What is debt?

One of the very first posts I wrote for Enrichmentality was titled ‘What is money?‘. But as I recently noted, reading The Language of Money and Debt made me consider the meaning of debt in more depth than I had previously. Of course, if you are in debt, the lack of money can seem overwhelming. So today I’m asking ‘What is debt?’

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Which debt should I pay off first?

The financial sphere seems all abuzz with The Barefoot Investor‘s book. Multiple friends have asked me about it. It’s the number one non-fiction book at both my local library and bookstore. But as happy as I am to see a finance book so popular, is it really ‘the only money guide you’ll ever need’? Will following Scott Pape’s ‘domino’ advice (or Dave Ramsey’s ‘snowball’ advice for that matter) really help you get out of debt for example? The best way to pay off your debt is likely to be something else entirely…

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How do we talk about money (and debt) everyday?

When I first received the wonderful book The Language of Money and Debt, I was struck by the title.I’ve been thinking aloud about the language of money here on Enrichmentality since mid-2016. But I’d never considered the language of debt separately.

Debt, globally, is an enormous issue. In the UK, Kinloch, Little and Morawiec estimate that over 16% of the population are over-indebted. (At least three months behind with their bills in the last six months, or feel heavily burdened by debt).

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Can you succeed financially with kids?

Recently, I caught up with someone I hadn’t seen for a long time. Two decades, in fact. And they asked me what I’ve been doing. I gave them the canned version of events, ending with my most recent news (that my husband and I had left our jobs a year and a half ago and are traveling the world). Their response? ‘It’s much easier when you don’t have kids.’

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What money messages are books sending kids?

Cinderella. Jack and the Beanstalk. Aladdin. Even Harry Potter. So many of the books we read as children, or read to children, reflect particular money beliefs. Untold treasures in a secret cave, or at the end of a rainbow.

The beliefs we have about money are often linked to childhood experiences and messages. We learn to ‘speak’ money within the home and the family, and the lessons we learn as children often impact on how we handle money later in life.

Last year, I was privileged to meet Annabelle Mooney at the Money Talks conference, along with her co-contributors Tanweer Ali and Eva Lebdušková. And last month, I was very excited to receive a copy of the book The Language of Money and Debt edited by Mooney and Sifaki. This fantastic book has a whole section dedicated to money and childhood, the topic of my post today.

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What is your New Years Revolution?

Here we are, at the end of another year. A time for many of us to reflect on the twelve months which have just passed us by, and to look ahead to the next twelve to come. To think about where our money went, perhaps, and how we might spend it – or get it to work for us – differently in the new year. But this year, I want to talk not about new years’ resolutions, but revolution.

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Are you writing your own script?

You may not realise it, but you are a script writer.

Every day, you are writing the script of your life. And just like in the movies, what you write into the script today will influence the eventual outcome of the story.

As Susan David writes in ‘Emotional Agility’, ‘We may not drive convertibles past palm trees or take meetings with movie stars, but each of us, in our own way, is a Hollywood screenwriter. That’s because, every minute of every day, we’re writing the scripts that get screened at the cinema inside our heads.’

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Are you (financially) typical?

Even before we started our serious efforts towards financial independence, I nonetheless read everything I came across relating to money. Your typical best-sellers, and some more obscure books and blogs.

Sometimes, those sources held seemingly contradictory advice. One, for example, recommended taking out the shortest home loan possible. Another recommended taking out the longest loan term possible.

Which one is right? Why would two published books – both well-written, popular finance books published in the same country in a similar time frame – give such seemingly conflicting advice?

It turns out to be a case of different horses for different courses, and learning which course is right for you is crucial.

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