A friend mentioned that I ought to read something by Bogle so I trotted down to the library to fetch one the other day. Our library didn’t have any in stock so I ordered it through inter-library loan, but in the meantime I picked up a few books from the same section of the library shelves.
So I just finished reading “The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed: the only personal finance system for people with not-so-regular jobs.” It’s a nice little book, compactly throwing in nearly every lesson I would want my clients to have as a foundation. It talks about fixed monthly expenditures and how to get more aware of the monthly discretionary expenditures. It talks about the need to address savings AND debt repayment at the same time while keeping in mind that quarterlies are a fact of life. It talks about using cash in the envelope method but updates it to the 21st century with references to Get Rich Slowly, mvelopes.com, mint.com, irs.gov and online banks.
I’m trying to think if I learned anything new from this. Maybe just the link to mvelopes and that I could rename my IngDirect sub-accounts. But that’s sort of the strength of this book: there is no hook. It’s just the plain unvarnished truth laid out in a well-written readable fashion. You have to set up your finances as a self-employed person in essentially this way, with very little variation possible. Essentially, if you are not already doing this then you’re doing it wrong. This book could serve as mandatory financial literacy for anyone who has a variable cash flow. As such, it could be enormously important to someone who hasn’t figured this all out yet… like, say, anyone in business who doesn’t happen to already be a financial advisor themselves.
I could find a few things to add to this, but nothing to take away. And the things I could add are things that a reasonable editor might cut for brevity or to keep me from sounding too insane a Doomster. But that’s okay, this means that I can still add value to my clients even AFTER they’ve read the core of my teachings that this book neatly lays out.
Recommended for anyone who feels their finances are mysterious or out of control or who suffers from a variable cash flow.
Originally published November 10, 2010 at ProsperiTeaPlanning.blogspot.com