Money Tree

I recently came across a book in an Op shop by Noel Whittaker called “Making Money Made Simple” and thought for $1, why not?  Expecting a dry old tome about financial markets for high income earners, the book was instead surprisingly easy to read and offered lots of good advice that can apply to anyone.

From experience, most artists survive from one sale/commission/grant/exhibition to the next by working in another industry, or having a supportive family.  The previous post was about exploiting our own IP (intellectual property) as a way of making another income stream, but how about planning for the future?

Artists are great at making what looks like a large amount of money, and then nothing for long stretches of time, so it’s either feast or famine!   Bills pile up in between so when the money does come in, it goes straight out again.  This way of living isn’t conducive to putting money aside for emergencies, let alone for a comfortable future.

Whittaker starts by saying that it doesn’t matter how much money we make, everyone makes a different amount and still has trouble living within their means.  So the problem isn’t how much money we make, but spending up to that amount.  The problem with spending all we make is that there is no money for emergencies, and we end up borrowing to pay bills, which then sets up a cycle of debt.

Whittaker’s solution is to retrain our way of thinking.  Set a percentage of our income aside for paying down debt, emergencies, savings and retirement as if we were paying a bill.  Direct debit from our account as soon as we are paid, so the money isn’t there to spend.

Instead of just drifting from one pay to the next, we are told to set goals.  To actually think about what we want to achieve financially and then follow the steps to achieve it, one at a time.  He introduces the idea of  growing your own money tree by starting small, for example 10% each pay, and then investing that amount as it grows.

He suggests prioritising paying down debt that isn’t a tax deduction as quickly as possible, then direct debiting the payments into a separate account as soon as the debt is paid so it is kept aside for saving.  Any extra amount paid on a debt reduces the amount of interest and speeds up the term of repayment.  The money that would have been lost over time is now working for you.

He talks similarly about renting versus buying a home.  In Adelaide it’s still possible to buy a unit for under $200,000 or a house under $300,000.  It seems a lot of money, but not when you consider the amount that disappears in rent each week that could be paying a mortgage.

There is another section on borrowing for investment but I thought the most useful advice was about how to pay off debt and save.  There are chapters on various forms of investment and the advantages and disadvantages of term deposits, property investment, shares and trusts, all in easy to understand language.

Whittaker repeats throughout the book, that the amount of money isn’t the issue, but the discipline to save, even a small amount, each pay.  He suggests drawing up a budget and taking on small jobs to make extra money, such as newspaper delivery or cleaning, to emphasise that every little counts.  The book ends with advice to people at all stages of life, so the message is it’s never too early or late to start growing your nest egg.

Making Money Made Simple

The Great Disruption part 2

Continuing on from the last post, The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding, the author examines what will cause an abrupt rather than slow end to global economic growth.  Through our denial of the fact that we are using more resources than the earth is capable of sustaining, we will continue to fight the inevitable.

The Great Disruption: How the Climate Crisis Will Transform the Global Economy Continue reading The Great Disruption part 2

The Great Disruption

My Dad recently passed on a book called “The Great Disruption” by Paul Gilding.  While I’ve read articles and listened to arguments about the impact of man-made global warming, finite resources and over consumption,  I’ve never thought about how all these events will come together to impact on life as we know it.

The Great Disruption: How the Climate Crisis Will Transform the Global Economy Continue reading The Great Disruption

More Inspirational Books

Vivienne Westwood (V & A Publications)

Vivienne Westwood (VA)

This beautiful book was written by Clare Wilcox, curator of the highly successful, international travelling Vivienne Westwood V & A exhibition.  Published in 2004, it documents 33 years of Westwood’s evolution to (who I think is) the most influential contemporary fashion designer in the world.  With large colour photographs grouped in the order of each major collection and insightful commentary including a Forward, art direction and quotes throughout by Westwood, this is a must have for any dedicated fashionista.  I’d love to see a follow up for the next 10 years. Continue reading More Inspirational Books

Maurice Sendak

Very sad to hear about the passing of the great author and illustrator Maurice Sendak.  I’m not using the word ‘children’s’ because his books are as appealing to adults.  The best pop-up book ever, Mommy (or Mummy? here in Australia) with Arthur Yorinks, is inspiration for our Continuity Ritual exhibition.

Mummy? Continue reading Maurice Sendak