The Barefoot Investor: Review

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OK, in case you don’t know me, here’s a disclaimer: I’m not going to go into detail about this book. I won’t break it down into tiny sections of why it’s good, not good or anything else you can think of. That’s not my style. But what I will do is tell you why I’m reviewing it and exactly what impact it has had on me and hopefully give you a good incentive to pick up your own copy. Read on dear reader, this is a bloody good book.

Firstly, let me tell you how I came to read this book. It’s not my usual read, being a non-fiction book about finances. I stumbled across it when looking for a Christmas present for my brother Jamie. Ironic, because the man doesn’t read if he can help it. But he wanted to know more about investing and I thought this was a good starting point for him. Plus I love books and always give them as presents if I can. Imagine my surprise when he actually started quoting sections to me.

Then came the realisation that I had spent way too much at Christmas. I was starting to stress over this and was talking to my best friend about it. In the conversation I was also celebrating the fact that Jamie was focused on reading the book I bought. It was then she suggested I might benefit from reading the book as well. The bonus was she had her own copy but had not started reading it. That day she started and I was soon under strict instructions to get myself a copy. I did.

What followed was a realisation that finances do not have to be tricky. The plan Scott outlines in his book is very simple to follow and broken down into manageable steps over a series of weeks (called Barefoot Date nights). There are also real life examples of people who he has helped. The examples are people from different kinds of financial backgrounds, looking to control their money. Don’t go thinking this is not for you. If you’re breathing, it is. If nothing, it might provide confirmation that you’re on the right track.

The book is easy to read and engaging with the way Scott writes, expect a dry finance book. The prelude alone is enough to tell you that you’re going to get more than facts and figures.

Almost a week after buying my copy, Kat (best friend) and I have had our first Barefoot Date night. Jamie has also had his. But let me tell you, the anxiety I had around money is pretty much gone. Why? Because I have taken back control. Yeah, I still have a car loan, a mortgage and bills to pay, but with the help of this book I have stream lined things so I can see where my money needs to go and when. Sounds so simple, but the reality is a lot of people have trouble with this.

Please, do yourself a favour and get this book. Borrow it from your local library, a friend or buy yourself a copy. I got mine from QBD, Jamie’s from Booktopia and I’ve seen Kmart and Big W sell it. Also Amazon if you want it on Kindle.

What I loved: He asks the reader to pay it forward, that if they got anything out of the book, pass it on so others are more financially secure. That speaks to me on so many levels and is the reason for this review. Also 10% of author royalties are donated to Financial Counselling Australia. And he doesn’t receive kickbacks from any of the products/services he recommends.

What I didn’t love so much: The fact that there will be a new, updated book every year. I understand why, information changes etc., but I dislike the fact that my copy will eventually be outdated. But that’s life and the core of the book, The Serviette Strategy, won’t change.

 

 

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Getting Things Done

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Hi!!

I’m so happy to back here 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I needed the time away to spend with family and friends over the festive season, but I missed writing. How was your holidays? Hope it was a great one, but now, what’s happening in 2018? Well…

Nothing, unless I get off my arse and actually do things instead of thinking about it. You see, this little break made me realise that I’m fantastic at imagining great things, not so good at the putting it into action phase. So this post is about how I plan to cut that habit  out.

  1. Schedule my day. And stick to it! There are 24 hours in a day or 1,440 minutes. That’s a lot of time and if I plan it out, I’ll actually get everything I want to do done. I have a diary to do this and now that I’m in the habit of checking it, I wonder how I ever managed without.
  2. Be clear on what I want. None of this half hearted dithering I’m a gold medalist at. I have goals I want to achieve this year, I’ve written them down and I’ve placed them somewhere I’ll see them all the time so I’m reminded.
  3. Know that it is ok to say no. This one is a big one for me. I have a hard time saying no to people and have a tendency to overbook myself at certain times of the year. That has to stop. I get stressed, people get upset and all I had to do was explain that I was already busy and there would never have been a situation in the first place.
  4. Have deadlines and work towards them. It’s a simple concept and it works. Make your own deadlines if you need to. Just keep working towards that goal and celebrate the milestones along the way.
  5. Don’t procrastinate! I usually put little tasks off until ‘later’. Well later becomes never and I suddenly realise that I didn’t send that text/email, whatever and once again I’m stressing. Later is going to be taken out of my vocabulary. It’s not that useful when it comes to getting things done. And I am getting things done this year!

So that’s the plan. This year is going to be epic and full of self-discipline. I really don’t want to get to the end of it and realise that it was a nothing year (nothing good, nothing bad). If it’s true that life is what we make it, then I’m aiming for a good one. Have a happy and creative week everyone and let me know your tips to getting things done in the comments 🙂

2017 Wrapped Up

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This will be my last post for 2017 and I thought it would be good to take a look back and see what exactly happened with my writing journey for the year. So here it is.

