Cape Point – the place where the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean collide. This is what it looks like

 oceans 1

And to top it all, I discovered that there are penguins in Africa. This is the proof

 penguin

What does this have to do with money? A lot, actually! First, I enlightened my colleague about credit cards and how useful they could be. He mentioned that Germans dislike building consumer debt. Fair enough, but we all know that credit cards can be used exactly like debit cards and paid in full every month. I think I convinced him. It was harder to convince myself to take my driver’s licence – I get lost within 2 miles of my house; so I don’t see this driving thing working out ten thousand miles away from home.

Now let me tell you about the reading I’ve been doing during the last week.

I’ll start with an article on extreme retirement this week. This is sweeping the personal finance blogosphere like cape fires but is it really worth it? Krantcents has one message for all aspiring early retirees: life is for living! And don’t you ever forget it ‘cause this is the kind of stuff people regret before meeting their maker.

Miss T. is back and in good form. We all dream of a better life, but usually have hard time specifying it and even harder to find the courage to go for it. This week, Miss T. offers a three step plan to a better life. Go try it out! What can you lose?

Pauline at Reach Financial Independence asks a very good question: what should you pay for your teen and adult kids. I have to say that Pauline sounds like an example of how offspring should behave. I believe that it is our duty to teach our children how to be adults and grappling with financial issues is one of the aspects of life as an adult. At the same time, I doubt I could leave my sons to fall below a certain level. Hard one! What do you think?

This week, Tony at We Only Do This Once tells us that we are afraid of the wrong things. Yep, I agree with him completely. And life can become really stale and boring when one continues to fear change and the future. This is a difficult lesson I had to learn but my life is much more exciting, I tell you; and the collection of experiences – dancing Zumba in a park in Santiago; drinking with an American exchange student travelling Europe and chasing amusement parks at an airport when the flight was cancelled; and getting on a movie set in Cape Town. Three years ago I wouldn’t have done any of that – I would have been too busy being afraid.

And how has The Money Principle been doing?

Last week, we were included in the following personal finance carnivals:

Carnival of Financial Planning at Dividend Monk
Yakezie Carnival at The Frugal Toad
Carnival of Financial Independence at Reach Financial Independence

This is all for now, my friends. Speak soon!