are always asking me how much I'm worth. Well, all I can say is, I've got enough
money to last me the rest of my life. As long as I die in the next 20 minutes.
expert Shoya Zichy
has said that "INFJs are the most frugal of all the types."
to Otto Kroeger, that's
because we're so bad with finances:
practicality, and precision are the banes of their existence. It is
difficult for them to find anything inspirational about something so mundane
as money. As a result they tend to be poor money-handlers. Often
aware of this weakness, they can be conservative and cautious with their
which may be true, but my INTJ
husband is much worse at handling money than me -- and I'm the one who takes
care of paying bills in this family. So I don't know whether Otto's
underestimating us or if he's uncomfortably accurate -- I could make an argument
it has taken me years to learn some simple money management facts, and
I'm sharing the best nuggets I've learned with you here. Unfortunately,
some of it may grate you the wrong way -- there's something about discussing
money that just feels anti-idealistic and maybe downright tacky. But
maturity teaches us that it's something we must confront eventually, so you may
as well brace yourself.
are three ways of thinking about money.
consider yourself a normal, middle-class person with a "normal" income
who wants to preserve and perpetuate that lifestyle, I suggest you investigate David
Bach's values-based finance system. Rather than emphasize retirement funding, which most financial advisors seem to
do as a rule, he views money as a tool for realizing your dreams, and suggests
arranging your financial affairs to align with your values rather than merely
coincide beneficially with your Golden Years.
with that, following Brian
Tracy's advice is worthwhile:
law says that expenditures invariably rise to meet income. The more you
earn, the more you will spend. Even if you double or triple your income,
you will eventually double or triple your expenses and end up no further
success comes from breaking Parkinson's law. Financial success is
possible only when you refuse to allow your expenditures to increase at the
same rate that your income increases.
Here is a
rule that will almost guarantee that you become wealthy over the course of
your working lifetime: Save and invest 50 percent of any increase you
earn in your salary or compensation for the rest of your career.
spend the other 50 percent of the increase on improving your standard of
living. But resolve today to save half of every increase for the rest of
your career. This discipline alone will ensure that you achieve
financial independence, probably several years before you expect.
Here is a
simple five-word formula for financial success: Spend less than you
earn. Spend less than you earn and then save or invest the
balance. This formula can make you rich.
want to offer you a radical view about managing money that I wish I'd learned some decades
ago. You can explore this method of money handling through the title Your
Money or Your Life by Joe Rodriguez and Vicki
Robin, leaders in the voluntary
simplicity movement. What's exciting about this approach is that by
being frugal and investing cautiously, you can actually become financially
independent and "retire" young and even devote yourself to
volunteering for causes you believe in -- a startling and refreshing concept
that I had never grasped before reading this book. But following their
advice does take enormous self-discipline. Here's
how to get rich? Earn more, spend less. That's it! That's the
secret to living a financially successful and stress-free life. There
are things that you can do to help you learn how to spend less. Like
living lightly on the planet, using resources such as recycling and thrift
stores and bartering and communal living and food banks. In this book,
Dominguez and Robin take you by the hand and lead you step by step to
financial independence. It's a very difficult plan to follow, but if you
do, and if you take what they have to teach you to heart, you can begin to
live that life that you have always dreamed of, for less than you imagined.
approach may appeal to Catalysts most because it could easily be described as
"idealistic." And whether you pursue it or not, it's an option
you owe it to yourself to be knowledgeable about, unless the idea of being a
wage slave appeals to you.
other end of the spectrum, here's an approach for people who crave becoming
wealthy, which may be an elusive dream for many INFJs, since it seems to demand from
us skills and perhaps even a Temperament we aren't naturally endowed with.
Nevertheless, here's some plain talk for those who find the concept of becoming
whole wide world of money there are only four major ways of becoming a
millionaire. No matter what your background, you can learn to master one
of these areas.
Accumulating shares of stock, bonds, CDs
Estate: Owning properties
Marketing products, services, or ideas
this the Mountain Range of Wealth. A lot of routes can be taken to the
top of each mountain. ...But for now, realize that you will probably
reach your million-dollar goal with a combination of all four. Suppose
you make a fortune by launching a home-based business. You'll still need
to invest your excess cash in the stock market or other forms of passive
investment. Certainly, you will need to buy some real estate along the
way -- and if you can buy it at wholesale prices instead of retail, it can
make a huge difference.
just be aware of the four major mountains. Make an initial
"gut" decision to choose one mountain -- something that you sense is
going to be your primary investment vehicle. Suppose you were enrolled
in a University of Money. Which of the four mountains would be your
"major"? Which would be your "minor"? Which
mountain interests you the most? Which one scares you the most?
yourself in conversation five years from now. Try these words on for
made my millions in real estate."
made my millions by investing in the stock market."
made my millions in business."
made my millions on the Internet."
seems right to you?
One Minute Millionaire,
Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Hall
chose this excerpt because it was the first time I had ever read a statement
that enumerated and "limited" specific sources for acquiring wealth. (It's nice to know
MLM schemes aren't the only way... ha!) Simply having the field narrowed
down in this way was very useful knowledge for me, although I've decided I
be as singleminded about gaining financial freedom as many books advise (I have
other interests I feel inclined to pursue with at least as much if not more
devotion). If you're interested in
actively pursuing abundant wealth, this is an excellent book to read, and it has
a Catalyst overtone I found appealing. Other books also emphasize
prosperity, wealth, and abundance and encourage the mindset that helps to attain
these treasures. If nothing else, it makes a good case for exploring the
consequences of your relationship with money.
amazing thing is that none of these three approaches I've shared necessarily
excludes the other two -- you can work on all three of them
want to note that my own ability to handle money with facility seems somehow
linked to my individuation process. While I've been frugal and good at
saving money for as long as I can remember (but not to overlook my generosity with
others), my sense that I needed to get a better handle on my money picture
probably developed around the time that my introverted Thinking was beginning to
individuate. Around that phase of my life I tried subscribing to Money
magazine in an attempt to learn about handling my finances more
intelligently. Unfortunately, most of the issues were tossed unread into a
corner. I forced myself to read the Charles Givens books about
money, and they made a huge difference by giving me a sense of self-assurance
about my grasp of money management to the extent that I was able to buy real estate all by
myself. (Sadly, Givens' later reputation precludes me from recommending
those titles to you now.)
my point is this: rather than shy away from the topic of finances, it's
better to confront it head-on and do what it takes to feel competent about
managing and investing your own money. Reading a book on the topic isn't
as daunting as you may think (especially if you seek out the accessible,
well-written titles), and it's critical to feel independent and self-reliant in
this regard. Consulting a financial advisor is a wise course of action,
but exercise due caution of course. I recommend fee-only advisors, and
referrals can be had from NAPFA.
The point is, it's no sign of failure
to have someone else (respectable) managing your money, advising you, or doing
your annual taxes. But make it your priority to oversee what they do, and
be sure you have a sense of confidence that what they are doing is in your best
interest. The topic of money isn't as complicated as some people make it,
and learning a few simple techniques and principles may not make you an expert,
but will provide you with the confidence you need to manage this important
aspect of your life.
not least, take Shell
Tain's free teleclasses on money (you can't beat free!). It's great to
delve into this topic with another INFJ, who helps see behind the cultural
perspectives and what money symbolizes in our lives.
my parting words of advice would be to share the words of Life's
Little Instruction Book, which says, "Buy as much house as you can
afford," and "Buy the cheapest car you can get away with."
* * *