I read a lot of books to gain knowledge about personal finance. Many of the books generally focus on the basics of money management, budgeting and investing. When I started reading Moolala I thought the book would follow the same theme as many of the other simple personal finance books. I was surprised to find that the book focused less on the things I’ve listed, but more on personal planning, self-motivation, and the emotional side of personal finance.
It became apparent that Moolala wasn’t the book that would teach you the practical side of personal finance. It didn’t give a step by step guide of what to do and what not to do. What the book did really well was focus on the person reading it. It was all about self reflection and taking the time to really think about your own personal goals. This gave the book a bit of a refreshing spin. Though I wouldn’t say it would belong in my encyclopedia of books to keep, there were some very strong points that were outlined in the book that I think everyone should really think about when it comes to personal finance.
One of the lines that really resonated from the book was when it talked about accountability. Ultimately who is responsible for your own personal finance. Thank about it. It’s You! The book states that “accountability is about you being the one to make results happen”. When I read this line it really stood out as something that really captured my attention. Ultimately we as individuals make things happen. No one can physically force us to do anything unless our brains tell us. Taking control of your own personal financial situation is no different.
The book makes a strong argument that the sole reason why we don’t take action on our own personal finances is because of one thing: fear. It’s fear that stops us from making change. It’s fear that makes us fail in our endeavors to right our own financial situations. It’s fear that stops us from learning the truths of our behaviour. Ultimately we don’t want to know the truth because we don’t want to be accountable to ourselves.
As we reach adult hood, I’d like to think that on a financial level we reach a level of maturity where we understand that on a daily or even hourly basis we are making trade offs for one thing over another. The author makes a good point, of how, as children, we see the world and want to try or know everything. Generally these demands are always met, since parents are always willing and obliging.
As adults, we realize that there are finite resources for unlimited wants. There will always be an urge to want something, but as adults we have a responsibility to make a judgement to determine whether it’s indeed necessary or not. With personal finance it’s actually quite the same.
As the author notes, we make trade offs for income. We decide whether we want a balanced lifestyle or work harder and longer for the money. This is a sacrifice we choose to make. We make trade offs in expenses. Do you buy an expensive cell phone or take a vacation instead? We make trade offs in our education. Do we avoid personal financial matters just because we are ignorant or fear the topic? These are all valid observations that the author makes about individuals and their personal financial matters.
The author of the book made many anecdotes of people’s dreams and how a lot of them never came to fruition. Some of those dreams might have been unattainable. Heck, I always wanted to be like Bill Gates and be filthy rich, but the chances of that happening were slim. The point the author made was to reflect on that dream and think about what trade off would be acceptable that would still be acceptable. Can that reflection be used on your own personal financial situation?
For example, it’s hard to create the next Microsoft or Apple company, but would it be suffice to actually have your own business employing 50-75 employees yet making a reasonable profit for yourself running a business?
From your own financial standpoint, would it be suffice to achieve financial independence where you can live your current lifestyle without the need to work? Or must you live life like the Prince of Arabia?
This isn’t to say all your financial goals should be crushed, but as we live our lives, there are other events that may happen that are more important that we need to adjust to.
I really like the quote used in the book. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — no absence of fear” – Mark Twain. We prevent ourselves from accomplishing our financial goals because we fear failure. It’s much easier to do nothing, or get someone else to do it because then we can blame them. Ultimately, your goals can only be achieved by yourself. Actions speak louder than words.
This book is really about reaching out to the emotions of the reader and the perceived nature of personal finance. I would definitely say that the strategies outlined in this book are not necessarily the best examples, but for someone who wants to wrap themselves around the notion about thinking about personal finance, then this book might be for you.