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Sporty and I have been living a debt-free lifestyle for somewhere in the region of eight years now.
Prior to that we lived pay cheque to pay cheque. As fast as the money came in, it went back out again.
We had bills to pay and more stuff to buy. Priorities.
For most people, personal finance runs the gamut between tricky and downright hieroglyphical.
For Sporty it’s the former, for me it’s definitely the latter. I’m a words and pictures kind of person, numbers have never really done it for me.
Back in the day, being in control of your bucks amounted to stashing your cash under the mattress. Nowadays, it’s a little more complicated. You need to make sure your money does more than just sit there. And that’s when things get tricky.
You only have to look at these examples of trading to see just how complicated investing your money can be. They lost me even before they started putting brackets inside brackets.
The annoying thing is that this money stuff wouldn’t seem like such a bewildering and convoluted affair if we’d been taught the basics of personal finance in school.
TED Talks to Motivate and Inspire a Debt-Free Lifestyle
If we’d seen these TED talks a decade ago, our financial woes might not have been quite so woeful. My hope is that watching them will either save you from a similar fate or help you dig your way out of the mess you find yourself in.
[Watch] A Minimalist Approach to Personal Finance
Matt D’Avella —director of the award-winning Netflix documentary Minimalism— graduated college in 2010 with $97,000 in student loan debt and promptly went out and bought a brand new car.
As one does.
His advice? Avoid lifestyle creep, don’t buy into the myth of “I don’t have” and figure out your financial why.
Books Matt Recommends:
[Watch] Let’s Get Honest About Our Money Problems
A Certified Money Coach and author of Money Detox, Tammy Lally says that struggling to budget and manage finances is common. Unfortunately, talking honestly and openly about it isn’t.
Her advice? Break free of “money shame” and stop equating your bank account with your self-worth.
[Watch] An Honest Look at the Personal Finance Crisis
A lot of Baby Boomers are having a tough time financially. They don’t have enough savings and they’re struggling to find work. Elizabeth White is one of them. Her story serves as a powerful motivator for staying out of debt.
Her advice? Cut back, small up, think strategy not failure, get off your throne and find the bridge work to get you through the lean times.
If you’re in your fifties and sixties and haven’t saved enough to retire, Elizabeth’s book Fifty-Five Unemployed and Faking Normal will help you navigate the emotional aspects of where you’ve landed.
Containing over 100 online resources, it’ll also help you figure out what steps you can take to steady yourself enough to go another round.
[Watch] One Life-Changing Class You Never Took
The founder and CEO of LearnVest, Alexa von Tobel is on a mission to bring financial literacy to women. If you’re about to graduate college this talk is a must watch. However, no matter what age (or gender) you are, you’ll find it useful.
Her advice? Follow a budget, negotiate your salary, have an emergency savings account, be debt-free and save for retirement now.
Alexa has written two books on the subject: Financially Forward: How to Optimize Your Digital Wallet and Financially Fearless: The LearnVest Program for Taking Control of Your Money.