Archive for April, 2013

Financial Freedom Party for Women Reading List


  • Reading is really important to me.  If you read blogs, it  is probably important to you also.  I find that reading is an investment in time which gives my life balance and provides an outlet for intellectual curiosity,   Reading is relaxing, challenges my belief systems, and expands my horizons.  I acknowledge that not everyone likes to read, so my book Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women is short (78 pages total), fun, and covers financial management basics.  Hoping the reader will be inspired to learn even more, my book includes a short reading list of books I have enjoyed and which relate to the mechanics and emotions of the world of money.
  • The first book on the list is by Robert Kiyosaki and is titled Cash Flow Quadrant.  Personally, I am a fan of Kiyosaki and appreciate how he gives the reader a way to think about what I always described as “rich people”.   I mention his Cash Flow Quadrant in my book.  I like the way he describes the four ways of making money.
  • Sometimes I feel we all spend so much time thinking about what kind of job we will get and the education needed to reach that position, that we skip the first part of the conversation.  Logically the conversation should start with determining, what type of lifestyle, level of income, and accumulation of assets we are trying to create.  A lot of folks talk about “getting rich”, but do they understand how that differs from being financially comfortable, middle class, or even what is referred to as the “new affluent”?  Kiyosaki’s writings give us an idea.  He even created a cash flow board game.  Some years back, I played it with group of friends and we had a great time while learning about the value of getting into the part of the game where the cash was flowing.  Oh, if it had only been real life and not a game.I noticed the Kiyosaki has a new book out which became available in April 2013.
  • Will you appreciate Kiyosaki’s writings, I don’t know.  But then you won’t know either, unless you try.
  • Hope you will read my book first and then pick some from the reading list.
  • Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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Becoming a Blogger

Yesterday I received a WordPress notice congratulating me on the third anniversary of  my WordPress blogging.  The congrats really go to my friend LKC who insisted I learn to blog and  pulled out her laptop and watched while I created a WordPress account.  This is probably the way a lot of us start,  with friends dragging us into it.  However, we were on a “girls” weekend retreat in the mountain town of Black Hawk in Colorado.  Leaving work, family, and the big city behind, we were  free to go where our minds and pocketbooks would take us.  Learning to blog was not really ever on the shopping list of things to do.

We were staying at the AmeriStar a lovely casino/hotel/spa which looks like it was dropped into a space on the side of a mountain.  It was spring and I was wearing my standard island attire  of shorts and flip-flops.  The weather was that nice, for a day.  At the end of the weekend we caught a major spring snow storm  on the way down the mountain and those flip-flops turned out to be a really bad decision.

LKC taught me how to create a blog.  I would sit in the room and work on what she taught me, she would go to the spa.  We would take a break and sit in the outdoor hot tub, then we would go back and work on the mechanics of WordPress.  Now it seems pretty simple, but  three years ago  I was barely a Facebook user, so it seemed tricky.  In between playing the slots, walks around town, a few visits to the bar, and some nice meals, I managed to learn enough to create my first blog.

Since then I have launched my www.ffptalk.com and helped others such as  www.fitfrog.org (a non-profit started by a friend) and www.hadsallassoc.com (for my husband).

LKC also loaned me the book Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk.  Being a good and supportive friend, she hasn’t asked me to give it back, yet.  I am glad.  My personal goal is to reach 9.3 million women between the age of 16-64 with basic financial management information in my Financial Freedom Party for Women.  A big goal which only seems possible because of the power of the internet,social media, and the curiosity many women have about financial management.

I learned about www.scribd.com from Crush It and now have articles covering financial management and other topics published there.

For me it took only one weekend in the mountains, a patient friend, and an environment conductive to learning and I was hooked.

I encourage those of you with something to say and a talent for saying it to give it a try.

Until next time

Debra Hadsall




Slave to the Grind

I picked up one of the local free papers and enjoyed reading the editor’s note called “Slave to the Grind”.  That got my attention, having been there a time or two.  Haven’t we all?

This is a great real life story of values, finances, work, family,and a Personal Legend (a concept mentioned in my last post).  We learn so much from the successes of others.

I also appreciate the re-publishing of the newspaper article about my Financial Freedom Party (FFP) for Women.

Please click here to read the “Slave to the Grind” article by Ray Quiroga.

The original article about FFP can be read here.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall


Personal Legend

I am in a book club. There are a lot of great things about this book club. First, there are only seven of us in the club and we are learning a lot about each other.  We are a collection of women with differing views on lots of things; but we agree to be open to learning and accept that it is OK to disagree. We all do agree that being in book club expands our reading list to include books we might not have considered before, or even knew existed. I should mention that we live in the Port Isabel/South Padre Island, Texas, area which is on the Gulf of Mexico. Several of the group members have homes on the bay or live on the “island”. The scenery we experience while discussing books is pretty spectacular. We indulge in food and beverages (including adult beverages) which relate to the book.  On occasion a book doesn’t have much of a food theme or even much mention of food, so we freelance and use it as an excuse to make margaritas or have a bottle of wine.

The book we read and discussed this month is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I had never heard of this book, even though it was published 10 years ago. Maybe I wasn’t keeping up on international authors, Paulo Coelho is from Brazil. Perhaps the title made me think of some science project and I don’t find it easy to wrap my brain around chemistry. Whatever the reason, I have now discovered the Alchemist with its spiritual tale of Personal Legends, challenges, hope, perseverance, love, and life. You may ask, what does this book and the concept of a Personal Legend have to do with a blog about financial freedom.  I say everything!

How we live and create our lives spiritually, professionally, financially, and with our family and friends is part of our Personal Legend. It is easy to think of great leaders and public figures as having Personal Legends. For example, when we think of Abraham Lincoln, we see his Personal Legend as changing the United States in a profound and long-lasting way. Well, we all aren’t going to be like Abraham Lincoln, but we do have the opportunity to create our lives and our Personal Legends.

I see a Personal Legend as a clever and profound way of describing an individual’s values, goals, and dreams.  It seems stronger, clearer, and more forceful than talking about destiny.

So what does this have to do with financial management?   A Personal Legend is a key component of a financial life.

The first question I would ask a person when meeting with her or him about finances was “What are your goals and dreams”? I didn’t ask how much money she or he earned, how much is spent, occupation, or credit card debt amounts, and other traditional financial information. The answers to those questions are part of the picture, but tend to reflect where a person has been or may be at the moment.

To some, goals and dreams seem like flakey esoteric terms. Ideally they are the first part of financial management.  Paulo Coelho reminds us that “… wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure”.  The term treasure reaches beyond just the traditional capitalist view of something of intrinsic value.  Understanding what is valuable, or a treasure, differs from person to person. This means the traditional text-book financial management practices may not work for everyone.  Some people value stability over adventure, others value control of their time over big paychecks, while many value material goods over long-term financial security.

I have met people who value their faith above personal comfort, others who place more value on caring for family members than on their own needs, and some who could live a “big lifestyle”  but choose to give money to those in need. On occasion, I encountered those who treasured money as a symbol of success, power, or status.  These are just a few of the value choices, or treasures, which become the foundation of a Personal Legend.

A person who invests in understanding what is important on a personal level can then make conscious decisions to use his or her resources consistent with his or her values, goals and dreams.  This can be tricky in a world which constantly markets an overwhelming number of consumer products and services which promise to fulfill our dreams.  That is why I see a relationship between a Personal Legend and personal financial management.  They fit together.  Through his writing in The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho tells a wonderful story and subtly pushes the reader to thinking about her or his Personal Legend.  Nice!

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall




Begin with the End in Mind-Life Insurance

I have listened to many people talk about their personal finances over the last 15 years. From that I learned a lot  about the emotions involved in financial management.

Emotions can often stand in the way of getting things accomplished.  They can also be a major reason a person takes responsiblity and action. I have seen how emotions can be useful or hurtful.

The emotions attached to discussions about life insurance and end-of-life documents  (such as wills, durable power of attorneys, living wills, etc.) are, for some people, very strong and paralyzing.  I always tell anyone who will listen that these are things we do for those we leave behind.  If we are gone and haven’t taken care of these things, we can’t reach from the grave and fix them.

If we don’t plan well for retirement, if we don’t manage our debt appropriately, if we don’t budget successfully, we  personally suffer.  That is our choice or decision and we will have to deal with it.  Putting our survivors in a financially difficult or legally unclear position  is unfair to them. They may suffer  and be forced into dealing with legal or financial matters over which they had no say or control.  Difficult things to deal with during a time of loss.

Life insurance is a product which is sold, not bought.  That is what I was taught when I first started selling life insurance.  I didn’t really “get it” until I started meeting with potential clients.  It became quite clear that hardly anyone calls up and asks to buy life insurance.  Once again, all those emotions tied to death, insurance and money.  Add to that, the confusion about how life insurance works and fears of some unsavory past practices of some in the industry.  Now,  not everyone needs life insurance, but I believe everyone needs to go through the analytical process of determining if she or he needs it.

In my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, I talk about life insurance and have included a quote which seems to give a valuable perspective on the value of life insurance.  This may be more meaningful to you than a long lecture about insurance.

A life insurance policy is just a time-yellowed piece of paper with columns of figures and legal phrases, until it is baptized with a loved one’s tears. Then it becomes a modern miracle – Aladdin’s Lamp. It is food, clothing, shelter, and undying affection. It is the sincerest love-letter ever written.

It quiets the crying of a hungry baby in the night. It eases the aching heart of the one who remains behind – a comforting whisper, in the dark and silent hours. It is a new hope, fresh courage and strength to pick up broken threads and carry on. It is a college education for the son or daughter – a chance for a career instead of a need of a job. It is a parent’s blessing to a daughter on her wedding day.

Author Unknown

Until next time


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