| Real Life Strategies for Building Wealth

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I know, I know that it is Monday and this post is supposed to go live on Sunday. I also know that my rigid schedule has gone a bit more ‘creative’ (I am really trying to get this out in a positive way) but I suppose change is in the air. It is like my body and my mind are coiled, hunting and waiting for an opportunity to pounce again. Told you, my friends, that ‘gazelle intensity’ doesn’t do much for me; I am a tiger through and through – an agile hunter needed more patience.

When it comes to Paolo Coelho, people either love him or hate him. I am amongst the ones who love him and used to buy his books as a present to a close friend; till she told me that she thinks he is ‘a pompous prick’ and she can’t abide to  read even a paragraph of his.

I love the guy; yes, there may be a light tendency towards intellectualism (there is a problem with -isms, I think) but I forgive him that because of the wisdom and beauty of his writing and the wonderful way he has to motivate. Hence, Paolo Coelho is my FB friend – which meaningless as it sounds gives me the opportunity to follow his little snippets of wisdom. Yesterday he published something that really struck a chord with me:

“Close some doors. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere.”

How very perceptive! We tend to think of closing doors as something negative, as a refusal and the end of opportunity. In fact, the mastery of success in life being in the careful selection of what we do, how and when we do it and does it lead us where we wish to be, its precondition is in learning to close the doors we no longer see as leading into a room we wish to occupy.

This is it! At the moment my life is like a stately manor – there are so many doors that selection has become absolutely necessary. Probably it is time again for my ‘focusing exercise’ and for planning backwards. And this usually ends with a very mad goal I just pray someone tells me is impossible. My answer to that: ‘just watch me’.

So, when I share the outcome of this exercise please, please tell me it’s impossible; and there won’t be stopping me.

Before we move to the posts that caught my attention last week, I need to ask you people a favour. I may have mentioned this before but…

…I have been dreaming, planning and preparing to start another blog for some time now. It is called the Rotund Writer and guessing what it is about is no rocket science: it is about becoming a ‘best writing’ and ‘best-selling’ writer and the one great problem that goes with it: lack of exercise.

We have a logo; in fact we have quite a few logos, all designed by my favourite designer and close friend Jai Catalano and requested by the visual part of our house, namely John.

OK, now it’s time to move to these articles!

I have mentioned before that I don’t drive very much because I do get lost all the time; yes, even using GPS I manage to lose my way. As I jokingly put it: ‘I don’t know where I am most of the time, so knowing where I am going and how to get there is really problematic’. What I haven’t mentioned is that I also have an exceptionally ‘heavy’ foot – were I to drive regularly we’ll be paying twice as much for petrol. So the post by Jai on the ways to save on fuel (gas) I found incredibly captivating reading. Now I am up to scratch with the theory, some practice is called for.

Jay at The First Million is the Hardest asks this age old question in personal finance: spend less or earn more. After some probing of the two sides of the debate, he goes with earning more; and with this I naturally agree. In fact, I am a bit at loss why people believe that spending less is the solution and that earning more is so much harder. Earning more is not hard; it just needs more focus, determination and ingenuity. And as a friend of mine used to say, no, watching TV, posting pointless rubbish on FB and worrying about the future are not transferable skills.

You know that John and I celebrate our achievements, financial and otherwise. There is something about having a toast, there is a sense of closure that prepares us to move to the next thing, to the next goal. This is why my interest was immediately attracted when I saw an article on celebrating small wins on the Financial Samurai. Yep, and the celebration doesn’t have to be a bit banquette – a recognition, the ping of satisfaction may suffice. Oh, and I agree Sam – money is to be spent!

Naturally I read different sites and fora for personal finance (and other stuff). Every time I see a question that reads something like that: ‘How do I pay my debt?’ or ‘How do I start saving?’ I want to scream and pull my hair out. BY STARTING! Well, last week Jeremy on GenerationX Finance was much more subtle and there were no shouty capitals. If you still wish to know the answer to these questions go read the post – you won’t regret it.

Last week, the Monevator published an article close to my heart that made me think. The Investor, in a story telling mood, started by telling us that he spent the night on a friend’s couch – he just couldn’t face going back home late at night. So far so good but nothing to write home about. Where the story gets interesting is that next morning, he didn’t have to get up early and get to the office – he went and had some breakfast. Because, he doesn’t need to go nuclear working for living. You know what? It is a great article – go read it.

Now, time for some old favourites of mine; and long standing ones, of course.

Leo Babauta published an article on the key habits of organisation. It is absolutely vintage zenhabits: the article starts with reasons, moves to methods and includes tools. Tell you what? I am a luddite and am already using Trello – one of the apps Leo mentioned. Even better – John and I don’t have to argue face to face who does what by when; it is all written down and shared.

Seth Godin published an article on money after a long break. What a treat! Sixteen points and each of them absolutely spot on. Please go, print these out and pin them where you can see them at all times. And I hope you’ll continue reading The Money Principle!

Finally, last week Sainsbury’s Bank published a Personal Loans Guide – interesting resource and if you need information about loans this is well worth seeing.

How has The Money Principle been doing?

Great! We are growing nicely; John claims that the Google Reader withdrawal is not going to affect us because we never used it to begin with; and we are being mentioned by different bloggers as a top PF blog. Feels great but we are still working hard and working smart to grow – and to put thinking, questioning and fun back in personal finance.

Five blogs included us in their personal finance carnivals:

Carnival of Financial Planning B at Hurricanes, Panties
Yakezie Carnival at Master the Art of Saving
Carnival of Retirement at Family Money Values
Carnival of MoneyPros at The Money Mail

…and for this we are grateful.

This is all for now, my friends. Talk soon.