I think this statement by Suze Orman really was what got ME started on the path to better money management.
"Money is a teacher. One of the primary ways you learn who you are is through your money: how you make it, spend it, share it, save it, open your hands to it or block its flow."
A lot of you have asked if Dave Ramsey was my financial guru so to speak. He isn't. However, I would definitely recommend you read his book, it will certainly inspire you to become debt free and look at money in a different way. Simple Mom also has a great overview of his 6 step plan to Debt-free Living. I have read a lot of financial books recently - some by Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey and David Bach. The books that I thought fit ME the best and really hit home with ME were:
Your Money or Your Life
Smart Women Finish Rich
Smart Couples Finish Rich
Women & Money
A lot of you asked, why do you care how much money you spend - you seem to have plenty of it? Well...Without disclosing our ENTIRE personal lives on this blog or copies of our tax returns :-), I will say we can do better. We are very lucky to have 2 successful businesses, a beautiful home that has appreciated over what we purchased it for, little debt in the grand scheme of things and money to pay the bills and travel. Having said all of that (and being very grateful for that list), we aren't very good at saving. We are however very good at traveling and Sam at the age of 4 has been to more countries than either Will or I had until we were in our 20's.
We are after 4 things with our enhanced focus on saving more and spending less.
1) Spending less on s%*t we don't need (new home furnishings when the ones we have are great, new mt. bikes when the ones we have work fine, etc) and using that money for other enjoyments and pleasure - mainly travel. Finding that balance between saving for the future & having great LIFE experiences (now, not later) is a goal of ours.
2) Spending less in order to save more for the future. We don't want to work until we are 65. Retiring early doesn't just happen magically and since neither of us have a trust fund to retire on, we need to SAVE for this grand early retirement plan of ours.
3) Spending less in order to have less stuff - Less stuff to deal with, take care of, put away, etc. After spending the last 10 years bringing MORE stuff into our lives (cars, bikes, trailers, books, furniture, kitchen appliances, art, paintings, etc.) we want to spend the next 10 downsizing. We are on a mission to de-clutter and part with anything that isn't useful or wanted in our home.
4) And last, but not least, to teach Sam that $ does not in fact grow on trees. :-)