Episode 18: Getting Excited About Saving - The Passion Savings Mindset and Methodology Part 2 with Rob Bennett
Getting Excited About Saving – The Passion Savings Mindset and Methodology Part 2 with Rob Bennett
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Announcer: This is part 2 of a two-part podcast. If you like part 1, you will find it at www.personallifemedia.com.
Mark Michael Lewis: Welcome to Money Mission and Meaning: Passion at Work, Purpose at Play, where we explore how we can integrate our personal values and professional skills to create pleasure and profit in the business of life. I am your host Mark Michael Lewis, CEO of Smart Energy Enterprises Incorporated, CEE, Inc., a beautiful feature now, maker of SmartPower™ Smart Energy Drinks.
Today’s guest is Rob Bennett, the author of ‘Passion Saving – The Path to Plentiful Free Time and Soul-Satisfying Work’, a brilliant new way of approaching we spend and save money such that we are actually inspired to use money to purchase the freedom and choice that you really want through saving.
So, join us as we term ‘what it means to save on its head’ and learn a new perspective that will transform your relationship with money forever. But first, a few highlights from the show.
Rob Bennett: [Highlights]: You ultimately of course you have to fund your [xx] to retirement. That the key is got to get started. You don’t want to wait until your 60 to start doing it. If you start saving at 25, so what’s going to [xx], by the time you get the 65 you are going to be settled. You’re probably going to be settled on before that.
So, on a very small amount of money, you can live a very good lifestyle but you are not going to believe that by hearing it on one radio program, you know, it’s really a sort of [xx] that only comes from working the numbers. You have to get started and then these insights would come to you as you return to the numbers on a regular basis [xx] to get deeper and deeper into your consciousness.
Mark Michael Lewis: So Rob, as we continue from my last show I want to see you can really impress them with the shift in perspective with your work on passion saving represents. It’s just amazing to me that in all of the years that I have been studying this, I have never heard this particular way of putting it and how much it opens up.
Rob Bennett: Mark, thanks for saying that. And I do agree with what you are saying. When I was writing the book, I will tell you, there were moments when I would… you know, you write something out, I would say the chapter you mentioned ‘The Three Reasons Not to Save for Your Old Age Retirement’, I wrote those words down and I said, “you can say this”. [laughs] “Oh, you can put this in your book”. And I made the decision, I looked at it and I put all the arguments down. And I said, “can I say it?” then I said, “Now, what?” “I have to say it” because all the arguments… the case is there. No body else have said it. It needs to say. I’ll tell you what I think happened.
What people don’t realize is the concept of an age 65 retirement is a fairly recent development. That concept came to popular in the 1930s. What happened is, you know, during the depression, the government was trying to think of ways of getting the economy moving and they adopted social security, so that when people reach 65, they could stop working, and before that the standard saying for the middleclass worker was you didn’t retire at 65, you retired when you were too old to keep going’. OK? So the full concept of retirement is fairly new and I think what happened is the first idea that I know people has had is what is it people should say for this if [xx] for retirement. And that is sort of the first think that is on your head, but you don’t want to be [xx] to when you are old. But, then what happened is we started making more and more money, so that now we are much richer people and it doesn’t make sense for today’s economy to be making that your primary goal. You ultimately of course, you have to fund your old-age retirement. But the key is you got to get started. You don’t want to wait until your 60s to start doing it. If you start saving at 25, for what’s going to happen to you [xx] 30, while by the time you get the 65, you are going to be settled. You are probably going to be settled long before that and we are people in our community, they retire 40 – 45, there are people out there in the world doing this. And part of the reason I was able to develop a lot of ideas that have been written about in the literature is I started years before I wrote the book, talking on discussion boards. But, the real life people doing it, [xx] to reach all these people. There was no way to reach them before. So, [xx] in all different countries, you know, all different ages, all kinds of employment, but there was no way to connect with them. But now, we have a way to connect with them, and our discussion [xx] people that do this and I have spoken to thousands of them. And every story is different, because they all have a different goal. But, every story is similar in that they all are excited about saving. You don’t find people retiring at 45. They think saving is a drag and a pain. So, that’s the common theme. So what I am trying to do is, say, how do we get what the people who are succeeding, how do we take what they did. And put it into terms with all the other people that are missing out, understand it.
