Recipes for financial freedom

2014-12-21 17:00

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Maya Fisher-French reviews The Wealth Chef by Ann Wilson

Most of us are what Ann Wilson, the author of The Wealth Chef, describes as “TV dinner money cooks”. A small amount of our income trickles into investments – such as an underfunded retirement fund – but most of it is poured out into expenses and debts.

“These are the same people who get up every day, work hard for their money to get it to flow into their lives and then let it all pour out of their expenses drawer, pumped out by liabilities,” Wilson writes.

“They work for everyone except themselves. They work for the owner of the company where they work, for the bank to pay off their mortgage and loans, and they work for the government, giving the taxman the first four to five months of their earnings.

“Then they work for the retailers, giving them whatever money is left over, for a whole bunch of stuff they don’t need.”

Wilson’s book provides strategies on how to change from being a TV dinner money cook into a “wealth chef”.

Unlike a TV dinner money cook, a wealth chef understands the power of money to create freedom. Wilson describes wealth chefs as people who “eliminate all consumer debt from their lives and at the same time invest in things they understand such as straightforward stock market trackers, which provide the opportunity for realistic returns over the long term, as well as in solid investment properties, which return a positive cash flow from day one”.

She adds: “Wealth chefs make financial freedom their priority and pay themselves first by ensuring money flows into their ‘asset drawer’ first. They understand the power of money invested over time.”

Using a cooking analogy, Wilson provides readers with a plan on how to achieve financial freedom – a plan that includes cooking tools, recipes and menu plans. Her “financial freedom feast” menu is a step-by-step guide to financial freedom, starting with “course one”, where you reach “absolute zero” through settling your debts; and end with “absolute abundance” as the seventh course.

By now you have accumulated a net worth that provides you with sufficient income to do virtually whatever you want to do, whenever, wherever and with whomever you want to do it.

The book is based on Wilson’s experience of becoming a financially free multimillionaire in just eight years. The book provides practical steps on how to get your money on track. It certainly is no quick fix, nor does it reveal any great investment secrets because, ultimately, successful people all have two things in common – they don’t spend more than they earn and they invest in growth assets.

As Wilson discovered in her journey, financial success is 80% about the person and only 20% about the technical skills. Getting your finances in order takes time, effort and energy, but not doing so will “suck energy, enjoyment and pleasure out of your life, as well as prevent you from living the life which you are born to live”.

If you are looking for a get-rich-quick guide, this is not the book for you. But if you are serious about turning your finances around and for your money to start working for you, the book will provide you with the motivation and tools to turn yourself into a wealth chef. The rest is up to you.

5 Key wealth cooking tools

Wealth scales – your income statement. To measure how much you are earning and how much you are spending. To become a wealth chef, the income statement needs to be bigger than the expenses.

Wealth scales – your balance sheet. To measure your net worth – are your liabilities (debts) greater than your assets (investments)?

Wealth sieve – your big why. Have a clear idea of why you are starting this journey and use this to filter your financial decisions. It will also provide you with a mission statement to help you stay on track.

Wealth obsession magnet – your financial freedom vision. Imagine what your life will look like when you reach true financial freedom – write this down.

A study of Harvard students between 1953 to 1973 found that 97% of people who wrote down their goals achieved them, compared with just 34%

of those who hadn’t.

The wealth health certificate – your credit score. Understand and clean up your credit record.

The wealth money tip

Write these questions on a little card and each time you are about to spend money, run through them:

.?Is this supporting my financial freedom or not? .?If I choose to buy this, will it fill my “wealth pots” or empty them? .?Does this support my “big why” or take me further away from my dreams? .?Will this money choice help me?

To win one of three copies of The Wealth Chef by Ann Wilson, SMS us on 34263 and tell us your New Year’s financial resolution.

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