A book for rednecks
This is my first attempt to write reviews about lesser-known financial books. This one in particular is special to me as it was written by a friend. Richard Headrick is quite the interesting man and he has written a number of books. My favorite thus far is “A Rednecks Guide to Financial Freedom”. Yup that is correct. For all of you Rednecks out there this is your book to find financial freedom. You can consider it “Red” Fire as opposed to the blue fire for all of you cool cats out there.
The best part is that Richard wrote this book because he saw how individuals were wrecking their futures. They would take loans and gamble or buy stuff. He learned that “debt is a demon that will destroy if you don’t know how to handle it”. He knows from personal experience too, almost losing everything in 1990 due to some business shortcomings.
So on with the book. The book does have a religious (Christian) bend to it. So just an FYI. It is filled with great Redneck Proverbs such as:
- Spend less, Have more!
- Commonsense don’t cost you nothing, but you still have to use it!
- Bad habits can break a man, but a real man can break a bad habit
The book is broken down into various chapters similar to other personal finance books. Here is what it covers.
How’d yo git in this mess in the first place?
This chapter covers just that, how did you get yourself in this mess. Richard discusses how you can fix your frame of mind. You may be broke now but with some planning you can stop feeling sorry for yourself and aim for the stars. Learn self discipline, think positively, and you can improve your situation.
My favorite quote in this chapter is “Two men looked through prison bars, one saw mud, the other stars.”
What’re you doing right now to succeed financially.
This chapter is all about having a budget. As is commonly said in personal finance, “If you don’t know where are you now, you’ll never get to where you’re going.”
Stop the bleedin’
Another great quote is “He who borrows sells his freedom”. Richard covers how to negotiate everything.He recommends calling creditors and asking for deals to get out of debts quicker. Sell your unnecessary and pay off debts!
My favorite part of this chapter is his discussion on how bad habits, such as smoking or alcohol, are costly. For instance, smoking 2 packs a day ($6 bucks in California), that will run you at least $360 a month – more then a fast food burger based on this article (http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article115202063.html). He also discussed a FIRE favorite, which is driving affordable cars and hitting up thrift stores.
Dont obligate yerself to more than you can afford
My quote in this chapter is “Never want for something you can’t have, then you can have everything you want.” Pretty wise words and a good way to be content (see post here). It is not uncommon in this country to buy things we want instead of what we need. We say we need the big screen, but we actually just want it. Self-discipline comes into play again. Control yourself and you will come out ahead.
Break your bad habits like alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, sports/recreation, and food/dining
It ain’t gonna happen
You can’t win at gambling or beat the system. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Richard wisely points out that if gambling is so beneficial to the gambler, then why are there so many pawnshops in casino towns.
Build your Barn First
Spend your hard-earned dollars on “tools of your trade” rather than on life’s pleasures. By making self-sacrifice early, you will be set up for big reqards later in life. This is true for many of the Early Retirees like Mr. Money Mustache and The Financial Samurai. Not to mention the original Early Extreme Retirement.
Dont Spend yer raises
This chapter covers a little thought of fact. That when you get a $50 raise or bonus, you still have to pay taxes. So after taxes you may only have $35. Now once you get that raise, if you go and buy a tv, spending $49 a month then you are short changing yourself by $14. Instead, if you use that money to pay down debt you will put yourself in a better spot.
How to build yerself a nest egg
Richard covers some key points such as:
- Don’t spend on unnecessary things or foolishly. (Beware of sales!)
- Don’t buy stuff just because you want it and don’t use credit cards frivolously
- The dangers of credit cards and the good and bad of compound interest.
- He also discusses buying less expensive but high quality items.
- And my favorite- To live moderately, not lavishly (I discuss it here).
Become a knee-go-she-a-ter
Negotiate every single price like I discuss here. Ask for a discount on everything and don’t give up.
Then he rounds it up with:
Be the bestest bargain hunter
What’s schoolin got to do with success
Hard work is what leads to success. Not necessarily education.
What about yer young’uns?
Family first, stuff last- that’s all that needs to be said
So there you go. The best personal finance book out there for both Rednecks and other colored necks alike. What do you think? If you are interested in getting a copy click here and I will make a few cents. Thanks to Richard for giving me a copy of this book about 3 years ago!
Also published on Medium.