Money books

My friend is looking at his money situation, seeing if he can afford all his planned spending (he’ll probably be able to do most of it).

He asked me for advice on motivational books, so here was my reply to him:


Well boss,

to get into the money mentality instantly, I recommend reading Mr. Money Mustache. Here’s a list of his classic posts. It’s a principles-based opinionated blog about calculating the true cost of money. Some of the articles I like were:

On the same thread, there’s the book Your Money or Your Life. It’s a way to reconsider the value of money – and realising how much of your life energy goes into making it.

Then there’s the book The Millionaire Next Door. I don’t remember if this is very actionable advice, but it does paint the picture of real wealth based on some research: that it’s not about having the big monthly car payment, but living modestly and watching your spending (as Warren Buffet seems to do).

I do recommend YNAB for budgeting. It’s probably worth reading some of their blog for their approach (to only budget money you actually have, plus it helps you set goals for different categories). It’s worth doing it quite often when getting started (weekly or even daily) until you know you’ve got a handle on it.

Having a good day is an emergent property

Filling up your minute, morning, day, month, year and life with positive things lead to having an acceptably good life. A good day (and thus a good life) is an emergent property of the things you did during that day (and thus life).

In Why we make things and why it matters, Peter Korn mentions:

To master a craft is not to achieve a state of enlightenment, despite my youthful expectation to the contrary. Creative practice simply makes our lives richer in meaning and fulfillment than they might be otherwise. For some of us, creative practice may be among the few slender threads that bind our lives together.

Ch. 14 “A Good Life”, from Why we make things and why it matters by Peter Korn.

Korn’s obsession was to his craft (carpentry) and to enable those around him to master their craft, by building a school around the craft. He essentially argued that practicing his craft doesn’t offer an ultimate answer to a good life, but it’s a positive thing to be engaged in, which already justifies doing it.

Blogger Mr Money Mustache took the kaizen argument of improving your days: to take tiny steps of doing positive things to fool yourself into doing them. When asking yourself what to do with your day, he says seek not to be entertained:

It doesn’t matter what you enjoy. It matters what’s good for you. enjoy pumpkin cheesecake and key lime pie, but I only eat them a few times a year.

Mr Money Mustache

Psychologist Jordan Peterson has argued for this type of approach. To reduce your “suffering” ask “What is a list of things I’m doing that’s obviously hurting me?”. You accept humility and reduce at least just one thing on your list. And similarly you can ask “What is a list of things I can do that would improve my life?”. The answers will be simple and obvious, and now it’s up to you to start doing at least some of those things now.

You should cycle on Limerick city’s footpaths

Perhaps against my better judgement I’m going to let myself have a <rant> 🙂

Let me pose the question:

Would you cycle on a 50km/h road with your kid on the back?

If you say not, I wouldn’t blame you either. The European Commission advises that 50km/h is an unacceptable speed to avoid fatalities when humans and humans in their vehicles are interacting. (You could argue that those humans on bikes are fine to be hit at 50km/h if they’ve got a foam hat on, but I won’t accept that argument.)

To carry on with this argument we’ll have to agree on one assumption: that in a city a human has a right to go somewhere in a public place, be it on bike or sitting in a vehicle. If you don’t agree with this point, I’ve more work to do with you than I can cover in this single post 😉

If you’re taking your kid to the creche on your bike, and you’ve the choice between a 50km/h road and the footpath, I think that for safety’s sake you should take to the footpath.

That’s a point of contention. Rule of the Road say (I presume) that you may not cycle on the footpath. Not to bring it down to an argument of “an eye for an eye”, but if you’ve a habit of parking your car partly on the footpath, or not giving right of way at junctions to people who are walking, you’re already in breach of those rules.

Why not cycle on footpaths? I thought before reading this that it was illegal, but it seems like it’s more that you must cycle on footpaths with due consideration (the negative phrasing of that as used on that page is “may not cycle without due consideration”).

It seems that the general thinking in our society is to maintain the safety of those using public spaces.

By this logic we can reach the conclusion that you absolutely must cycle on the footpaths when the road is higher than 30km/h speed limit, and do so with due consideration to all those around you as you always should do wherever you are.

citizensinformation.ie contradicts this point, saying that you may not cycle on the footpath. So if you’ve more insights into these laws than me, get in touch.