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Thatcherisms; Words versus action; Working towards financial freedom; Super savers; Irregular income

Thatcherisms; Words versus action; Working towards financial freedom; Super savers; Irregular income

By Amanda Morrall

1) Thatcherisms

The Age Money section, in memory of the recently departed ex British PM, decided to put together a few of dear Maggie's insights and thoughts on money. 

I wasn't a big fan  but would tend to agree with her pearls of wisdom below, except the first one. Changing someone's tyre doesn't cost money and is an act of Good Samaritism nonetheless. I've had at least three people do this for me over the years. Gratitude was my repayment plan. And giving back to others where possible. 

  • "No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he only had good intentions. He had money as well."
  • "Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth."
  • "I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation."
  • "It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs."
  • "My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day's work for an honest day's pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police."
  • "It's passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election."
  • "Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan."
  • "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."
  • "The facts of life are Conservative."

2) Words versus action

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the personal finance path is the road less travelled, for much the same reasons.

Those who take this path in earnest distinguish themselves from those who get lost trying to find it typically because they are action based individuals.

Rather than simply talking up their plans to get their personal finances sorted, they take action; i.e. tackling their debt so they can get themselves into a saving position and then investing that money so it can grow their wealth. 

This blog from www.goodfinancialcents.com builds on this theme of words versus action and the importance of understanding the psychological barriers that hold us back from getting ourselves into a superior financial position.

3) Financial freedom

Financial freedom is the nirvana most of us dream of. Having saved enough money to last us till death and having the option of working for a living.

What I have discovered with many of the individuals I know who have found their freedom, is that work can become even more attractive when it's not required of you.

When you have the luxury of choosing whether or not to do something, it gives you the ability to be more actively connected and engaged with that work because you are choosing it.

Financial freedom is an enviable place to be indeed. How do you create the conditions to achieve it? The following, from financiallypoor.com boils it down to two things: 1) working smarter, and not harder and 2) growing your knowledge base - knowledge = money.

4) Super savers

Fairfax writer Richard Meadows profiles two Kiwi supersavers who are well on their way to achieving financial freedom and shares their top 10 tips for getting in a positive saving position. 

5) Irregular income

Adjusting to an irregular income when you continue to have fixed expenses can be tricky business. Here's three tips to smooth out the rough edges via www.thefamilyceoblog.com. 

Like what you've read? Follow me on Twitter @amandamorrall or check out my new blogwww.amandamorrall.com or better yet buy my new book Money Matters and start the personal finance revolution from within. 

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20 Comments

I feel obliged to point out the foundation of freedom is not money.
 
- and - 
 
Only the application of knowledge creates any benefit, which I suppose speaks to your point 2 - sometimes what you say doesn't matter, only what you do.  Which speaks to your point 1 and the good samaritan - it only matters that he did what he did and not whether he was remembered for it.

As for irregular income.
 
Years ago we attended what I remember as a financial seminar.  My wife assures me that it was actually an amway presentation of some kind.  Embarassingly she is certainly right.
But what they suggested was everyone needed to save 3 months of expenses and then never spend that except when needed for unexpected things.  Use that as a buffer even to buy large things for cash and then top it up again.  Good advise along with their battle cry of "See you on the beaches of the world!", which was fun for a while but faded in terms of quality of advise.
Back in the day it took us 20 months to do it but it has served us very well.

Yeah I dunno - suddenly running out of money every now and then and not being quite sure how you are going to pay the bills is quite liberating I find :-)

Yes StanleyG, when Necessity becomes the Mother of Invention has been the motto of many a guest of Her Majesty...... prior to getting that liberated feeling.
 Of Course in the U.S. it's perfectly acceptable as a defence plea......necessity may be either a possible justification or an exculpation for breaking the law. 
 

Maggie RIP. Huge fan. anyone who says...

"My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day's work for an honest day's pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police."
 
Gets my vote. And...

"I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' ... It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation."

Right on! That should be posted on every school gate in the country.

Personally I suspect Mags died of shame upon seeing what Blair/Brown/Cameron have done to the legacy she left behind.

 

The perception when I lived in Pomgolia in the Blair years was that Maggie T was fairly comfortable with the direction his government was heading in...

Quite so Gareth, the direction but not thefart assed face being put on it, on many occassion she'd have wished he behaved like a man, the kind of man she had been.

