Category : Self Development

Personal Finance : How To Take Control of Your Financial Future – Starting Now

Personal Finance - Financial Freedom

Why does an article about personal finance find a place on a blog about living your dreams?

Well, most dreams are fueled by money. Or at least you’ll want financial security first before you rush into a headlong pursuit of your dreams. After all, an army cannot march on an empty stomach!

When I started my career after finishing post-graduate medical school, my monthly income was around Rs.10,000 (that’s approximately $225). How do you start from that point, and reach one from where it is possible to envision a secure future with passive income that covers your estimated needs, while leaving you free to follow a dream project that itself requires a significant amount of funding? And do it within 15 years?

I won’t kid you. It isn’t easy or quick. It did take some discipline, some learning and some sacrifice. But not a lot. I didn’t have to live like a hermit, or count pennies over everything.

In a nutshell, I followed 3 simple guidelines.

1. Live within your means

2. Save regularly

3. Invest wisely

Let’s talk about each in a little more detail.

Live Within Your Means

In his book, “The Art of Money”, P.T.Barnum quotes the Charles Dickens’ character Mr.Micawber as saying:

“Annual income 20 pounds, annual expenditure 19 nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income 20 pounds, annual expenditure 20 pounds ought and six, result misery.”

It doesn’t quite matter how much you make. When you live within your means, you’ll be well and truly on the way to growing rich, even if only slowly.

I’ve followed a simple method that’s based on using envelopes. At the beginning of a month, based on our budget for various planned expenses, we put money into different envelopes, each labelled with the purpose for which it is intended – like ‘household bills’, ‘groceries’, ‘eating out’, ‘car’, ‘entertainment’ and so on.

By forcing ourselves to stay within the self-imposed limit for every category, we’ve done something only few people manage to (but every wealthy person I know does) – which is to stay out of debt. Borrowing becomes necessary only when your desires exceed your capacity. That’s when debt seductively appeals to your emotions, sucking you into the quicksand of financial instability.

But frugal living does NOT mean being stingy, or adopting a mindset of scarcity. No. That kind of life is no fun at all. Frugal living is about having the discipline and control to say “No, not now” to an impulsive purchase – but figuring out a way to afford it soon.

The easy lure is to reach out for a credit card, or take out a mortgage, or borrow the cash, and then indulge that craving right away. By resisting the temptation to do so, you’ll find it easier to meet your target for the next principle, which is to…

Save Regularly

It doesn’t matter how much you save, as long as you do it regularly. A good figure to aim for is 10% of your income. If that sounds too hard, start with 5%, or maybe even 2% – and then work your way up to 10%.

Here’s a simple way to make sure you have enough money to save – set it aside first. Yes, BEFORE you spend any of your income, put away the amount you’ve decided to save. Some people call it “paying yourself first”.

And if it’s possible to save even more out of your earnings, that’s great. You’ll get to your desired target for savings even faster.

What’s that target? It will depend upon your personal needs and lifestyle, your plans for the future, your age and health, and many other things. More importantly, it will depend upon what you do with the money you save.

In general, there are two ways you can make more money. The first is to exchange your time for money, which means you must work harder (or longer) to earn more. The other is to put your money to work FOR you, earning more from itself.

And the way to do that is through investing your savings.

Invest Wisely

The word ‘invest’ may excite some, scare others, and leave many simply confused. There’s so much hype and drama around the term that a novice to the world of personal finance might be forgiven for simply throwing up his or her arms and giving up.

But don’t. I too was a novice at investing 15 years ago. But I realized even then, with very little to actually invest, that it was mandatory to learn how to do it – and do it well.

Educate yourself. Read some great books about investing. There are investment options that fit any style, risk profile and budget. Pick the ones you find most relevant and practical for yourself. Make sure you really understand what you are investing in.

For instance, I do hardly any real estate investing. That’s because I don’t understand or know much about it. But I invest heavily in the stock market. I’ve studied books and courses by various experts like Warren Buffet and Ben Graham, Peter Lynch and Jhunjhunwalla.

Once you’ve learned enough, invest cautiously and see how it works for you. As you gain experience, you’ll feel more comfortable investing larger sums, and in slightly riskier ventures. It’s just like how exercise strengthens your muscles. Investing makes you a better investor, as long as you learn lessons from every transaction.

The Snowball Effect

When you apply these 3 guidelines in your financial life, the effect is like a snowball rolling down a hill. It’s small to start with. But as it progresses on its journey, more snow sticks to it. The ball grows bigger, and moves downhill faster. As it gathers momentum and gains mass, the tiny snowball becomes an irresistible force that packs an enormous punch.

That’s what will happen to your finances too. Each of the 3 components – living within your means, saving regularly and investing wisely – will make your savings swell and grow huge… until, in time, you’ll find yourself the proud and happy owner of a nest egg that’s robust enough to take care of your expected needs.