Mark Michael Lewis: Right. And [xx] it’s not ‘Oh, here is a goal that Jo, John, Marry, Smith did’ and you can fit into their goal. No, it’s ‘what’s your goal, what’s your passion, and how can you begin to think about your passion, the thing which you most want to do with your life if you had complete freedom, and how can you leverage your saving such that you get that sooner, easier and actually be able to enjoy it more in such a way that, like as you put it, you have got all this income coming in, and you don’t have taxes.
Rob Bennett: Right.
Mark Michael Lewis: Right. And I want to get into that. We can take another break. I want to get into [xx] the practical results of this, and what it’s like when you actually have a passion savings that’s pain for your life and how even with less money you can have twice the lifestyle.
Rob Bennett: Sure.
Mark Michael Lewis: And you are doing which you really want. So, again I am Mark Michael Lewis on Money Mission and Meaning, and I am speaking with Rob Bennett, author of Passion Savings. And we will be right back.
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Mark Michael Lewis: I am back with Rob Bennett, talking about his book Passion Savings. OK. So, time is short, and there is so much we can talk about – [xx] on your blog and [xx]. So let’s talk about the relationship between time and money. How does money actually give you time?
Rob Bennett: Well. When think about what [xx] should doing, when you work. What’s you doing is you are trading time for money. You are saying to your employer, “I will give you the right to control what I do with my life for 8 hours a day or 10 hours a day and in exchange you will give me money”, you know, perfectly reasonable deal. But, if sometime in your life you want to leave your mark on the world, you know, you want to do your thing, and not the thing that some employer is telling you to do. You need to get out of that, you need to get to the point where there is not an employer controlling the hours of your day.
How do you do that? What’s to do is, you have a big stock of money somewhere, and the money is generating money. And as money is generating money you don’t have to. You are free to do what you want. So, you have to sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil and you have to figure out, ‘in order to live the life, I want to live a decent middleclass lifestyle. How much of that money is [xx]? Do I need to have coming through here? And then you need to save enough, so that your investments generate that. And when the two numbers match, you don’t have to work, work is optional.
Mark Michael Lewis: Right. And I want to step in here, because, one of the ideas that you have in the book, that those even beyond that, because everything you just [xx] Won’t you got enough money that you don’t have to work. You have complete freedom with your time. But, there is a level before that, that just absolutely fascinates me. Like right now, if you are used to earning $50,000, $100,000 or $200,000, whatever is, that’s what you are used to… that’s the money you [xx] expect to come in. Now, there only so many things which you can do to bring in that kind of income, and those things might not be the things that really turn you on.
Rob Bennett: Yes.
Mark Michael Lewis: But, if you have enough money coming in, what can happen is, you might not need to earn $50 or $100 or $200 thousand, lets say that you only need to earn $20,000 in order to make up for it. Now, your choices of the work that you want to do, it might be work that pays quite as well, but it is something which you love to do and you can do that work. Something which you loved to do is your savings that supplement the loss in income and continue to build your passion savings, continue buying at the freedom store until you can go, ‘well, what do I really want to do?’ And you can do it in stages and of course, when you are doing something, you really love, which is really [xx] you could say the purpose of this show is integrating money, mission and meaning, such that when you are really clear about what you care about, you can make it your mission and make money making meaning. And the more you are doing which you love, the more of your skill and your genius, and your beauty bring to it and eventually the more people can pay for it. And so, it’s not just an all and nothing. I have to save enough so that I don’t have to work. Every purchase at the freedom store gives you more choice about what you are choosing to do, until you reach that point.
