Monthly Archives: April 2008

Book notes: 30 Days to a Simpler Life (and paperbackswap observations)

Now, I’m normally very skeptical of self-help titles. There are a lot more than people need, a lot of overlap between them, and only a few are truely great. 30 Days to a Simpler Life by Cris Evatt and Connie Cox is a book from a decade ago I picked up used from Amazon. I picked it up after a positive mention on one of the blogs I read, though now I forget where.

Basically it’s 30 short chapters, each with a task to do for that day, then a lot of other advice about simplifying your life, decluttering, etc. It gets a bit new-agey and granola in parts, going as far as suggesting (twice!) those shower filters that remove chlorine from your water, and at least once suggesting that you can wash your clothes with just water and no detergent. But, aside from that, it’s a nice set of suggestions in a fairly short book. Some of them are ideas I’d already put into action, having become rather opposed to clutter and other wasteful things like that in the past couple years. Others, I think I want to try.

As far as paperbackswap goes, I mailed 6 books on saturday and I have 7 more to drop in the mail tommorow. I think my total cost for shipping a book is $3 to $4. Not bad considering I can get a book I want in exchange, and the selection is a lot better than when I looked at it a year ago. For comparison, the very cheapest used books from amazon are a few cents plus $3.99 shipping charge. But, also, it’s really nice to get rid of books I don’t want in an easy way that also gets them to people who want them. (Better chance of that than when dropping them off at a library or Goodwill.)

Book notes: The Middle-Class Millionaire

I’ve been reading a ton of books lately, many of them which I’m likely to read just once and then get rid of (with or other means). I am not necessarily going to write a full review for them, but I think I’m going to start posting my notes from each of them.

The Middle-class Millionaire by Russ Alan Prince and Lewis Schiff is an interesting bit of market research, somewhat similar in form to The Millionaire Next Door, though it is a little bit more focused on depicting a particular demographic.

According to it, there are a lot of people with 1-10 million in net worth (including primary home):
Most of them have kids.
Most of them are still working.
They work crazy hours.
They’re into all sorts of life coaching and stuff.
They like all sorts of things that make their lives easier, including things that reduce a lot of the hassles around medical care.
They like fractional ownership (of vacation homes, RVs, etc.)

Ways for people to get there:
Put your values into action with consistency.
Consider money important.
Work hard to better yourself and your situation (not just working hard).
Find a way to get your self in the flow of money.
Focus where opportunities are strongest, don’t diversify too much.
Play to win.
Adjust attitudes toward risk.
Fail and keep trying.
Network with financial goals in mind.
Invest in coaching.