Working at home vs office; Money and credit post capitalism; Retired at 40; Investing in your best asset; Make yourself accountable

Working at home vs office; Money and credit post capitalism; Retired at 40; Investing in your best asset; Make yourself accountable

By Amanda Morrall

1) Home vs office

For the past four years, I've split my week working from home and the office. It is both a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, I can multi-task more efficiently at home, for example chucking a load of a laundry in the washing machine when I'm taking a break from my laptop, or walk my kids to schools instead of booting them out of the car in front of their school in the mad morning rush.

On the other hand, your home no longer becomes a sanctuary from work because it follows you around. Fortunately, I've made it work and the upsides far outweigh the downsides.

I will be looking forward to listening to the Freakonomics podcast on American Public Radio's marketplace today comparing the level of distractedeness at home vs the office.

Personally, I think it all comes down to your level of self discipline.

2) Money and credit post-capitalism 

You'd have to be blind or in denial that the world is in flux right now, including capitalism.

I don't think it's going to disappear any time soon (the world or capitalism). Who knows how long before Mother Nature will shirk us off but I do believe capitalism is morphing. How will it look in the future?

In the following video blog, from the Guardian, economics professor Costas Lapavitsas argues that a world after capitalism "would see money and credit move from being instruments that reinforce inequality into tools for genuine public service." He argues we're part way there thanks in big part to the internet. Worth a watch. It's well illustrated too, so no talking heads. Bonus.

3) Retired at 40

Well, I've missed the boat on this one. I jumped on the personal finance wagon about 20 years too late for that.

You can read all about the strategies employed by a personal finance blogger Joe of retiredby40.org who describes his journey to early retirement and how he manages now. 

4) Your best asset is you

Putting aside the whole college bubble argument for a moment and whether the rate of return on education is really worth it these days, I still believe your best asset is and will always be you. Whether it's growing your knowledge in a specific field, honing your trade or craft, growing your business or taking the time to learn what it is that really makes you tick, all will add to your bottomline line and well-being over time.

On that note, here's a blog from plantingmoneyseeds.com about the various ways to self invest.

5) Accountability

In an interview I did with personal finance trainer Hannah McQueen, of enableMe, earlier this week we discussed the importance and impact of accountability in terms of reaching desired goals, financial or otherwise. This piece from personaldividends.com discusses why being accountable to someone else is so effective and how to go about it.

A few years back a former colleague and I made a pact along these lines and agreed to meet for lunch once a month to report on our progress.

Guess what? It worked.

That's not to say we didn't each suffer setbacks in trying to achieve our goals (one should expect that) but I think consciously or unconsciously we didn't want to meet for lunch and embarrass ourselves with lamo excuses as to why we didn't move our plans forward in some way, however small. This one's for you No, 11.

Also, I would remind readers who want a chance to win one of two copies of Hannah's book "The Perfect Balance: How to Get Ahead while still having a life" to send me an email outlining why you think you, or someone else in your life, needs this book before Friday. amanda.morrall@interest.co.nz

To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall

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Amanda,
      thanks.  Enjoy some of the links you come up with.  Enjoyed the discussion on the retireby40 blog about his decision to step away from his engineering career.
 
 

I work from home about 70% of the time but I built a dedicated office to do it from and work with my wife by my side.  I don't think I could do it if I was by myself all the time or perched on the dining room table.

I was suddenly made redundant and as a solo mum with a crawling baby and one just starting school I started my own business and worked as a consultant whilst I looked for something more pemanent.  Had to pay for  childcare whilst I went out and found work/met with clients and then did the majority of work at home looking after the kids and working late at night to ensure the work was completed.  Steep learning curve, but I always remember those days fondly, spending time with the kids and just scraping by.  Managed to keep myself off a benefit (although it would have paid more) and get by.  Self discipline is the key for sure :-)  

"damage done by Welfare orientation in NZ". Interesting.
Please enlighten me as to what this "welfare orientation" is, and then give us examples of the supposed damage that follows.

Surely we can do better than 40?

Stepping out of the Hickeysterical Gloomsterisationalysing Zone , into Amanda's snug little corner , it's kinda soothing ..... 'like when you pop into Air NZ's Koru Club , away from the hubbub .......
 
........ ahhhhhhhhhhh .......... blissssssssssssss ...........

Gummy - you are having a little bit of a personality change –  please don’t become depressed gloom and doom – we still love you.

What is there to be " doom & gloom " about , Walter ........ mankind is upon the cusp of a great leap forward in prosperity ...... a golden future is at hand , energy & medical breakthroughs , advances in communications  ...... Gummy is fizzing with anticipation .....
 
...... and Roger Federer is back on top of the tennis . Life is good my friend , very very good !

Awe....thanks Gummy. I love the Koru Lounge so will take that as a compliment indeed. I've managed to sneak in a few times with complimentary passes and on the heels of members. Twice as enjoyable I expect because I'm not immune to the luxury - yet.:)

I also work from home however don't find I am distracted too much during the day (except when the husband makes the scones for morning tea) as my work is of such a nature that I have to be at the laptop at certain allotted times and in touch with those in other parts of New Zealand.  I am only required on average to work around ten full days per month which is good for a semi-retired person!  However, one thing I don't like is if my work goes on for two weeks continuous working, I get real cabin-fever particularly so as I live in a rural district.  After working around five days on end I have to get out of the place, otherwise you feel like you never leave home.  A nice long drive to the coast puts everything back into perspective but I probably end up spending half my wages on the petrol!  Ah well gives me something to do in my old age. 

Got a big office downtown, with staff, and a big dedicated office at home.  Works wonderfully as I wander between the two.   At least one 2-3 hour session at home every day.
Distractions.  Downtown is where I find I do the immediate small staff.  Quite distracting task to task.  Home is where I can be more strategic and thoughtful.  The home office work does distract from home life if anything.  Not the other way around.
And yes.  I can and do home tasks in the working day and it's great.  Look out the window in town and see the forthcoming thunderstorm.  Whip home and take the washing in, then settle down and read a lease.  Effective.