Rob Bennett: Well. This is absolutely true and again, as you pointed out before, this is really talked about in the conventional literature, but then, people think of saving as a cliff. They think of it as I turn 65, I leave my job and all the years before, all you doing is bringing money in and all the year after that you are doing this how this money go out. It doesn’t have to set up that way. So, the way I came to this was just trying to set up my plan. I started doing it the old way. I started saying, how much do I need to be able to leave my job and never work again. So, I can do whatever I want, you know, I could stay at home and write books, and no need to worry about earning another penny. And I could have done it that way, if I had stayed in my [xx] job about three more years, I would have been able to accomplish that. But, I didn’t want to give up another three years. I wanted to make it as soon as possible. So, at some point, I said…. I kept looking at these numbers. I literally would do this on a daily basis, waiting for the bus, you know, and I would say ‘what can I do? I don’t want to wait another three more years, what can I do?’ And one day… it’s perfectly logical, it’s amazing that I didn’t think about it before that other people didn’t think about that before, but I said, ‘well, [xx] need to have the full amount. All I need is enough to cover what one [xx] covered if I take employment at the pace of [xx]. So, say I want to go into freelance writing. But, [xx] I can earn what I was earning in [xx] of job. I know that. But at least, I would be very lucky, it could happen, but it’s too risky. But I surely can earn something, so why not take, if in your ultimate work that you want to do, you can earn $20,000 and if all you need to live on is $40,000, then all you need to save is enough to cover the difference between those two – the 20,000 difference. It’s a lot more easier to save enough money to generate a $20,000 income stream, then it is to save enough to generate a $40,000 income stream. Now the size of the income stream is going to vary. Any number I use [xx] going to be some people saying, ‘I can live on $40,000’, well, you know, if you want it to be a bigger number, make it a bigger number. And these all sorts of details that go into the [xx] that number. I live $40,000 today, but that’s a very attractive middleclass lifestyle the way I live it, because we have our [xx] just paid off.
Mark Michael Lewis: Can you get into that, because in the book, you actually go through and say ‘well, here’s what I am living on but you think ‘Oh, it’s kind of below the medium’, the medium is 42, I am a little bit below that. But, really when it comes down to how you live, how that money works for you, it’s more than double that. Can you talk about that?
Rob Bennett: Yeah. We spend about $40,000. I am married, and we have two small children, and my wife is a stay-home mom. Forty thousand doesn’t sound like an extravagant lifestyle. But, we have more gets paid off. That’s the first thing we did. So, if you added that in, what it will take to pay for more [xx] that might be another $20,000. So you can say, a 40,000 is equivalent lifestyle to someone living on $60,000. We pay virtually no income tax, because my income is now low, now that I don’t have the corporate income, and we have a number of exemptions. My income tax number is very small. So, that might be another $20,000. [xx] if I was earning $80,000 and putting $20,000 into taxes and $20,000 into a mortgage, I would only have $40,000 left to spend, that means the same place where I am here. So, that thing is a certainty. Now we’ve got probably another… my wife home-schools our two boys. So, if we had to pay for private schools, it might be another $10,000. So, I am living the [xx] of $90,000 income. And then we have… I would say we had at least $10,000 worth of spending cards that were giving out very little in the way of life enhancement. That we cut because we spend time on this trying to do that. I believe that our lifestyle is… of course we don’t have the safe, that’s another one. So, you know, if I were earning $100,000, you would say you are living great lifestyle, but I would be putting $10,000 in the saving and $20,000 into taxes and $20,000 into the mortgage and $10,000 into private schools, and I don’t have any of those. So, at $40,000 I am living a very nice middleclass lifestyle. We don’t deny ourselves anything. We don’t go out to eat often, but my wife, you know, she loves to cook.
Mark Michael Lewis: What a sacrifice!
Rob Bennett: It’s not really a downside. So, on a very small amount of money you can live a very good lifestyle, but you are not going to believe that by hearing it on one radio program, you know, really it’s sort of a deep knowledge that only comes from working the numbers. You have to get started and then these insights will come to you. As you return to the numbers on a regular basis, they will get deeper and deeper into your consciousness. And part of the reason, I started this discussion for which is I want to [xx] people to talk these ideas [xx]. I was just thinking about the step all the time, and there was no body out talking about it. So, I said, I need people to confirm that what I am saying is real. And lots of people are doing it. You don’t hear about them, but they are there.
Mark Michael Lewis: Excellent. Now we are going to take our last break. When we come back, I want to talk with you the little things, which you did that opened up a passion for savings, they commonly did knew actually writing this book.
This is Mark Michael Lewis speaking with Rob Bennett, author of Passion Saving. We will be right back.
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Mark Michael Lewis: And we are back with Rob Bennett, the author of a breakthrough new book on personal finance called Passion Saving. Well, we are almost out of time. But, I want to get you a couple more ideas that I found so helpful from your book. The first one is which you call ‘luxury spending’. Which spending actually gives you pleasure, and making choices that can actually save your money, but increase your pleasure? Because I know that that’s a huge factor and what allows you to get more excited the more you safe.
