I’m employed part time by a non-profit agency and I’m a Life Coach. I also receive a small pension from NYS Employees Retirement System and I’m paid to write a column for a local paper. I’ve borrowed The Automatic Millionaire from the library and went straight to your website after reading just a chapter. Although I’m 59 years old, I still want the security you offer in your theories. I’d also like to share what I’ve done so far in my life about money. First, it’s not about making more money, it’s about making more of the money you already have. Right? (The Latte Factor!) For the past seven years, I’ve done a bit of housesitting each summer and from year one – for whatever reason, I don’t know – have been compelled to tithe 10% of this extra income. This year, after a three week housesitting stint, I decided not to do it anymore. A bit scary because that extra income really helps me over some financial humps. But, it felt right. A month or so after that, I suddenly had the urge to set aside 10% of all income. Wow, going from no savings to 10% of an income that just pays the bills. But, again, it felt right. The day after I made the decision, I had another call about coaching and this one became a client. What she would pay me per month would cover that 10% I’d be taking out of other income, plus a bit extra. Yes, I do a budget; however, I’m no longer obsessive about it. For a year I charted every penny I spent just to get a feel for how I am with money. My spending is trimmed significantly. I do love to eat out, not often, but since that’s my special thing, it’s what I do. We all have to give ourself rewards. It’s the every-day-have-a-latte that gets costly and is no longer really that special. Before I started the 10% savings, I only put aside $25 a month for holiday/birthday spending. Now my savings includes that. Rather than looking at the savings as a longterm, retirement thing (good grief, who wants to retire from life!), I realized within a week of starting that this would be my dental money. Because I was unemployed for over four years and had no dental insurance, my teeth were significantly neglected. Long story. Now I have no insurance and am eligible for no govt programs. This is important to me so that’s where the savings will eventually go – probably $4000 or $5000 for periodontal work. Let’s see, what else? Oh yes, in the past (and the present) on those rare occasions when money is in really short supply, I feel compelled to reward myself (for making it successfully to that point?). I take my last $25 or $75 and spend it. Yep, nice dinner out, new outfit, a massage. Within a week or two, money shows up from some unexpected source. Last but not least… I’ve laid down the law to my daughter about borrowing money from me. She always pays it back, but forgets for a while and always has a long stressful story about why she’s borrowing. Finally told her, I don’t want to share her financial stress. I know she can handle it (she knows it too), so it’s time to end the pattern. We’re still working on this and doing better. Would I like more money, more security? Sure. Right now I’d like $10,000 to live on for six months to a year (that includes continuing to save 10%) so I can quit my non-profit job and focus on my coaching business. It will happen. Well, thanks for listening. Gotta go now and get back to your book.
Kathleen Richardson, Corning NY