I want to start off by saying that your book has been an inspiration to me in many ways. I had been a single mom for the past 9 years. Maintaining a house by myself was the biggest challenge I faced. Along the way I received some great advice, but nothing as concise as your books. In the last 2 weeks I’ve read Automatic Millionaire, Smart Women Finish Rich and Smart Couples Finish Rich. I’ve e-mailed all my friends and told them to run out and buy them NOW! Your writing was so inspirational, I’ve even been considering going back to school to become a financial planner!
I would like to share one tidbit I learned and took advantage of over the years which may help your readers. My bank manager asked me if I had a Security Basket with my rainy day money put aside, and suggested that be about 3 month – 6 months salary. As a single mom, I nearly laughed my way out of the bank. Instead I listened, as she explained further. Of course, my mortgage was by far my biggest expense. If I lost my job, I would be in serious danger of losing my house quickly. With that in mind, she suggested that I begin prepaying my mortgage. I did this in incriments of $25.00 per week – that’s not much more than dinner out for my son and I. For all those dollars of prepayment, I would eventually have the option of skipping payments without penalty if some sort of financial disaster occurred (my mortgage had this privilege). If that disaster never arose, however, the compound interest on the principal I was paying down would save me thousands. From that day forward, I have always made the effort to pay myself first in this way.
I was married in February of this year, and work at teaching my new husband about paying ourselves first. Since buying our house together just over a year ago with a 25 year amortization, we have made double up and increased principal payments to reduce the mortgage amortization to only 14 years! My long term goal is to be paid off before I turn 40. (I’m 33 now).
My husband and I run a successful construction business together, but we don’t want to work forever. By applying the principals described in your book, we’re planning to finish rich together!
PS: I especially appreciated the fact that your book included advise geared to Canadians.
Keep up the good work!