Book Review: Rich Dad Poor Dad
Rich Dad Poor Dad, written by Robert T. Kiyosaki, is one of those personal finance books that I truly believe everyone should read at least once in their lives.
Here’s the deal...If you are an individual who is neutral about personal finances, in that maybe you are able to control your spending, but not able to save as much as you would like. Or, maybe you have a budget, but are essentially breaking even each month. Or, maybe you are on a different side of the spectrum, in that you are struggling financially and are worried about not making ends meet day-to-day. Well, this book is for all of you! I do not think it will single out any class of people, because the concepts, themes, frames of thought, can at any point in time affect any one of us. Not only will this book be enlightening, it may also enrich your life in ways you never thought imaginable, while instilling in you the desire to take charge of your personal finances.
Rich Dad Poor Dad written by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Theme from Rich Dad Poor Dad
One resounding theme (and perhaps the crux of the title) that I want to mention first so that it can percolate in your brain is this: Kiyosaki essentially says that both dads had conflicting views about money. One would say, "I can't afford it" while the other would ask, "How can I afford it?" (paraphrasing). Which makes me consider the mentality of affordability, and where our culture is today. I also think there is a little something to be said about resourcefulness being another theme throughout this book...Perhaps another blog post for another day?
Frames of Thought from Rich Dad Poor Dad
Kiyosaki generally reasons through two frames of thinking when it comes to personal finances. His belief that financial intelligence should be taught at a young age is a frame of thought strong within the book. His argument is that since financial intelligence is not discussed in schools it has more people drowning in debt, and not earning enough income to cover daily expenses, as well as their future expenses. Modern day marketing amongst our culture nowadays has us thinking certain ways about what our “needs” are (which is not inherently wrong), that is not actually doing us any good nor taking our future into consideration. This frame of thought is actually so strong throughout this book it almost feels repetitive.
His second frame of thought discussed in this book is about creating wealth that replenishes itself. That might not make much sense, but think in terms of investing to create a return for yourself in the future. A strong focus of this frame of thought is real estate investing. That is pretty much all I will say on that theme because you really need to read through it to understand the concepts Kiyosaki talks about. Plus, I am not about to say that I know anything about real estate, *thankfully* there are professionals out there that do!
However . . .
Well, the above stated concepts are not actually the direction I want to take this blog post. What I want to do is focus mostly on one paragraph in this book because of two reasons. First, I am not about to ruin this book for you, because I want you to feel intrigued enough to read it. Secondly, I feel like this paragraph speaks to a lot of us and where we are today, financially. It will make sense in a minute, promise!
This paragraph is from page 57 of the book, head over to that page to read the paragraph in context and its entirety. For now, I will break up the paragraph and walk through each phrase. It is my belief that this is the core of what Kiyosaki’s rich dad is teaching in this book.
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"To spend your life living in fear, never exploring your dreams, is cruel."
Have you ever had dreams of doing something incredible, but scared of starting towards that partly because you are not financially secure to move forward with it? I agree with Kiyosaki, that mentality of thinking is very cruel. It is almost debilitating. That is why I have felt the need to travel throughout my life. I am hungry for experiences in other countries and cultures. Some of you may feel this same hunger for experiences, but maybe you are spending your life living in fear.Make a plan. Make sure that plan includes travel. Stick to the plan.
"To work hard for money, thinking that it will buy you things that will make you happy is also cruel."
I think we all know that money does not buy us happiness. So, why do we continue living our lives buying tons of stuff, that we are unable to afford and do not have the budget, that we think will make us happy? If you are stuck in this phase of life, take a step back and try to look at the larger picture. Imagine where you could be in 5 years if you had a budget and plan to go along with it. Imagine the people that you want to be beside you. Remember that living within your means is the most optimal, and we should always strive for it.
"To wake up in the middle of the night terrified about paying bills is a horrible way to live."
Sadly, this is true for many people who lack financial intelligence. For those who are too afraid to talk to a professional for help with creating a budget because they just cannot accept (nor admit to themselves) they do not have an understanding of where their personal finances truly stand. The first step is admitting to yourself the truth. The second step is asking for help. Remember, I am just a phone call oremail away!
"To live a life dictated by the size of a paycheck is not really living a life."
If you have ever lived paycheck to paycheck you know EXACTLY what this is talking about. It is almost as if the minute you get paid you are already drowning in too many bills that you just cannot dig yourself out of. In turn, this also means that there is no room for fun... So then we create exceptions to the rules in order for us to “really” feel like we are not missing out on life (FOMO, anyone?). Thus perpetuating the cycle of debt, and continuing to drown in these exceptions to the rules. Try to remember that fun does not have to cost a thing. Instead, seek out memories and moments with a loved one.
"Thinking that a job makes you secure is lying to yourself…”
When I was in undergrad and started my very first office job, I will never forget the advice of a colleague; "every job is replaceable" she said to me. I think perhaps she really meant it as an encouragement to validate that I did not need to stay dedicated to that workplace after I graduate. In fact, there is actually no guarantee that our jobs will be there the next day, or week. Companies can quickly decide to close their doors. Unions can quickly decide to go on a strike. Please, please, please create a backup strategy plan for your nine-to-five job. Always keep your resume updated. Your backup strategy can be as simple as saving up three months of living expenses, or maybe it is starting your own side hustle! It does not matter the strategy, as long as there is a strategy in place.
"Please don't let money run your life."
I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback if you have read this book. Even if you have not read the book, and something in this blog post sparked your interest. Comment below, or send me a message!