Time Magazine Cover Story: the New Frugality!

You heard it first here, folks. In Your Money or Your Life we equate frugality with freedom, smarts, and maximal pleasure for each dollar spent. Long ago (last year) frugality still looked like a loser’s game and using “other people’s money” (debt) was King. Ahh, but now frugality in now so “in” that it’s made the cover of Time Magazine. Continue reading


What’s the problem with people staying put?

Bad news! People aren’t moving! The April 22 New York Times reported this bad economic news:

“The US Census Bureau found that the number of people who changed residences declined to 35.2 million from March 2007 to March 2008, the lowest number since 1962, when the nation had 120 million fewer people.”

But what’s wrong with people staying put? We discount the services community provides free for nothing while chasing bigger houses and better jobs far from home. Continue reading

What’s your number?

“How much is enough?” is truly the question of the hour. Enough executive compensation? Enough bailout money? Enough in the budget for pressing issues now that revenues are down? Enough to pay on groceries and still get nourished? Your Money or Your Life provides a tool to concretely answer this question, knowing that once you have that figure, you are free to actually have a life.

Lee Eisenberg’s book, The Number, took the world briefly by storm a mere 2 years ago, igniting a flurry of Boomer chatter about how many millions did they need to retire Continue reading

Apathy to Anxiety to Adaptation

Days after the AARP bulletin featured Your Money or Your Life an article titled “Austere Times? Perfect” in Easter Sunday’s NY Times did too. Both celebrate the frugal and free lifestyle. Together they have the book zooming again to Amazon best-seller-dom heaven.

Well if Jim Cramer, the Mad Money host, can announce the end of the Bear Market with scant data points Continue reading

Fabulously Frugal: Living Well on Less Money

AARP’s April Bulletin served up stories of two FIer couples who live my perennial motto: “I buy my freedom with my frugality every day.” I don’t own stuff, stuff owns me, so it has to earn its way into my life. I do still get “possessed” – but only at the Thrift Store, and that supports a good cause. Now that I am moving, a quarter of my stuff is going back whence it came – supporting that same good cause one more time. It’s good local money – just keeps circulating, making people happy. Anyway, read about Sky and Jane and Helen and Phil and get inspired.http://bulletin.aarp.org/yourmoney/personalfinance/articles/fabulously_frugal.html

“Your Money or Your Life changed my life…”

Here are some gems from recent emails. Individual identities are left off but the sentiments are so universal they bear sharing…

“We first read Your Money or Your Life four years ago and it changed our lives. Since we have already started on the path to financial independence, we find that our lives haven’t been effected as greatly by the economics of the day. Continue reading

Planting Seeds of Prosperity

As I was asking a new client to describe her earliest memory around money, she started recalling how her parents dealt with money. She remembered how often they disagreed about managing their money, how often she remembers hearing her Dad say how “you kids are going to drive us into the poor house”. She grew up in Long Island and was raised in a Irish Catholic family with 9 kids. There was a constant sense of scarcity in her life and that feeling of never having enough stayed with her as adult and permeated her relationship with money in many ways that were unconscious. At the current age of 58, and by all intents and purposes, very well off financially, she still feels, after all these years, that if she’s not careful, she’ll wind up in the “poorhouse”. Continue reading

Enough, choice and change

Last week Jerry Wennstrom (an artist of materials and spirit) I spoke to a diverse group linked by their appreciation of my host, Charlie Hess, and of his provocative, interesting and often lucrative advice. One partner in Charlie’s firm, Ken Hey, synthesized the evening well, and I quote from him here:

Enough,” “choice” and “change” …Both speakers invoked some variation of the same questions: “What is enough?” or “What is necessary?” or “Is exchanging life and time for money always a good trade?” Continue reading

Iceland warms up to frugality

Marketplace’s Stephen Beard reported on April 3 that “On the brink of financial collapse last year, Iceland is now trying to recover and its citizens are embracing a culture of conservative spending.”

He interviewed Sissa, an Icelander whose house halved in value with their crash. She seemed to welcome the country’s swift decline into bankruptcy. “It has been good for Iceland,” she said. When the reporter said with surprise, “The collapse?” she said, “Yes, in a way. Because the greed of the people. There was so much greed. But now people are more caring. We’re coming more human again. And that’s what I like. And if I lose my house for that, that’s a good cause.” Continue reading