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Week of 1/02/23


“It’s not how about much you make!”

Most people want success and ever increasing income. Their income starts after school. As they work, they expect to learn more in their chosen field. As they learn more they expect to earn more. Taking on more responsibility, they become more valuable. Their expectation is to be promoted, which in turn allows them to earn even more. Using this plan most people expect to work 30+ years and retire comfortably. This plan is a good start. But it is incomplete. Please allow me to explain.

As your income increases so does your standard of living. You acquire more things. Many times, these things are bought with borrowed money. Also, the more you own, the more you must spend to maintain what you own. Your effort to keep up this facade of success comes at a price. Starting out in life you may be able to live on $2000/month. As you climb that ladder of success, you may require $9000/month or more just to break even. If your income does not cover your monthly expenses, and you use more borrowed money, you will fall deeper into this financial hole. Does this sound familiar?

Here are 2 tools to help you avoid this devasting financial situation. Use a written monthly budget showing exactly how much is required to break even. That written budget must be the law. Do not buy anything that will put your expenses over budget.

The second tool is a super steady savings plan into which you contribute monthly. Monthly contributions, with the beauty of compound interest, will provide you with the income you need for retirement. Here is an example assuming a $4000 monthly income:

·         Keep your monthly expenses at no more than 75% of that income: $3000.

·         Save 15%: $600 per month at an interest rate of 5% per year. Over 20 years, even if your income never increases, you will have $248,247. At 30 years, you will have $502,035. Usually, your income will increase over time. Keep saving 15% every month. This is how average people create $1M for retirement.

·         Use 10%: $400 for emergencies and/or donations.  

The American dream is to be more, do more, and earn more. To make that dream a reality, install an ironclad budget, spend no more that 75% of your income, invest 15%, and keep 10% for emergencies and donations. Execute this simple disciplined plan. “Remember, it’s not how much you make. It’s how much you get to keep!”

That is today’s Morning Minute. 

Morning Minute 1/6/23: Education vs Indoctrination


“Education without Action is just Entertainment”

That is the positioning statement for Bonorato Creative Group. This guides us in our writings, lectures, and consulting. In most cases, education comes before action. However, in dealing with formal education, first comes investigation, then action, then education. Allow me to explain.

One purpose of formal education is to teach us how to use our brain to learn. We train our brain to use critical thinking which leads to discernment. Discernment requires us to look at an idea, action, or situation from many different angles in order to determine the best idea, action, or solution. Without discernment, we are left chasing shiny objects; the latest idea, the most popular action, or the quickest solution. We even fall back on: “That’s the way we have always done it!”

Discernment comes from investigation. We question the who, what, when, where, why, and how of ideas, actions, or solutions. We ask those questions as we look at the information we have. Who presented the information? What is their motivation and their preferred outcome? When and how was this the information obtained? And why is it important now? This is the method of critical thinking.

Not using critical thinking leads us to indoctrination by those who seek to get what they want with no concern for its effects on other people. By taking the education that is presented, while not asking the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions, we are left with only one idea, one action, or one solution. Indoctrination should never be the purpose of education.

Consider the formal education offered in many colleges and schools. Who writes the material that is being taught? What was their motivation? When and how is the information presented? Why and where is it being taught? Is there only one point of view accepted? Are these schools the only ones receiving our tax dollars? And finally, are these institutions controlled by those who use and teach critical thinking, or by those who demand acceptance, obedience, and conformity to their point of view?

Let’s return to the correct way to approach formal education. First investigate the institution and staff to determine if it is right for you or your children. Then take action to get the best training that is in alignment with critical thinking and freedom of thought. When you do, you will achieve the best education for yourself and your children.

And, that is today’s Morning Minute.