Money is a very mysterious thing. Many people don’t have it, many want it, those who have it struggle to keep it. Often money is what attracts people to one another, and the absence of it is one of the reasons people divorce.

We are seldom taught about money. If do we get taught about it, it is often from a tools perspective. How to budget, if you want to retire at 45 years, this is how much you must save etc. It’s all about the mechanics of money.

All this is okay, except our money problems are not lack of knowing how to calculate or workout your budget.

Our biggest problem with money is the psychology around money. We are not taught about how to behave around money. We don’t know how to control our feelings around money.

Our levels of emotional wellbeing is highly dependent on the level of our bank balance. We are excited and uncontrollable when we have plenty of it and we are depressed when our accounts empty.

In this book Morgan Housel shares a couple of nuggets on what we need to understand about our feelings and money.

Here are some of the tips:

  • Ordinary people with no financial education can be wealthy if they have a handful of behavioral skills that have nothing to do with formal measures of intelligence.
  • Financial success is not a hard skill, it is a soft skill.
  • People who have control over their time tend to be happier in life.
  • Getting money, and being able to keep that money are two vastly different skills. Getting money requires action, taking risks, being positive. Keeping money requires just the opposite skills – playing safe, being fearful, and a lot of inaction.
  • Wealth is what you do not see. House, cars, vacations, etc is not wealth. Assets, investments that have not yet been converted into houses, cars, and vacations define your wealth.
  • Rich is the current income. Wealth is income not spent. Wealth is hard because it requires self-control.

There are too many nuggets in the book to mention is a single blog post.

Housel provides examples that explore the strange ways people think about money and teaches you how to make better sense of one of life’s most important topics.

Someone can be rich, live lavishly and still not be wealthy. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley is another great book that describes those that live less lavishly and are wealthy because they live within their means, save and thus achieve wealth. When we have wealth, we can control our time and time becomes the currency. It provides you with an opportunity to use your money in the ways it benefits you.

Ranking

8/10

I highly recommend this book. We are all surrounded by money in one form or another, but we have very little understanding of our emotions around money.

The thing about money and emotions is that if we cannot control our emotions, it is going to be difficult to control money.

Favourite quotes

“When most people say they want to be a millionaire, what they really mean is “I want to spend a million dollars,” which is literally the opposite of being a millionaire.”

“If your expectations grow faster than income, you will never be happy with your money.”

“Your savings rate is the difference between your income and ego.”

“Spending money to show people how much money you have is the fastest way to have less money.”

“Financial success is not a hard science. It’s a soft skill, where how you behave is more important than what you know.”

“Use money to gain control over your time, because not having control of your time is such a powerful and universal drag on happiness. The ability to do what you want, when you want, with who you want, for as long as you want to, pays the highest dividend that exists in finance.”

“Independence, to me, doesn’t mean you’ll stop working. It means you only do the work you like with people you like at the times you want for as long as you want.”

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