I'm writing a book to share my knowledge on how to be more financially secure and happy. This will be a cheap e-book over 100 pages.
Most people tend to think they already know enough about controlling their finances, and maybe they do, but there's always more.
If you was reading a book on improving your financial or your families financial situation, what would you want it to cover?
How can I safely, easily get over 3% return on investments?
How to buy a new vehicle at rock bottom price
How to live off grid without going into debt or reducing your energy
This isn't going to be a book about getting rich, but my goal is to help even the most financially depressed quickly improve thier finances and middle class to hold onto their wealth through hard times. Any feedback is appreciated.
I would like to see a small section on citizens involvement in government, because a healthy government makes me feel secure and happy in what finances I do have. Especially one that helps with healthcare for those who need it.
Encourage people to sign on to food stamps if they qualify. It will help them eat better, most farmers markets accept them, and permies! you can even by seeds and plants with food stamps.
Yeah dumpster diving sounds well, I think of pigs mostly. My mother has bough seeds with her foodstamps. I signed up for those downloads. Cashflow and spending problems are in the same basket to me, even rich people have problems with both.
a simpler tax system.
or any tips on how to minimize paperwork while keeping effective track of a business, personal finance, etc. Seems like good habits (and simple ones) are the biggest advantage.
So tips on daily habits, and consolidating related activities in ways that are easy to manage.
e.g. I learned to record transactions in a register; and balance the account monthly or more often if needed. But a joint-account checkbook with debit cards is a pain in the neck to keep balanced.
- cut back to one card so it always travels with the register?
- artificially lower the register balance to avoid overdraft (like setting a clock 10 minutes fast) - one person I know who dislikes math simply rounds up the cents to the nearest whole dollar, so she is 'roughly right,' spends less time and error on subtraction, while creating some padding for little errors / missed minor transactions. Another subtracts $100 after balancing the account, as a way of forcing himself to stop spending when he gets that close to the bottom of the account.
- limit transactions (e.g. take out cash at the grocery, so you can record one big transaction and not have to keep track of every little incidental (cash) purchase. Small businesses like cash too. or discuss budgets before going shopping.)
- create two separate checkbooks/registers, so each person can carry their own register
- play games like dropping a quarter in the kitty for each missed transaction, and spending it as an end-of-year bonus.
- or eliminate checks and registers, and get an instant balance app that you do use? (alternative: record only checks, subtracting them from the bank balance that your app gives you until you know they've cleared)
Dollars vs Happiness:
There's a figure out there for the minimum financial happines threshold: below a certain amount, people with less money are less happy. But above that amount, there is no correlation between amount of money and level of happiness.
I've seen two different studies that put this threshold around 13,000 to 20,000 per year. Just enough to cover actual needs, arguably. It's a reassuring thing to consider. The way I interpret it, if I'm unhappy about money below this threshold, it's worth focusing on making more money to solve the problem. (Or getting help, like the food stamps, if making more money isn't available.)
If I'm worrying about money above this threshold, I might have a spending problem (or a worrying problem) rather than a not-enough-money problem. Of course there are goals I might set that would cause me to target a much higher level of money, or ways I could live where my daily needs are met on a smaller amount.
There's also some mainstream assumptions, like how we handle our debts and what lifestyle is 'normal,' that I think bear some closer scrutiny.
- Debt-relief, or 'jubilee;' when is it appropriate to cancel debts rather than keeping them on the books?
- How do you handle asking for help if you really do have a money problem that's bigger than you can cope with, like a medical debt, a gambling addiction, or a business catastrophe? What are some resources for finding help/options in these situations?
- How do you respond to someone else's financial woes without damaging your relationship? How do you handle loans and debts with friends, gift exchanges, or the decision to draw back from supporting others if there's not enough reciprocity? Does generosity feel like it brings you extra status, or make you feel like a sucker/tool? Do you appreciate gifts of money, or prefer other forms of social exchange?
- What's the individual's responsibility around taxes, national-level budgeting, debt, and defecit - how can we contribute for necessary services we all use, without supporting things we might abhor like debts or nuclear weapons? Is there a social obligation to give more than we receive for the greater good?
- What are some key terms to understand - 'credit,' 'debt', 'debit,' asset, liability, investment, gamble, insurance ... 'rich dad, poor dad' made some points about some high-ticket items might be liabilities (costing you maintenance and tax burden) rather than assets (things that make you money).
- What are the rights and responsibilities involved with 'ownership'? Does owning land or animals mean something different from owning a computer or car? Do people belong to each other / own each other? On what basis do we determine ownership (state / government / private contract / recognition of personal relationship / traditional participation)?
- What are our rights and responsibilities with respect to 'public property' or commonly 'owned' resources like air, water, roads, and public lands?
- What is 'financial independence' as contrasted with 'independent living' (e.g. buying all my own appliances from China so I don't have to borrow my in-laws' washer and dryer).
- What level of reciprocity keeps a society going on faith vs. going into economic siege mode?
- What are some effective ways to save for retirement / prepare for dependents, disability, or old age?