By Amanda Morrall (email)
I love my job today. I like it on most days but reading the links mentioned in today's column was a joy and I am happy to share them with you. I hope you enjoy them too.
1) The money curse
It's hard to imagine too much money being a problem and yet it provokes the oddest behaviour in people. I have a friend whose father is a multi-millionaire (owns several houses around the world) and yet he wouldn't pay $50 postage to send his not so wealthy daughter (who happened to be seriously ill) a duvet overseas. I get how stinginess can make you rich but come on.
The following rags to riches and back again story (an excerpt from Richard Watts' Fables of Fortune: What Rich People Have That You Don't Want) was another reminder about peoples' bizarre and often discordant relationship with money. It also reinforced for me the fact that money can cause us much misery as it can happiness as well as bring out the worst of side of people.
2) Bring it on Moustache man
I normally loathe moustaches but Mr. Money Moustache, a straight shooting personal finance blogger with a no nonsense approach to early retirement, has won me over. Moustache man advocates a very simple approach to early retirement that doesn't involve hedge funds, speculative property investments or taking on "good debt".
The path to financial freedom? He calls his method "badassity". Essentially it's all about hanging onto more of your salary instead of blowing it like most of us tend to do.
Check out his blog on "the shockingly simple math behind early retirement" and tell me you don't like Moustache Man. This guy is one to bookmark. Some great graphs and formulas.
3) The voice of reason
I had to laugh when I read this blog expressing some moderate views on how average Americans are going to weather the economic storm that threatens to dismantled eurozone and the debt-laden superpowers.
He points to the mainstream media habit of only broadcasting voices of the extreme. You know the familiar refrain; that either we're all doomed to go to debt-built hell or else be saved by some free market miracle.
I've always believed in a middle path (and that applies to all facets of life) and was reassured that I'm not alone in this after reading 20smoney.com blog "Why both economic extremes are wrong.''
4) The heart of the problem
I've been hammering on a fair bit about goals, dreams and passions lately. I don't think it can be emphasised enough in the context of personal finance. Money for money sake is not all that useful. It's a means to an end. Figuring out what that personal end goal is arguably the hardest part. I don't think many people know what they want or even how to figure it out.
To that end, here's a piece from juliemurphycasserly.com about the mental mapping process involved. She's offering up a step-by-step guide for 2012 so possibly another one for you to bookmark.
5) Give it away
Regular readers will know that I'm big on charity and the value of incorporating gifting into one's personal finance ethic and planning. You'll also know that I'm a yoga enthusiast.
I couldn't resist sharing this item from a fellow yogi who is giving away her US$10,000 Vera Wang wedding dress to a deserving new bride. Personally, I can't see the point of spending so much money on a dress that is worn only once but what a fabulous idea to give it away. I won't knock that.
And for some reason the Anthony Kiedis has sprung into my mind instead of wedding cakes so I thought it fitting to share a song from one of my favourite albums.
To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall