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September 11, 2007



Lucky indeed, now hold on to your determination and sharpen the axe.

First up, a confession/warning: My retirement plan is to win the lottery, so take my advice with a pinch of salt.

I think very few of us ever learned about money at home, I ccertainly never did. What little I know has been picked up from books and mags and hearing friends' tales of woe and glory.

The alpha and omega of personal finance is "pay yourself first". Arrange for a regular amount, as much as you can spare, to be paid automatically on the day after the paycheck arrives. Where it goes is of secondary importance, the point is AUTOMATIC. Willpower and determination will not do it. (points at himself, nods)

I recommend "The wealthy barber" by David Chilton; he's Canadian writing for Canadians, so some of the details won't apply, but the principles are universal. The Motley Fools have some good tips, if you can swallow the 21-year-old style.

The best way to find a financial advisor is to ask friends & colleagues, especially someone who'll admit to having been in trouble and recovered from it. Your accountant would be an impartial advisor, because s/he doesn't profit from the selling you finance products, but wouldn't necessarily be a good advisor.

This was a good post, very open and honest. I'll write about this myself over the weekend.


Thanks, Udge! I was starting to think I'd just freaked everyone right out, writing about money.

"Pay yourself first" is great advice, and advice that we're doing our best to put into practice. We've got a plan that will put about 13% of our monthly take-home salaries into savings (IRA and other) every month, so that seems like a good place to start. We're hoping to save even more than that, but making sure this money gets saved automatically is a priority.

I picked up a Motley Fool book earlier this week and while it is occasionally silly, it's also written in a way that's accessible to those of us who don't know what we're doing. Now I understand things like money market accounts and CDs and why they are much, much better than my simple savings account. That right there was worth the price of the book.

I can't wait to read your post about it--it's so helpful to talk this through with other people. Thank you!


wonderful post. thank you for telling the truth, almost no one does. ("The three things everyone tells lies about: sex, death, and money")

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