David Bach is the author of Start Late, Finish Rich
, which debuted on the New York Times
Advice bestseller list, the Wall Street Journal
business bestseller list, and the USA Today
business bestseller list. He is also the author of the runaway bestseller The Automatic Millionaire
, which spent fourteen weeks on the New York Times
bestseller list, and was simultaneously number one on the New York Times
, USA Today
, Business Week
, and Wall Street Journal
business bestsellers lists. He is also the author of the national bestsellers Smart Women Finish Rich
, Smart Couples Finish Rich
, and The Finish Rich Workbook
. Bach has appeared twice on The Oprah Winfrey Show
to share his strategies for living and finishing rich, and he is a regular contributor to CNN’s American Morning. His FinishRich seminars are the leading financial seminars in North American, having been taught by thousands of financial advisors to more than half a million people in more than 2,000 cities. He lives in New York with his wife, Michelle, and his son, Jack.
START THE JOURNEY TO LIVING AND FINISHING RICH:
KNOW WHERE YOU COME FROM
You're beginning an exciting journey. What's most exciting about it is that you are in the driver's seat. When you decide to live rich, you're on your way to having the kind of life you want. Getting there begins right here. In Step 1, you're going to put your intelligence, life experiences, and courage to good use by taking a quick and powerful look at yourself and your finances. I'm going to help you think through what's working in your life and what's not. Then we'll discover what you know — and don't know — about your finances. The goal of this first step is to get you revved up and ready to take action. Today is the day you take control of your financial future. As I said in the Introduction, you're going to LEARN IT, WRITE IT, LIVE IT!
As we go through this workbook together, I hope you'll think of me as your personal financial coach. Imagine that we are in your car heading toward your ideal destination: a rich and rewarding future. You're doing the driving and I'm in the passenger seat, guiding you and rooting for you as you discover new truths that bring you closer to your financial goals and dreams. Together we'll get you to where you want to be.A QUICK TRUTH TEST: WHAT IS WORKING FOR YOU?When it comes to money . . .
there are things that work and things that don't work.
I'm sure you already suspect that there's room for improvement in some aspects of your financial life. That's why you picked up this workbook in the first place. In my experience, there are always some things in life that work and others that don't. This is especially true when it comes to your money. Sure, it's nice to know what parts of your financial program are already on track. (You may discover you're in better shape than you think you are!) But it's even more important to acknowledge what is not working financially so you can strive to improve it. After all, until you know what's broken, how can you figure out how to fix it?
The most important piece of advice I can give you as you take the following quiz is to be absolutely honest with yourself. If you don't like your answers, that's okay. It's important to know the truth. The crucial information you'll get from this simple exercise will free you to take action and make positive changes for your future.
Take a moment to assess the following areas of your financial life. You may not know why
each area is working or not, but chances are you have a sense of whether
it is. So for each of the phrases below, simply check the appropriate ending: "working" or "not working."
WHAT'S WORKING FOR YOU?
My finances are...
My knowledge about money is...
My relationship with money is...
My relationship with my significant other and money is...
My ability to save is...
My ability to control spending is...
My control of credit-card spending is...
My credit record is...
My savings are...
My career is...
My retirement account is...
My investment accounts are...
My will or trust is...
My life insurance is...
My health insurance is...
My chequing account is...
My financial file system at home is...
Look over your answers. What do you see? On balance, is your financial situation working or not working? If you are like most people, you probably have more check marks in the "not working"column than in the "working" column. After you finish this workbook, you should take this quiz again. You'll be amazed by the incredible progress you will have made.WHO TAUGHT YOU ABOUT MONEY?
Let me ask you a question: While you were growing up, did you have a good financial role model? Did one or both of your parents coach you about money? Did they talk to you about it at the dinner table, or comment constructively when the mistakes or successes of others came up for discussion? Or was money a taboo subject? In most families, money is never talked about. Many parents will discuss sex with their kids before they will tell them how much they earn. Think back. What happened at your house? Your parents may never have given you a money lesson, but you certainly learned by watching them. I want you to write out the three most important lessons you learned from your parents about money. Keep in mind that these lessons may or may not be positive ones. Doing this exercise may tell you a lot about how you relate to money now.
From My Parents, I Learned the Following Three Things About Money:
Interesting, isn't it? The first time I did this exercise, I was surprised at what I wrote down. One of the first things that came to me was "Money is meant to be spent and enjoyed." My parents started with literally nothing, and as they began to have financial success, they enjoyed it. Yet they also watched their spending. My mom clipped coupons every weekend, and together we would use them when we shopped at the grocery store. I hated this at the time, because it took forever to get the shopping done. But my mom was always proud of how much we saved. The lesson I learned from this is that you can balance enjoying your money with saving it.
Again, it's important to remember that we sometimes learn money lessons from our parents that are negative. If that is your situation, take heart. As soon as you recognize that what they taught you isn't working, you can put it behind you. The future of what you learn belongs to you. That's what this workbook is all about.YOUR MONEY VALUES
As a financial advisor, I specialize in creating what we call a Purpose-Focused Financial Plan™. What this means is that I want to help you discover what your true values about money actually are. Once you know this, you can focus your time and energy on what matters most to you. You'll find that instead of having to "motivate yourself" to make financial changes, you'll be pulled in the right direction by the power of your values.
Let's get started by thinking in general terms about your money values. (Later on, in Step 3, we will take an in-depth look at your top personal values regarding life and money, and create what I call a Value Circle™.) For the moment, I want you simply to write down what money means to you. To do this, finish the sentence "Money is . . ."
Money Is . . .
Notice that these answers are all descriptive words that have to do with what money means
. Now it's your turn. Record today's date above the first column, then finish the sentence "Money is" by filling in the 10 blanks on the next page. Write your answers quickly so that you don't overthink them. You want to record your "gut responses."