A Radical Homemaker’s Take on Investing

I received a phone call recently from someone in the media, who introduced himself by way of exclaiming “Is it true that you have a family of four and live on less than $45,000 per year? And if so, how is that POSSIBLE?” I answered his questions, then hung up and ran my latest financial numbers. Turns out I’d lied. This year’s figure was less. MUCH less. Bob doesn’t lovingly refer to me as his “Cheap Mick Wife” for nothing. Soon after, I received an email from a reader who had just come into an inheritance from her mother. She wanted my advice on how to invest it responsibly. My first reaction, of course, was that I’m the wrong person to ask. I’m definitely not an expert on how to spend money. I’m an expert in how not to spend money. I looked over at my financial calculations scratched on the back-side of a post-it note (yes, even they get re-used). It’s definitely been a tough year for cash flow, but it certainly hasn’t felt like our family has been living on so little money. We have a lovely home, we eat well, we have lots of fun, we’re warm, and we don’t worry about how we’ll keep the lights on. For me, that should be the objective when investing money. Our culture typically instructs us to think of investing in terms of generating interest, so that we’ll have more money, so that we can invest more money, and eventually have a higher income as a result. It assumes a continual growth of the economy. Bob and I don’t believe ou

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