The theme this month is Money.
You actually don’t need a page for this – you can actually sum it up in one sentence. Spend less money than you earn. But you may already be past that point with credit card bills, loans, and hard-to-break habits. Many people are.
Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar has broken it down for you in a fun 1-page drawing followed by 48 pages of sound advice. Best of all, Trent has made this a free/donation download, so if you are broke you can get the info you need at no charge and if you have a few bucks to spare you can thank him for his hard work.
Besides the pictures, you get easy-to-understand scenarios like this:
“Let’s say you earn $30,000 a year and you spend $31,000 a year. That extra $1,000 has to be borrowed, often from sources like credit cards. The following year, in order to maintain your lifestyle, you still spend $1,000 a year more than you make, plus you spend $300 more than that just making the minimum payments on your debt, leaving you a total of $2,200 in the hole (the $1,000 extra you spent the first year plus the $1,000 extra you spent the second year plus the $300 extra you spent repaying that debt minus the $100 you actually managed to pay off). The debt builds – after the third year, youÊ¼re $3,600 in debt. It keeps growing and growing and growing until that debt is eating up all of your income, leaving you in misery.” – from Spend Less Than You Earn
Imagine thinking that clearly about your money 5, 10, or 15 years ago. Where would you be today? By thinking this clearly now, where can you be in 5, 10, or 15 years?
Trent shares quite a bit of personal information on his blog from his own “Financial Armageddon,” and the ebook is heavily footnoted with additional reading from his blog followed by a resource page of books and other blogs that can help you.
You can skim the book in 15 minutes and easily pick up the highlights, or really spend some time digging into the goldmine of detail he has provided for you by reading the reference material.
I consider myself pretty experienced now in terms of saving money and living below my means, but I always learn something from Trent and have been reading his blog regularly for over a year. If you have any kind of personal finance question, The Simple Dollar is a great resource.
Betsy Talbot writes about carving the lifestyle you want out of life you already have. When she’s not writing, she’s paring down, saving up, and getting ready for a year of travel with her husband.