Never warmed to the guy myself, he was just too smarmy.

Smarmy...yes , yes that's what he was alright , a smarmy pretender who didn't really know his R's from his Hellbow.....the tit.

Gareth it seems we were both in the UK around the same time. Blair is just a twat - a self-serving twat at that. The damage he and Brown did to the UK economy is inestimable:-
(from the Telegraph)
The real decline happened under Labour: in the second quarter of 2010, when Gordon Brown left office, the output of UK factories was fractionally lower than it was when Thatcher took her last, tearful ride in that ministerial Jaguar.

Under the new order, including Gordon Brown’s late, unlamented Financial Services Authority, banks were disciplined neither by the free market – the authorities were there as a backstop, so there was no chance of going bust – nor by regulators, who allowed risk to build up unchecked. Greed was no longer balanced out by fear; moral hazard had replaced prudence. Thatcher, the grocer’s daughter and keen student of F.A Hayek, would have despaired.

Quite.

Fair comment Stanley and two good quotes to boot......Personalities aside, she was resolute in her directives, unwavering in  her committment to the office she'd undertaken, like her or not , you had to respect the up front testicular fortitude she shamed back room dealing dodgy politicians with.....as in the Blair style would have been to enter the Faukland Islands looking for weapons of mass destruction...spineless tit.
I suspect Dennis got  a bit of what for from time to time...so worthy of mention also.
For the good or bad...she will be remembered...be loved be hated , but never be ignored.....

Sorry . can't resist this one....."The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."
Very apt for investment banks /bankers also.

Two differences:
 
Socialism spends money, it does not invest it.
 
You have a choice about whether you put your money in a bank for them to invest.  You do not have a choice as to whether to give your money to Government for them to spend.

Very nice Ms D M.....but not all social investment arrives at a nil result, those who genuinely need a hand often go on to return it in spades......not forgetting military contributions to your freedoms to hold the opinion you cherish.
On the other matter best you direct Kiwi saver on where your money's going....gone...will go all headed up formerly by an ..you guessed it Investment Banker.

You could always put your money in Kiwibank
 
But..wait... Isn't that a socialist investment???

 

Margaret Thatcher, Liberator
Without her, it is doubtful the British would have kept their currency and their independence. They would have German financiers going over the budget in Whitehall by now, as they are in Greece and Portugal and Cyprus. She did not therefore only resuscitate economic freedom in Britain, she kept Britain itself free as an independent nation.
http://www.realclearworld.com/2013/04/08/margaret_thatcher_liberator_146968.html
But within the space of just a few decades many liberals were giving up even on a civic nation, which they considered still too exclusive and discriminatory (or else too small a unit to pursue power globally). In Australia, for instance, Paul Keating expressed his commitment to post-nationalism, as later on did Kevin Rudd.

Margaret Thatcher was not a nationalist in the traditional sense, but she did still believe in the civic nation state. This led to her political demise; other members of her party wanted to move toward closer European Union integration whilst she did not and so she was deposed as PM. 
http://ozconservative.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/margaret-thatcher.html?showComment=1365470019253
People connect Margret Thatcher with the fight against unions and socialism but perhaps her greatest contribution was to the nation state, for which we can all be very thankful.
 

Absolutely right I think.
Niall Ferguson on Margaret Thatcher;
"Right about nearly everything"
Like many great leaders, Margaret Thatcher has come to be more respected abroad than she ever was at home. Left-leaning Brits who opposed her during the 1980s find it especially hard to admit that she was mostly right and they were wrong.
http://www.niallferguson.com/journalism/journalism/margaret-thatcher-right-about-nearly-everything

Margaret Thatcher is probably closer to Nigel Farage's UKIP(UK Independance) party than she is to the current ruling Conservative party. Nigel Farage want's the EU broken up.
It's probably quite hard for many in the UK to praise her too much as this would just be a gift to the UKIP party. The UKIP party is doing very well at the moment and the Conservative party is suffering. Lots of Brit's want to get their political powers back from Brussels  and the Conservative party is struggling with deciding about holding a referendum on sticking with the EU.
She is political dynamite even in her death.

I'm almost tempted, being British and all, to pop over during the next election just so I can vote UKIP

Go on then Stanley...that'll spite them, say hello to Livingstone if you should come across him ....won't you...being British n all.

Days to the General Election: 26
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.