At that point, you are financially FREE. Passive income will cover your requirements. You will have all the time and energy you need to focus completely on your dreams.

Ultimately, that’s what money and wealth are really about.

Setting you free to live your dreams.



My special report, “How To Be Rich – Simple Secrets To Get Financially Free & Start Living Your Dreams” goes deeper into the 5 easy ways you can set yourself firmly on the road to personal wealth and security. Learn more about this – click here

How To Be Rich - Simple Secrets To Get Financially Free & Start Living Your Dreams


Words of Encouragement – Vol.1

Words of Encouragement Vol.1 - Best of Money Power Wisdom
   Words of Encouragement – Vol.1

    A Hand-Picked Compilation of the Most Popular & Powerful
    Messages About Living Your Passionate Purpose

              Words of Encouragement - Best of Money.Power.Wisdom Vol.1

    Money.Power.Wisdom has been published since 2007. 

    Over this time, I have written over 150,000 words in 350+ blog posts.  After sifting and sorting through all this content, I compiled this collection of just twenty of the most popular and powerful posts – and called it…

The Best of Money.Power.Wisdom – Volume 1


Some posts are over 2,000 words long.  Others are barely 50.  All reflect the essence of this message –

“Live Your Passionate Purpose”

Here’s what you’ll find in Volume 1 of this “WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT” collection…

  • 3 precious lessons I wish someone had taught me while growing up – but am delighted to have learned now
  • Why it’s so important to get really good at things – and the rest doesn’t matter all that much
  • How to slow down amidst the rush and haste – and smell the roses, watch the rain, or smile at a child
  • A little known secret method to make things count – by imagining that there’s only little left of them
  • The provocative question to ask yourself – and answer in a way that’s right for you!
  • A tiny shift in perspective that will ensure that you’re always a ‘winner’
  • Effective ways to deal with critics and others who pull you down – so that you can soar to your true potential
  • 5 powerful lessons an important man in my life taught me – by the way he lived!
  • 7 ways even death can be purposeful
  • A ‘call to action’ geared to get you off your backside – and doing what you want to… right away
  • Keen insight into what makes your role in life so vital – and how to make a difference in your world
  • How to overcome dogma and tradition to follow your heart – and the magic of what happens next
  • Amazed that the rich aren’t always happy, the famous always at peace?  Here’s the reason why – and how to avoid the trap yourself
  • A refreshing viewpoint that will transform the way you view your life – and make every new day a magical experience
  • A kick in the pants to jolt you out of the past – and on the fast track to embracing your future
  • Reflections on what life really means… and how much it will matter many years later
  • Analyses of what makes us feel wealthy, busy and happy – with prescriptions to get you out of any mental ruts you’re in

… and a crisp advisory for life, summarizing the most valuable messages I’d leave the world with.

If I only had five minutes to live, this is what I’d tell my daughter!

As you can see, the “WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT – Best of Money.Power.Wisdom Vol.1” edition is loaded with value.

But it won’t be priced high.  You’ll pay just $9.95 for the entire collection.

Best of Money.Power.Wisdom - Vol.1

Not sure why you should buy it?

You don’t have to.  Just browse the blog.  Almost all the words of encouragement are right there.

Of course, it might take a while to go through the entire archive.  And there’s a chance you’ll miss one of these golden nuggets.

That’s why I’ve packaged these “Words of Encouragement” into this volume.  To save you time and keep you from missing out on any of them.

Get your copy here for $9.95
Words of Encouragement Best of Money.Power.Wisdom - Vol.1

For a limited time, I’m throwing in a surprise bonus gift for the first 50 buyers.

And if you’re not completely delighted with what you get, I’ll refund your money – so you have no risk at all.

Once you order your copy and make a payment, you will be taken to a download page where you can collect the digital copy of your “Words of Encouragement” ebook which contains the 20 posts.  There is nothing to ship or send out.  You get access instantly and can be reading the “Best of Money.Power.Wisdom – Volume 1” within the next 5 minutes.

Words of Encouragement Best of Money.Power.Wisdom - Vol.1

Words of Encouragement Vol.1 - Best of Money Power Wisdom


Or browse them right on the blog for free… click here


Winning The Race

At the end of this story, ask yourself a question:

“Which is the important race to win?”

It was a Sports Stadium.

Eight Children were standing on the track to participate in a running event.

* Ready! * Steady! * Bang !!!

With the sound of Toy pistol, all eight girls started running.

Hardly had they covered ten to fifteen steps, when one of the smaller girls slipped and fell down. Bruised and in pain she started crying.

When the other seven girls heard the little girl cry they stopped running, stood for a while and turned back.  Seeing the girl on the track they all ran to help.

