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Monday, November 23, 2015

Financial Freedom by Greg Kesten

I have to admit that, as I read this new book by Greg Kesten called Financial Freedom, I wasn't prepared to actually learn anything NEW.  I mean, after all, the hubby and I are pretty decent with money and while we are not very good at actually following a budget, we are very, very good at creating one!  We do it nearly every January.  (And then promptly quit following it by February).  Really though, I kind of felt like we knew what we needed to know about Finances and Budgets.  I felt smug in Chapter 1 when Keston discusses the Haves vs Wants.  We discuss this concept with our kids all the time.  But- I was surprised to discover by Chapter 2 that we needed to have something called a "financial vision."  Hubba-Wha?

Kesten describes a Financial Vision Statement as "a positive, passionate description of your financial hopes, bringing them into the present."  Ok...so he had us there.  Our "financial vision" was usually something like "get out of debt."  Pretty vague, nondescript and certainly flat with no passion or hopes.  This the the first thing that we will want to change!  Having a goal that makes sense and is emotionally charged creates a sense of ownership that I don't think we have had before.

The author goes on to address how to do an honest assessment of your current spending habits.  This may require you to "face your fears."  I believe many people may be embarrassed to really analyze your current out-going cash-flow.  One time we sat down and looked at our receipts to really see where our money went and were mortified to realize that we spend hundreds on eating out!  (I am very much to blame since I am the one who should've been cooking!  Ugh!).

Keston discusses net worth...YOUR net worth.
This is calculated using this formula:

Total Assets - Total Liabilities =Net Worth

Finding this figure demonstrates your "financial health" and gives you a target to work toward.  Keston describes this number as "getting on the bathroom scale after the holidays."  Hahaha...  No...I'm not going to share mine.  Don't ask!  =O
To get this number into a healthier range the book offers myriad suggestions.  Not falling into the comparison trap, how to increase your cash-flow, how to recognize a spending addiction (how to get over it!), and much more.

I really enjoyed this little book!  It is smaller than an average paperback and only about 100 pages but it is bursting with great financial advice!  I personally think it would make a great stocking stuffer for anyone this Christmas or a wonderful gift for a high-school or college graduate!

You can purchase the book as either an eBook or paperback on Greg Kesten's financial website.

Also:  The Financial Freedom website is FULL of great video presentations, a bio of Greg Kesten (he was a missile launcher in the Air Force!), and his blog.

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge from Shadow Mountain in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own.  Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A month gone by.

Its crazy how fast time flies when I'm busy and not paying attention.  Halloween has come and gone with girls dressing up as Robin Hood and a Gypsy.  They got a LOT of candy at our church's Trunk-or-Treat!  

We also went to the Spooky Symphony put on by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra...it was great!

The conductor was channeling his inner viking.  

We also took advantage of more Halloween fun and the girls participated in the Trick-or-Treat around the square...  It was really neat to meet so many of the local business owners.


Then we headed out to Texas to meet my new nephew Milo
 (and to pick up Gramma and bring her back with us!)
We stopped at the newly rebuilt McDonalds in the Sky which is always neat.

 We took turns loving and hugging on the new baby...


 While in Texas we just HAD to make a stop at the Half Price Books flagship store.

It had a Vault!

 It was so HUGE!!!!

 While Gramma was here we took the time to pay a visit to Silver Dollar City.

 And to console ourselves right after she left we decided to put up the 
Christmas tree (only a little early).  :)


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