This is a piece of embarrassing personal information. But still, I will share it since it is relevant to the context of the book I’m about to discuss – “Money What’s Left What’s Right: By the Accidental Millionaire” written by “Dhanashree Bhatkal.” Some time back, I broke down in front of my journal. My brother rushed in to check if I was okay. He works as an accountant, and he could clearly understand all the numbers and crisscrosses in my journal.
I had to open up to my brother about my struggling financial situation. My employer had not paid me for the last 2 months. I’m a freelancer who works on per project basis. Often the invoices take about a month to clear. My payments for the last 3 projects were pending with the employer. On top of that, I was chided by a family member for not having any savings when in reality, I had loaned him a large sum of money in the past, and he had never returned it. When I reminded him about it, he would often counter with – “That was a long time ago. I will definitely return it. Don’t you have any savings after that?” I had also loaned a small amount of money to one of my friends, who was not responding to my messages or picking up my calls. Though it is a small amount, if I had that money with me, I could have managed my daily expenses at least for a few days.
“You must get control of your money, or the lack of it will forever control you.” – Dave Ramsey
I broke down because despite working hard and having the best intentions for the people around me, I was always broke. And the same people I helped or confided in, ridiculed me for my financial choices. They scolded me for trusting other people with my money. And contradictorily, guilt tripped me to spend more money on my family or loved ones, calling me a miser. One of my family members summed it up in the most brutal way:
“Mol(daughter), you will never be rich. You only know how to work hard and make money. You don’t know how to save it.”
I took the above line as a challenge. I refuse to believe it. To be financially stable and independent is one of my important goals for 2023. While I make the hard daily choices towards that goal, I can definitely relate to the author of this book when she says, “Money problems are never about money.”
Many factors can stop us from making intelligent financial decisions
– For people like me, one of the biggest challenges is to make financial decisions based on logic and not out of emotions.
– Financial education is indispensable. As the writer says, “the reason why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer – lack of financial education, no access to correct advice and not being able to dip into the right opportunity.”
– We might even have to break away from our traditional or stereotypical thought processes that stop us from getting rich. For example, in my village, whenever a person becomes rich quickly, there are always these rumors that they might have used illegal means for it. We must acknowledge that in this world, it is possible to get rich in a short time without resorting to illegal means. Content creators on Youtube and stock traders are good examples of this.
I would recommend this book to anyone like me who is struggling with the emotional aspects of financial management. For a person like my brother, who is already making financially wise decisions without falling prey to his emotions, this book might not add more value. People like him should opt for serious financial books about stock trading or investments. This book is ideal for the beginners and amateurs like me who are still struggling for financial freedom and fulfilment.
A few quotes from the book:
“Money can buy (almost) everything.”
“Financial freedom is to generate, manage and retain money, and utilize it in the most optimal way to lead a healthy, joyous and happy life.”
“Money metabolism is two things. For one, it is how much goodness and value you can create in your life with every unit of money you spend. Second, it is the unit of your time and energy that you expend in order to generate each unit of money.”