The Flow of Time and Money

You could say that many of the ideas in The Flow of Time and Money by Lloyd Watts are "just common sense". Take a look around us. There are LOTS of people out there who need this kind of advice. If showing them step by step line drawings with water buckets and water going in and out can get them to realize what is going on, I'm all for it.

Lloyd really does start easy. Imagine your income is flowing into a bucket, and a hole poked in the bottom represents taxes and expenses draining you. If you lust after bigger houses, bigger cars, and so on, you're poking a gigantic hole in your bucket. That's not going to lead to more wealth. It's going to lead you to more stress. You'll constantly be trying to get more and more money for your larger and larger desires. When you get that bigger house, you'll want more furniture. These items actually cause you to *spend* more money.

Instead, the key is to focus on *modest* items for now - car, house, etc. - and put all the "savings" into investments. Your goal is to quickly grow those investments to a level where the investments themselves provide you with an income. So let's say that takes you 10 years. At that point you no longer have to work. You are living off the investments. You can now spend your 'free time' invested in whatever dream you want.

Too many people chase luxury before they have the money. They rack up debt on credit cards and then are trapped in a lifetime of agony. Lloyd simply says - DON'T DO IT. Live frugally at the beginning. It's not fun, but it's possible. Only use debit cards. Similarly, don't save up your money and then promptly spend it all. Don't create a cycle of save-spend-save-spend where you end up with nothing again (and a house full of dust-gathering toys). Instead, make that effort to invest. In a few years you'll have both a steady stream of income and an established skill at living within your means.

Lloyd emphasizes that you have to keep learning. You can't just sit back and expect the world to shower you with cash. Read books, watch videos, find mentors to guide you. Become active in your own destiny, and make sure your money is doing the best it can for you.

Make a goal, and then lay out distinct steps to get there. Work on those steps regularly. You need to take that first step!

I do have a few issues with the book. First, it pushes a certain website and its merchandise pretty heavily. I find that annoying in a book. Next, it is very geared towards becoming a landlord. I have NO interest at ALL in that path. I know me, it would cause me far too much stress. He does mention briefly that there are other paths - running a business, creating books or music, etc. - but he barely talks about them. I'd like to see more information on alternate paths.

Still, minor complaints in a book that provides information that many people desperately need to suck in. We *all* have only 168 hours in a week. How do we spend these precious moments? We *all* should know what our current "survival time" is based on our savings. If we lost all income, could we last a month? Three months? It's critical we are well grounded in our financial situation and have plans to improve it.

My final comment is that I know many people are burned by credit cards, and I understand for those people that cutting them up may be the safest option. However, what I do is have all rewards cards with no fee. I then funnel ALL my purchases - including utility bills and such - through those cards, then pay them off every month. First, I get tons of rewards rolling in for things I already have to buy. Second, because the card payment is due later than the actual bill is, I get "extra interest time" on my money. That is, say my electric bill is due on the 15th. That auto pays to my credit card. Now my credit card is only due on the 30th. So I just got 15 days free float, 15 days my money earns interest before I have to pay it in - all for free. If you have the self control to always pay all your credit bills on time (I have them all set to auto pay) I definitely recommend it!

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