Rob Bennett: Just say that again, they are not crystal clear ones.
Mark Michael Lewis: Excellent. In the book you give an example of your coffee in the morning, and how, there was a point where you actually had to… you made the choice to bring in a cup, rather than to have them provide the cup. Did it reduce any of your pleasure? In fact, that increases your pleasure and gives you a purchase at the freedom store. Can you talk about how that plays across all of the areas of your life?
Rob Bennett: OK. A big change in recent decades. If you go back and look at…. If you look at these things statistically, there are government statistics on these sort of things, a much higher percentage of the middleclass person’s income used to go for the basics of life – food, shelter, heat. Now, a much higher percentage goes to things that I would call luxuries – things you don’t need, but thing you like. Luxury spending actually has more of a [xx] enough, because it’s more connected with our personalities, what we want to be as a person. So, luxury spending has a great emotional pull. But, that’s the place where you can make the most cuts, because obviously, you know, you can cut without doing great damage. So, the key to all of these, it’s not to eliminate luxury spending. Luxury spending in some cases has great payback. But you need to think about it. If you do it thoughtlessly, you can put all your money there and lose your freedom option.
Yes, the case with the coffee… that was a case where… it’s the most obvious thing in the world. I forget the numbers, but I would go in and get this coffee every morning, and if you brought your own, [xx] sort of a cup you could bring, and you only had to buy once and they will refill it each time. And so, the coffee, we are getting it at half price, if you use the refill option. And what was it that made me resist doing it? It makes me crazy. I did this for years and I never got the cup. And it’s because there is something in your mind that says, if I get that cup, it means I am cheap, it means I am miserly, it means I am small. It’s a psychological connection, and that’s why I resisted, and I resisted it for long, long time. And finally, we were discussing over these budget numbers, and my wife said, “Can’t you do something? That this coffee thing?” And I said, “alright”. [xx] one week, I know I am going to heat it, but [xx]. And the first day I did it, I said, “it’s fine!” But, we have all got that working on us.
Mark Michael Lewis: Right. And in the book, you want to say, once you had done that, once you started looking at, ‘well, how much pleasure does this coffee really bring me versus the cost’. I guess, the whole essence of passion saving is that you begin to think about as you say, ‘save the way you spend’. In each allocation moment, - money allocation moment – you face with a choice, and the choice is not between “do I get this coffee, or do I retire at 65”, it’s “do I get this coffee or do I get an extra three months where I can start doing what I want to do sooner” or if I do that, instead of being 5 years, I can do it in 4 years and 7 months. Right? It becomes real, and in that moment he is struggling, “Oh, actually let me look at how much pleasure this spending is really giving me”. And you look at it, you will “hai, wait a minute, getting out with the cup, bringing my own cup doesn’t reduce my pleasure at all. I thought it would, but it actually doesn’t”. And then you went on to say, “Wait a minute. My coffee, my work offers me free coffee. You know, what if I take that free coffee at work, does it reduce my pleasure? Well. I though it would, but when I really look at it, when I really get real about it, it doesn’t at all. The coffee is just as good, and I don’t have to wait in line, and I don’t have to walk to work line, and it’s that momentum that gets built. That all of a sudden, you are saving, but you are not sacrificing. And that is….
Rob Bennett: Yes, absolutely. [xx] you are going to try it. And it’s that emotional resistance that the hurdle. If you get over the emotional resistance, then everything just sort of follows. But, we have a strong emotional resistance to saving money, and in some levels, it seems irrational, but it’s not as irrational as it at first seems. The problem is that in our society, we have very bad mental associations with saving. For comparison, I would like to ask people this question and feel this silly. But, I say think of two characters [xx] – the [xx] and the [xx]. Who is the spender and who is the saver? Most people would say the [xx] is the spender and [xx] the saver. And the reason is, the [xx] seems like a nice sort of guy, generous spirited, happy go [xx], he must spend a lot of money. The [xx] seems like a miser, stinchy, tight [xx]. Well, you know, this is not in the books. Just says one of them is spender and one is a saver. That’s totally a mental image of what it means to spend and what it means to save. Most of us think of spending as basically healthy, and most of us think of saving as something ode. And this comes up all the time. If you read books, the best book of [xx] one have to save is [xx] book ‘The Complete [xx]’ and you read media accounts of her, people will say she is the extreme, [xx] I think she is wonderful. Some of our ideas are extreme and I wouldn’t [xx] for myself, but she has played a [xx] about that. She will say that, “these are not everybody”. That’s just options. But, something in us that makes us grasp on to saving and tried out make it a negative. I think it’s a response to the fact that saving is always shrugged down or thrown.
