I read an article today about Danny Kofke. He’s the author of the book: A Simple Book of Financial Wisdom. In the article, Danny talks about how he and his family live on $40,000 per year. There really wasn’t any new information or advice on how he does it but it’s definitely worth reading.
A few things caught my eye in the article. Danny says, “… if broke people are making fund of you and laughing at your ways, then you are doing something right.” Amen. I’ve had many people tell me I’m a cheapskate over the years and speak critically of my story’s about finding good deals or saving money on cable and things like that. It used to bother me but now I actually love it when someone criticizes my frugality. Danny is right, it does mean you’re doing something right. It’s not an accident that some of the loudest critics to living within your means and minimizing your spending on things have been the first to find themselves in very difficult situations during this recession.
The other thing that really got my attention was when I started perusing the comments. As of this writing there were over 5000 comments on the article. Many of these comments were very toxic and negative. It seems that there are a lot of people in this country that cannot believe a family of four could make it on a $40,000 a year teaching salary. Others were accusatory and pointed out that they only way he could possibly swing this was with the generous government healthcare and benefits. Is Danny supposed to apologize for making $40,000 a year and taking the benefits that are given to all the teachers in his area? I don’t think so.
I also related very well to Danny’s comment that he finds living below his means is the toughest rule he follows. We all get the temptations to spend money on things and he uses a 24 hour breather to keep himself from being too impulsive. Once the 24 hours has passed, if he still has the desire to buy something, he talks it over with his wife. By using this approach, it takes some of the emotional aspects of the purchase away and lets him be more objective.
So, as you can tell by my post, I think this is both very doable and also admirable. The reality is that more people need to figure out how to live on less than they are living on today. Everyone’s situation is different and it’s really important to look at your own situation and see what it takes for you to live below your means.
Finally, Danny Kofke’s book is up on Amazon. It retails for something like 12 bucks so pick it up if you get a chance. It will show you how to:
* Raise a family of four people on $40,000 a year or less
* Invest for your kids college education and your retirement
* Teach your kids how to manage money
* Live a happy and full life with little money
* Track your spending easily
* Build an emergency fund of $5,000 a year
* Get all your debts paid off
Pretty solid for 12 dollars.