I am awful about managing my finances.
This simple fact means that no matter how hard I work, and I work hard, I still haven't fulfilled the financial goals that I've been putting on my vision board year after year.
While the easy solution would be to get a raise or a higher paying job, the fact that I do not know how to properly manage my finances is still a problem. It's the reason why I have a financial advisor, it's why I opened up to my significant other who has taken the challenge of educating me. It's partially why the highly recommended book, "Rich Dad Poor Dad" caught my attention.
One of the biggest lessons I learned is to focus on investing in my 'asset' column.
What is “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
This book, or should I say audiobook, is one that I found on YouTube. My original intention was to purchase it, but I figured the first step of my financial education would be to save that cash and perk up my ears instead. I would listen to this audiobook during my commutes to and from work with my Apple AirPods. While this meant that I wasn't 100% focused on the book, the month of August was hectic and chaotic and I didn't want to keep delaying my financial education.
Robert Kiyosaki uses a storytelling format to infuse the lessons of financial education throughout the book. He starts by saying he was raised by two fathers (one his own, the other was his friend's dad), and shares how the lessons each one of them taught him made him more aware of the value of money. While the majority of the lessons he shares in his stories are from his 'rich dad', he does mention his own father's teachings from time-to-time.
This storytelling aspect is what kept me entertained and hooked on the audiobook. Without it, I'm sure I would have 'clocked out' when it came to absorbing the lessons.
What I learned from Rich Dad Poor Dad
Being wealthy isn't about how much money you make, but it's about how much money you keep
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph of my blog post, one quick way to increase my finances is by making more money. However in the long-term, if I don't learn how to manage that money, I'll still be stressing about all the bills I need to pay, as well as, never being able to reach the financial goals I've set out for myself.
The thing is a lot of us, including myself, exchange time for money. This means for 'x' amount of hours worked, I get 'x' amount of money. This means that if I suddenly stop working, then the money stops flowing. So if I break my other hip, I'll be in a world of pain, both physically and financially.
The secondary problem is even if we find a way not to exchange time for money, such as creating some sort of passive income, there are still other ways that we 'lose' money.
Taxes, which increase for every dollar we make.
Expenses, which increase as we purchase items (liabilities) to "better our lives", some examples are nicer cars, newer technology, etc.
I know that both of those above points have stopped me from keeping the money that I work so hard to earn. Every time I think I have an awesome year, taxes come around. I also know that I'm prone to talking myself into purchasing nice and shiny things, such as a new iPad for my art, or a subscription to some new app.
In other words, I'm very bad at saving money or investing it wisely.
Mind Your Business
At first, I was a bit confused by this statement. It sounded rude, and as someone who loves the idea of a collaborative community, it rubbed me the wrong way. However the phrase 'mind your business' was being used to emphasize the previous point of investing into assets as opposed to liabilities.
There were plenty of examples given, but here is an example of, 'mind your business' that I could think of.
While you may work as an accountant at an accounting firm, the firm is not your business, thus at the end of the day, you need to focus on building your own business.
Ultimately Robert is pushing the idea of entrepreneurship into the reader, which can be a path to freedom for some. No matter the career path, whether it be a high-paid medical doctor or an accountant, they mind everyone else's' business instead of working on their own.
What I liked about Rich Dad Poor Dad
Robert Kiyosaki is a wonderful storyteller. He's able to seamlessly weave the tales of his younger years with the lessons he wants to impart on his readers. His reading feels like a cozy reading session, but it is actually a highly educational reading session. While I wonder about the ratio of truth to tall-tales, I spend most of my time just enjoying the stories for what they are, educational lessons.
The 'Common Sense' Logic
While for most it may seem like 'common sense' to build your asset column as opposed to purchasing liabilities, it's a lot harder to have that concept seep into your mind. The majority of Robert Kiyosaki's book is all about reiterating the same few lessons, but they are important lessons that someone with my level of financial knowledge needed to be reminded.
It's almost embarrassing how simple some of the lessons are in the book, but they are things we don't take into account in our everyday lives. I know I don't.
Importance of Hard Work
Whenever I pick up books in the entrepreneur and self-help industry, I sometimes feel that these authors make success sound easy. It’s like when people tell others that someone only got to the top due to luck. However Kiyosaki emphasizes that, “the road to wealth is long, so you must keep yourself motivated”. There are so many people I know, including myself, that go through periods of laziness and then we whine about how we haven’t reached our goals.
To become successful in anything, work is required.
What I also liked was that Kiyosaki didn’t just emphasize hard work, but he also emphasized ‘smart work’. He acknowledged that work is only one half of the equation to success (and wealth), the other part is your knowledge. It’s important to work hard, but you need to use your time wisely and make sure that some of that knowledge you have is financial knowledge, not just lessons learned from school.
What I didn’t like about Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Not knowing if the stories are true
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is wrapped up in a narrative that Kiyosaki learned his lessons from his rich dad and his poor dad. However as I was doing my research on this book, I have read some rumors that the story told was mostly to help teach the lessons but the events told in the book may not necessarily be true. It’s a minor detail, but after reading the book and being attached to the tales told, part of me feels a bit hurt to know that all the lessons I learned were based off of tall tales instead of wisdom.
Not having enough action items
While I enjoyed listening to this audiobook while I was at work, I didn’t feel like I had enough things to-do to implement the lessons learned. The best way I learn is by implanting and doing, so the fact that I took a more ‘passive’ approach to listen to this book instead of actively reading it could be affecting my feelings on this.
Resources for Rich Dad, Poor Dad
If you are interested in learning more about Rich Dad, Poor Dad and the concepts discussed in the book, here are a few resources to help you out:
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki book on Amazon
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki audiobook on Audible
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki audiobook on Scribd
Scribd.com a book, audiobook, and journal service that enables you to read online.
The Rich Dad Channel on YouTube