#SmartMoney | 19th Oct 2014

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This has been by far my busiest week since taking up the Yakezie challenge and starting the blog at the end of August, due largely to the RealVision TV interview which was broadcast recently.

And in those few short weeks, I have been delighted by the kind comments and the generosity of everyone who visits – it’s a steep learning curve as a blogging noob, but everyone I have asked for advice has been only too willing to help out and to offer the benefit of their experience.

I have also had the opportunity to meet a lot of genuinely inspirational people who are committed to making the very best of their lives (and to helping others through their knowledge and experience) by tackling their debts, by investing in their future, and by achieving financial freedom.

As usual, this week’s #SmartMoney blogs are just a small selection of the many great financial posts I had the opportunity to read during the week, but they caught my eye and each one of them gave me food for thought. I hope you enjoy them too.


Free To Pursue

On the Frugal Fringe this week, Free to Pursue discusses the sanity of people who spend thousands of dollars on a diamond engagement ring when the only reason we consider diamonds are a girl’s best friend is because of clever marketing by De Beers 75 years ago. It’s very clever when you think about it – if there is no demand for your product, create one!

And personally, I find it amazing how easily we are suckered into emotional spending by the advertising world, but it’s taken for granted that a diamond ring is pretty much the *only* way to propose, isn’t it? And really it makes no sense at all that a soon-to-be-married couple would willing bury themselves in debt before starting out their married life… for a see-through stone.

Of course, it must be incredibly hard to buck the trend — particularly if you’re the guy suggesting the cheaper, more sensible option — but I for one would prefer to save money on a flashy rock and put it to an amazing honeymoon, or better still, to put it towards a down-payment on a house or an apartment: which says “commitment” more to you… a diamond or a family home?

Jacob, My Personal Finance Journey

Jacob Irwin @ My Personal Finance Journey

Jacob at My Personal Finance Journey caught my eye with his post about the pros and cons of being your own boss entitled Why Being Your Own Boss Can Be Kind Of… Lousy, and his discussion about why working for yourself is STILL better than the 9-to-5, despite the lack of holidays, the pressure to succeed and the “multiple-bosses” problem.

I count myself extremely lucky that I was raised in a household where both my parents were self-employed, so I have seen the downsides at first hand – the lack of holidays, the lack of free-time and weekends – but the rewards outweigh the costs and self-employment still appeals to me more than working for a company. What about you?

Kim Parr, Eyes On The Dollar

Kim Parr @ Eyes On The Dollar

And finally this week, Kim Parr at Eyes On The Dollar wrote an interesting piece about the way spending too much money on unnecessary toys & trinkets can impact your retirement plans.

It’s all about putting your spending into perspective of course: if money were no object then we’d all have fancy cars and fancier homes with wide-screen plasma TVs and Caribbean holidays twice a year, but that sort of lifestyle isn’t sustainable for most of us because we have to live within our means. Unfortunately a lot of people see their credit cards and overdraft facilities as a part of those means, and they’re not — they’re debts and you need to pay ‘em back!

As Kim points out,

“A huge reason people stay in debt or can’t save money is that they live too much in the present. While it might be fun to finance that huge flat TV to watch football this winter, what is that worth in retirement years?”

Have a great week!