One among them bent down, picked her up and kissed her gently and enquired as to how she was.  They then lifted the fallen girl pacifying her.  Two of them held her firmly while all seven joined hands together and walked together towards the winning post…….. .

There was pin drop silence at the spectator’s stand.

Officials were shocked.

Slow claps multiplied to thousands as the spectators stood up in appreciation.

Many eyes were filled with tears. And perhaps even God’s!

YES.!! This happened in Hyderabad, India, recently!

The sport was conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health.  All these special girls had come to participate in this event.  They were spastic children.

Yes, they were “Mentally Challenged”.

But what did they teach the WORLD?



Equality among all?

Successful people help others who are slow in learning.  So that they are not left far behind.  Sadly, we often don’t… because we have brains !!!!

So tell me… in your opinion:

Which is the important race to win? The one in the stadium?  Or the one in Life?”

This is really a great message… Please share it with a friend.

(I received this as an email from my friend, and thought it a fantastic meme to spread through my blog, too)



Any worthwhile achievement in history has been made at the cost of a sacrifice. In time. Of assets or resources. Even people’s lives.

“Take what you want, and pay the price” says God – Spanish proverb.

In a nutshell, one can sum up the concept of sacrifice thusly…

Give up something. Make sure it is valuable. Be seen to give it up.


Making a Sacrifice Means That You Care

About something. Enough to give up something else.

Success in career comes at the cost of a life of ease and pleasure roaming the world. Raising happy, healthy children involves an investment in time and attention. Growing a thriving crop needs sustained hard work up front in tilling the land.


How Big Is Your Sacrifice?

Giving up your first born at an altar to God was the supreme sacrifice we read about in mythology. In ancient times, farmers sacrificed their fattest cows and goats and pigs to appease what they saw as an angry Nature.

In general, the bigger your dream, the more you should be ready and willing to give up to reach it.


Does Anyone Care About What You Sacrifice?

This only matters when you care if anyone else sees what you’re giving up. (In many cases, that’s completely irrelevant.) But let’s say you do.

I could stop drinking tea for a day, and call it a sacrifice. A fellow tea-drinker would realize how big a deal that is… but not others.

For a bigger mission, the sacrifice must be broader based, one that others will understand – and appreciate.

For a “Heart Kids Blogathon“, I stay awake for 24 hours straight, updating my blog every 30 minutes, and doing it on Twitter too.

Thousands of people watch, participate and tell friends about it. Behind all this interest lies a sacrifice.

A relatively small one, in contrast to the really big ones that are made by families of the kids I treat for congenital heart defects. But a sacrifice nonetheless.

And my small sacrifice is to spend a day every year, spotlighting these real heroes in the journey of life. To show them off to you. To share their inspiring energy with you. To give you the same treasure I’ve received from them… the ability to trust that

DREAMS COME TRUE – If You Believe In Them With All Your Heart


Feeling Intensely

intense feeling

Today is different. Ever since waking up, I’ve been feeling things differently.

More intensely.

It started first thing in the morning. Being disturbed early on a Sunday morning by bright sunlight streaming in through half-drawn curtains, the buzzing of a mosquito in my ear, would regularly leave me annoyed. Not today. I felt happy – that I have a roof over my head, a net to guard me from those tiny ‘marauding monsters’, and the gift of a new day to enjoy.

When I sat down to a breakfast of left-over macaroni and cheese, I didn’t feel vaguely dissatisfied or yearn for something tastier, fresher, healthier. Instead, I felt grateful – that there’s food on my table, and that I’m well enough to eat it, taste it, relish it.

The sight of my uncleaned car would typically irritate me, the act of giving it a hurried wash performed with distaste and in a rush. But today, I lingered over it, feeling joy – that I have a car (with a full tank) to drive to work.

As I wove my way over pot-holed roads, zig-zagging and swerving to avoid gaping voids in the tarmac, I didn’t curse and lament as usual. Not this morning. I was happy – that there was a road to drive on.

Stopping at red lights, always guaranteed to generate a frisson of frustration, didn’t change this overall mood either. I saw it as a symbol of a framework that allows peaceful, streamlined co-existence amongst thousands of my fellow citizens, the alternative to which is chaos and bedlam.

At hospital, I was examining my little patient who had heart surgery last week – and felt a rush of deep satisfaction for the work I’m involved in, mixed with a deep gratitude for having a healthy child of my own.

All this intense feeling about things I had taken for granted until today was because I realized, very poignantly and bluntly, how fragile things are in our Universe.

In Haiti, last week, there were people who had similar things – and they no longer do. Thousands aren’t even alive. Millions would gladly switch places with me – or you – without any hesitation.

And yet, how often have we felt intensely about what we have, what we are, what we could become?

Shouldn’t we feel intensely more often? About more things?

1 41 42 43 44 45 46