1-Sentence-Summary: From Here To Financial Happiness is your guide to having a healthier relationship with money and shows you how looking to the future to prepare for what’s ahead can make you a lot less stressed about your financial life.
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On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the best, how would you rate your financial stability? Is it a six or seven? Or do you, like most people, find yourself down around a three or four?
Face it, you’d love to feel more in charge of your money. And you’re almost certainly thinking about how nice it would be to make more of it. Sadly, though, the actual thought of attaining financial freedom seems like a longshot.
The truth is, although it takes a lot of learning and work, reaching your money dreams is entirely possible. And in many ways, it’s even easier thank you might be thinking.
All you have to do is find a guide to get you started and in no time you’ll be finding out why it’s actually not so bad. That’s where Jonathan Clements’ From Here to Financial Happiness: Enrich Your Life in Just 77 Days will come in handy.
It will teach you all about utilizing compound interest to make more money faster, planning ahead, why insurance isn’t always required, and much more.
Here are 3 of the most helpful financial lessons from this book:
- You need to financially prepare for unexpected setbacks, like losing your job.
- Because of evolution, you’re less likely to plan and more likely to overindulge, but you can overcome this by thinking ahead.
- Lowering your expenses helps your wallet and your health.
Are you ready to finally take charge of your relationship with money? Let’s dive right in!
Lesson 1: Unexpected setbacks are inevitable, so prepare financially for them.
When COVID-19 lockdowns started in March of 2020, my Fitbit showed that my resting heart-rate spiked. All of the monetary worries I was having were showing in real-time! And I wasn’t the only one with financial stresses
Money trouble is one of the biggest anxieties for almost everybody. But if you plan ahead with an emergency fund, you can say goodbye to those worries and their negative effects on your health.
Strive to have three to six months of living expenses saved somewhere that’s difficult to access. That might be a savings account or secure investments.
The biggest setback this is to prepare you for is in case you lose your job. You can usually sacrifice a few things in your monthly budget to replace a broken washing machine or fix your car. But unemployment takes away that budget entirely.
I lost my job in 2019 and I remember how stressful it was to make sure we’d stay afloat. Luckily I had a growing side hustle, but I quickly learned my lesson and now have savings in the bank at all times.
To get started with your emergency fund, look at your monthly living expenses and multiply by three or six to know how much you need. Then put that money into a savings fund and have your checking account automatically make deposits to it.
Lesson 2: Overindulgence and lack of planning are evolutionarily ingrained into you, but you’ll beat this by thinking ahead.
Can you imagine if you had to labor for hours over every little decision? Luckily we don’t have to deal with this exhausting possibility because we’ve evolved the power of instinct.
While this power makes it easier to choose quickly, it sometimes hurts our finances.
Think about how, for example, our ancient ancestors had to search for food at every chance they could. They had to work hard in a time when it was difficult for them to find nourishment and shelter.
Our minds still work the same way, but this tends to make us overindulge and not think ahead very well. Valuing hard work with unrestrained optimism that it always leads to success makes it hard to plan and work smart.
This is why some people get excited about a new business idea only to see it fail due to poor planning.
Instead, look ahead at where your current financial situation is taking you. Make sure you’re well aware of your current expenses. Calculate your fixed monthly expenses like your mortgage. Don’t let them be more than 50% of your total pre-tax income.
Add that number to your monthly taxes and savings to get an even better picture of where you are. Also, check that at least 12% of your money goes to retirement.
Once you subtract all of that from your income before taxes, you know how much you can spend on hobbies and fun.
It might be easy to start a book like this thinking that you’ll get the secret to making millions overnight. The reality is, such a secret doesn’t even exist!
Lesson 3: Your health and financial situation will improve if you lower your expenses.
Becoming happy with your finances is actually kind of a simple process when you look at it more closely. All you have to do is learn the right habits and implement them in your life.
One of those habits is frugality, which is the ability to spend less than you earn and less than you need to. This might mean reducing your internet bill, or not buying the latest phone model.
These actions aren’t all that exciting, and may be difficult, but as Dave Ramsey says:
“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”
If you think about it, you really don’t need those luxuries that everybody else indulges in. It’s what keeps them poor! When you instead intentionally purchase only what you need to, you set yourself up for reaping the rewards of financial success.
Doing this also benefits your health. For one, it reduces the anxiety that comes from living paycheck to paycheck. But what’s more, most unhealthy expenses are also bad for your body, too. Smoking, drinking, and gambling all take away vitality and money.
Adding up how much your bad habits cost you just might be the incentive you need to kick them forever!
From Here To Financial Happiness Review
I usually love reading financial books but I’ll be honest, From Here To Financial Happiness wasn’t my favorite. My least favorite part was when it mentioned that retirement isn’t optional because I completely disagree, retirement is really bad for you and we need to change this societal norm! However, there were still a few great insights that those who are new to financial happiness will find beneficial.
Who would I recommend the From Here To Financial Happiness summary to?
The 55-year-old who is considering buying a brand new car but doesn’t realize it’s a waste of money, the 28-year-old couple that’s constantly overspending, and anyone that could really use a boost in their financial literacy.