Mark Michael Lewis: [xx]
Rob Bennett: And anything that’s forced on you, you are going to be…
Mark Michael Lewis: Right. We are out of time. We have gone over. But I just had have you keep sharing these ideas with my listeners because I just think that’s so important, so warm. Thanks for being on the show, I would really want to encourage my listeners, you can go to his site at passionsavings.com, is that right?
Rob Bennett: Not that, passionsaving.com
Mark Michael Lewis: Passionsaving.com and you have a blog there, where you are continually speaking about this and there is a community of people. People can interact with and ask real questions of real people and get a sense for this such that they can ease into this way of thinking and begin to look at their own numbers and see whether their freedom store have this. Is that right?
Rob Bennett: Yes. Absolutely. And there are tons of materials [xx] site, you know. I love it when people buy the book, but there is tons of materials there for free. So, I encourage people to come and explore and if you have questions, ask questions. There is contact tab there on the left hand side of every page. Send me your e-mail, participate at the blog. If you get into it, you going to want to buy the book, but that’s optional. [laughs] I hope you do, but explore the ideas because we work with people and the community. We learn from these people.
Mark Michael Lewis: Excellent. And so… I also understand that if one of my listeners comes and buys book within the next two week, and I am just going to tell my listeners, if there is anything about this that interests you, get the book, because if I might, an [xx] exchange is how you think about this. So, you can change their picture of the [xx] and the [xx]. So you can start thinking about the [xx] is this passion saver, and have that be what you have got, if you make that shift in your life, I guarantee you will change the way, you approach money, which will change the way you approach your life. So, I am going to say, ‘get the book’. If you do you have some special gifts that are going to be offering the people who buy it the next two weeks. Is that right?
Rob Bennett: Yeah, that’s right. Anybody who buys in the next two weeks I will send them by e-mail, a pdf copy of the special report I wrote. It’s called ‘Secret of Retiring Early”. It is the number one best-selling report in the history of the [xx] site.
Mark Michael Lewis: Fantastic.
Rob Bennett: [xx] $10 a copy.
Mark Michael Lewis: Well. Thank you so much for coming on Money, Mission and Meaning [xx] and I wish you all the best.
Rob Bennett: [xx] Thanks so much.
Mark Michael Lewis: In fact, I will just want to thank you for writing the book, you know, enclosing [xx], I would say, a little over a decade ago that I was in financial planning business. I [xx] in my life license, and I worked with people, [xx] clients, and over the years, I probably read 50 books on finance and money and saving and investing, and I can’t count the number of them on one hand, but I said, “well, there is something really new and important in here”, and your book is definitely in that. I just want to thank you for that because that’s a gift to me, that wasn’t expecting, because I can’t [xx]
Rob Bennett: Oh, thanks so much Mark, that’s so kind.
Mark Michael Lewis: Well. I mean it. Thanks again for coming on the show, and I would forward to my listeners thanking me for turning them on to your book and blog. For more information on Passion Saving and Rob Bennett, check out passionsaving.com, where there are a lot of great materials in especially Rob’s blog and form, where you can talk with the real people who are using passing saving ideas to buy their own freedom right now. And for a transcript of this show, go to www.moneymissionmeaning.com, then click on this episode page [xx] listen to or get transcripts of all of the great shows on Personal Life Media network, please visit our website at www.personallifemedia.com. I am your host Mark Michael Lewis, CEO of Smart Energy Enterprises, CEE Inc., a beautiful feature now, makers of SmartPower™ smart energy drink and that brings us to the end of our show. Thanks for listening and join us next week on Money, Mission and Meaning: Passion at Work, Purpose at Play as we interview cutting edge business leaders who are committed to make a positive difference in the world, [xx] the motivation and practical ideas, and great pleasure and profit in the business of life.
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