  1. I joined the Her Heart community as a features contributor.
  2. Had my 8 word story featured on billboards in Brisbane thanks to the QLD Writers Center.
  3. My most successful blog post for 2017 was Reviewing My Stance
  4. My manuscript A Balance of Secrets is currently undergoing its final edit in preparation for meeting Fiona McIntosh in April 2018.
  5. I deliberately failed Nanowrimo.
  6. Started a new story, Rosie, which is on hold while I finish Balance.
  7. Read lots of books (for research purposes I swear).
  8. Learned a lot more in general about writing and what works best for me.

It has been an awesome year, full of self doubt as well as a large amount of self belief. I’ve learnt a lot about myself and how I write, which is fantastic information for my next project. Anyway, hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and here’s to 2018, may it be awesome for us all 🙂

Over To You

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I’m sure this comes as no surprise to any of you but sometimes it’s difficult figuring out what to write about each week.

The journey to being published is taking a lot longer than I expected (surprise, not. I really should have seen that coming) and although I’m constantly striving to improve my craft, there is only so many times I can write about it. However if I do come across something new that helps me, I make sure to let you guys know about it in hopes that it does the same for you.

So that brings me to what I actually am writing about this week. You guys! I want to feature you guys on my blog and let me make this clear that you do not have to be a writer to be on here. I want to hear about you and what your life is like. Everyone, no matter how boring they think their life is, has a story to tell and I want to showcase them on here. The rules are it has to be about your life and not an opinion piece about what is happening/not happening in the world etc. You can write the blog post yourself and I’ll post it or you can provide me information and I’ll write it for you (making sure you’re happy with it beforehand naturally). If you want to be a part of that, email me at samantha.a.house@gmail.com with the subject line blog post.

That also takes me to the next thing I want to ask you guys, what would you like to see on my blog? Writing advice, more of my publishing journey or something else entirely? I’m wary of doing book reviews, simply because so many people do them already. But if you guys would like them I’ll do them and if that’s the case some book recommendations would be awesome. I really want to branch out with my blog but I’m unsure of what direction to take so I figured you guys, the actual readers, would have some ideas.

And that’s it for this week. Next week I’ll wrap up 2017 before I take a break for a few weeks over Christmas and New Year. Have an awesome and creative week everyone and please let me know your thoughts in the comments or email me 🙂

When Is It Time?

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There comes a time when you need to stop editing and let your precious manuscript fly into the world. But the trouble is, when do you know it’s ready to do this?

  1. Numerous people are telling you enough is enough.
  2. You are sick of it and can’t bare to edit it again.
  3. A professional editor is telling you so.
  4. You read it and can’t find anything major to add to it.
  5. In your heart you know that editing is simply a way of procrastinating.

I’m not chastising you for taking a long time with you manuscript, far from it. But I am trying to get you to see that sometimes we hold onto something in the hopes of making it perfect. Newsflash, it ain’t ever going to be perfect, nothing ever is. If one of the above points rings true for you, take a step back and seriously consider the next step with your manuscript. I promise you editing is not it, at least not by you. It is possible that a professional editor needs to look at it, but you certainly don’t.

The reason I’m telling you this is because I’m guilty of it. A friend looked at me this past week and asked me why the hell I’m editing again. I knew the moment she asked that I was procrastiediting in an attempt to avoid rejection. Rather a sobering moment. So in hopes of stopping the procrastination I promise you guys that this will be my final edit of A Balance of Secrets. And I’ll be done with it by New Year’s Day. There, it’s done, set in stone.

Then I’ll take it to the Masterclass with Fiona McIntosh in April. She’s a published author with loads of experience, so I’ll take her advice, give my manuscript one final polish and send it out into the world in July. I’m quietly terrified, but pretty freaking excited as well. Wish me luck 🙂

Have a wonderful and creative week everyone xx

Elements of a Scene

For those of you who follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen that I’m editing again. This time around I’ve been using the Elements of a Scene Worksheet by Jami Gold and freaking hell has it made a difference. Here’s why.

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Firstly, it’s giving me direction. The sheet is making me go through my story scene by scene, checking that each one has essential elements, important elements and bonus ones. Any that are missing I make a note of so I can go back later and fix it.

Secondly it’s making me look at the story with fresh eyes. I’m finding that I can see where there is too much backstory, where entire scenes are not needed (although it’s important to note that I needed to write them so I knew the story) and where I need to expand things.

I wish I had found this sheet earlier. It is honestly helping me so much and my manuscript is already much improved for it. I think if I had found it before I wouldn’t be on the millionth edit right now. I can’t wait to use it on a first draft story and see the difference. I honestly think it’s going to make the editing process much quicker for me.

Check it out here and let me know what you think. Hopefully it helps you as well.

Have a happy and creative week everyone 🙂