Lirik Lagu Sinopsis Film Gaya Hidup
Blackberry LG Mobile Nokia Samsung Sony Ericsson
Klasemen L.Italia Klasemen L.Inggris Jadwal Liga Italia Jadwal Liga Inggris
Resto Enak di Jakarta Resto Romantis di Jkt Hokben Delivery Bakmi GM Delivery PHD - Pizza Hut
Senin, 19 September 2011 | 01.08 | 0 Comments

The Simple Dollar: “Review: The Real Cost of Living” plus 1 more

The Simple Dollar: “Review: The Real Cost of Living” plus 1 more

Review: The Real Cost of Living

Posted: 18 Sep 2011 01:00 PM PDT

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years.

The Real Cost of LivingMost of us, at some point or another in our lives, end up having to make a fundamental choice between more money or doing something that’s deeply personally important to us.

The choice to be a stay-at-home parent.

The decision to continue to live in an area where you’re unhappy living just to chase good pay.

The impact of an expensive hobby or habit that we don’t want to give up.

Does money win? Or does life win? These types of decisions are the focus of Carmen Wong Ulrich’s The Real Cost of Living. The book is broken into sections focusing on specific areas of decisions that we have to make in our lives.

The Real Cost of Home
The opening section establishes the format of the book. Each of the larger sections is broken down into smaller sections that address one major decision that people have to make between financial costs and personal costs. For example, Ulrich takes a serious look at walking away from a home mortgage. It might be a good personal choice, but is it a good financial choice? If you don’t care about borrowing a dime for the next several years, it might be. Otherwise, you’re probably better off finding another route than just walking away from a painful mortgage.

The Real Cost of Marriage and Divorce
If a marriage is in a rough situation, is it better for all involved to just get a divorce and start over? Depending on the marriage, it might be, but many contested divorces wind up with only one real winner: the lawyers. The best way to avoid this is to have a strongly-written prenupital agreement so that if the marriage goes on the rocks, you have a plan to follow that doesn’t destroy either one of you financially.

The Real Cost of Family
While there were many sections on the cost of having children, the section that really resonated with me was the challenge of dealing with parents as they age. How much financial burden should the children take on in this situation? How much is fair and right? So much of this hinges on the personal side of the equation: your values, your relationship with your parents, and so on. It is an intensely personal choice, one that Ulrich offers some good advice on if you’re thinking through it.

The Real Cost of College
Ulrich’s suggestion here is that if you don’t clearly have a career plan that doesn’t involve higher education, you should dive into some form of higher education in an area that interests you. She evaluates the ins and outs of going to college immediately versus waiting and seems to come down on the side of education.

The Real Cost of Bad Habits
Simply put, few “bad habits” are worth the net cost they introduce to your lives. We’re not just talking about the initial costs of the purchases. We’re talking about the long-term health costs and personal costs that come from a bad habit. Many people think that this all falls under substance abuse, but anything you’re involved with that eats up too much attention and money is a danger to the balance of your life.

The Real Cost of Being Your Own Boss
I can speak from experience here. It’s stressful in a completely different way than an ordinary job. I once believed that it really wouldn’t be stressful at all – after all, I’m picking my own hours and own tasks, right? However, I’m also responsible for my entire method of income, which means hard work and dedication in areas I never anticipated. Being your own boss means creating your own revenue stream, too.

The Real Cost of Credit Cards
Unless you’re paying off the balance in full each month, the costs of credit cards almost always exceeds the rewards. The interest rate on most credit cards is simply financially punishing. For the slight benefit of getting something now rather than later, you’re accepting a bill with a frighteningly high interest rate that will just siphon more and more money out of your pocket the longer it goes unpaid.

The Real Cost of Saving
The cost of saving money is that you don’t have the ability to spend it now. Instead, you have to have the willpower and the desire to hold onto it for a later date. Of course, you’ll often find that when that later date comes, you’re incredibly glad you have that money.

The Real Cost of Investing
The costs of investing are similar, except that you’re often also taking on investment risk. What’s the benefit? It’s probably the only way many young people will have adequate savings for retirement. Without a healthy set of retirement investments, you’re going to be banking on Social Security, and that’s something I’d never bank on.

Is The Real Cost of Living Worth Reading?
The Real Cost of Living does a great job of reviewing some of the challenging balances people have to make between personal needs and financial needs.

It’s not a book that provides a “system” for you to follow or an overarching method for getting yourself into great financial shape. Instead, it’s more of a problem solving book, one that can help you think through a specific dilemma you might have in your life and your finances.

Check out additional reviews and notes of The Real Cost of Living on

What Are Your Priorities?

Posted: 18 Sep 2011 07:00 AM PDT

A few weeks ago, I was reading a yet-to-be-released personal finance book. At one point in the book, the author suggested that I make an actual list of my priorities. What is the most important thing in my life? What are the key things that follow it, and in what order?

An aside: sometimes I receive prerelease copies of books from authors who hope I’ll say something kind about their book so that they can put the quote on the back cover as a selling point, and I don’t give a good quote unless I’ve actually read the book and liked the book, so my quotes are fairly rare.

After thinking about and editing the list a few times, my list looked something like this:

1. My marriage
2. My children
3. My spirituality and faith
4. My extended family and close friends
5. My health
6. Writing
7. Reading / learning new things
8. My community / politics
9. Other hobbies

I could keep going for a long time after this, but this is roughly what my list looked like.

The author offered up several thoughts about this priority list, but one thought kept running through my mind as I looked at this list of priorities that I’d made.

Every single significant problem in my life comes from situations in which I violate this list of priorities.

What do I mean by “violate”? I simply mean that I make a choice in which I take something of importance away from a higher priority and give it to a lower priority.

For example, if I were to stay up too late with some old friends and this causes me to sleep in too late the next day, missing something that my children wanted me to attend, I feel horrible.

Another example: if I spend too much money on my hobbies, it can impact something that I want to do in the future with my wife and children.

Yet another example: if I eat out (notice how this isn’t even on the list) too often, I won’t be able to afford a book I really want to read.

Now, one could take this to extremes and state that every action, by default, must support one’s highest priority. I don’t think that’s necessarily true at all.

Instead, it’s simply a call that I need to make sure that my higher priorities are covered before I do something involving a lower priority.

Is spending this evening with my friends going to keep me from doing something I need to do tomorrow with my wife, my children, or my spiritual life?

Is spending two hours kicked back and reading going to cause me to skip the exercise I need for my health?

Will this hobby purchase really provide enough for me to reduce the amount I can save toward our next family vacation or for the house my wife and I have always dreamed about?

Again, it comes back to a basic truth: every single significant problem in my life comes from situations in which I violate this list of priorities.

When I violate it with my money choices. With my time choices. With my attention choices.

What are your priorities? How do you handle things when something with a higher priority comes into conflict with something of a lower priority? What really wins? What’s really the priority in your life?

Copyright Terjago © 2010 - All right reserved