I have read a number of books on personal finance over the years because good money management is a key to happiness – it’s hard to really be happy when facing an endless mountain of debt. When I read Money – It’s Not Just for Rich People from Janine Bolon at SmartCents there were few really new concepts. Much of the financial advice is based on earlier works such as Your Money or Your Life, which I had read previously.
There was one major new principle though which goes beyond simple math and into the karma of financial decisions. That’s the 60/40 principle. I’ll leave the details to the book, but it was completely unique to find a book which acknowledged that financial success or failure is not exclusively tied to how much we earn and/or spend, but also to how we spend. Though she makes no reference to it, the sentiment is not unlike the invitation to:
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. (Ecclesiastes 11:1)
If you want a real path to financial independence – something more dependable than winning the lottery – I recommend picking up this book. It distills the principles into a memorable formula and tells the truth about financial independence – it requires discipline in your spending habits and an accurate understanding of the difference between needs and wants.
So what does a book about personal finance have to do with conservative politics? Aside from the fact that all conservatives are either rich business people, stupid enough to think they can get rich, or just plain old ignorant bigots (tongue firmly in cheek), not much except that the principles of personal financial success and the principles of sound government seem to be equally misunderstood by the public at large. Also, I agreed to do a review on this book and it’s been a long time in coming.