What’s the problem with people staying put?

Bad news! People aren’t moving! The April 22 New York Times reported this bad economic news: “The US Census Bureau found that the number of people who changed residences declined to 35.2 million from March 2007 to March 2008, the lowest number since 1962, when the nation had 120 million fewer people.” But what’s wrong with people staying put? We discount the services community provides free for nothing while chasing bigger houses and better jobs

What’s your number?

“How much is enough?” is truly the question of the hour. Enough executive compensation? Enough bailout money? Enough in the budget for pressing issues now that revenues are down? Enough to pay on groceries and still get nourished? Your Money or Your Life provides a tool to concretely answer this question, knowing that once you have that figure, you are free to actually have a life. Lee Eisenberg’s book, The Number, took the world briefly

Fabulously Frugal: Living Well on Less Money

AARP’s April Bulletin served up stories of two FIer couples who live my perennial motto: “I buy my freedom with my frugality every day.” I don’t own stuff, stuff owns me, so it has to earn its way into my life. I do still get “possessed” – but only at the Thrift Store, and that supports a good cause. Now that I am moving, a quarter of my stuff is going back whence it came

Planting Seeds of Prosperity

As I was asking a new client to describe her earliest memory around money, she started recalling how her parents dealt with money. She remembered how often they disagreed about managing their money, how often she remembers hearing her Dad say how “you kids are going to drive us into the poor house”. She grew up in Long Island and was raised in a Irish Catholic family with 9 kids. There was a constant sense

Enough, choice and change

Last week Jerry Wennstrom (an artist of materials and spirit) I spoke to a diverse group linked by their appreciation of my host, Charlie Hess, and of his provocative, interesting and often lucrative advice. One partner in Charlie’s firm, Ken Hey, synthesized the evening well, and I quote from him here: “Enough,” “choice” and “change” …Both speakers invoked some variation of the same questions: “What is enough?” or “What is necessary?” or “Is exchanging life

Iceland warms up to frugality

Marketplace’s Stephen Beard reported on April 3 that “On the brink of financial collapse last year, Iceland is now trying to recover and its citizens are embracing a culture of conservative spending.” He interviewed Sissa, an Icelander whose house halved in value with their crash. She seemed to welcome the country’s swift decline into bankruptcy. “It has been good for Iceland,” she said. When the reporter said with surprise, “The collapse?” she said, “Yes, in

Getting down with the Joneses

Isn’t it more fun to party with your neighbors than compete with them? A blessing of this recession – and a lesson most learn through doing the practices in Your Money or Your Life – is that community awaits with open arms once you let go of the lonely, unwinnable game of trying to impress other people with your stuff. Here are four ways life gets better when we get down with the Joneses:

Getting value and saving money on batteries

Before you shift your attention to something more interesting (like those dust bunnies under your desk), I hope you’ll choose to read a bit on this subject because these tips will save you money and help reduce your environmental impact. As you probably know, most batteries contain mercury which is environmentally toxic. Some stores, like Ikea www.ikea.com, now sell alkaline batteries that contain no mercury or cadmium at all. Best of all, they cost only

Getting value and saving money on car insurance

I was recently invited by the kind folks at the Oxbow Eco-Center in Florida to give a talk on Your Money or Your Life on April 4. My husband and I decided it would be a great opportunity for a family vacation with our two daughters, Elli (6) and Bella (3). Flights were too expensive, so we resolved to drive our 2001 Mazda 626. The only problem is that our car now has 93,000 miles

Coming to NYC, Boston, FL, CA, VA and WA

Vicki Robin and Monique Tilford will be in NYC this week. We’re hosting a very informal meeting on Thursday night, March 26 from 7-9pm in Manhattan. To get the exact details of where we’re gathering, please RSVP to m.tilford@hotmail.com. Our NYC Regional Coordinator Teri Niadna will also be attending. We hope you’ll be able to join us — we’d love to meet you. Vicki and Monique will also be hosting a weekend workshop at the

Ideas from other FIers

Sometimes FIers send us great stories and ideas. Here are three. Tell us yours. Long-time FIers Mike and Linda Lenich wrote: We just finished our Monthly Tabulation for February 2009.  We were very surprised to discover this is Monthly Tab #200.  200!?!??  Wow… 200 Monthly Tabulations already.  And this and the previous 199 Tabs continue to inform and help align our focus.  Each month, there is a new insight, be it one more dot on the Wall Chart that