SLT034: Let’s Talk Money, & An Interview with Bonnie Dewkett

Let’s Talk Money, & An Interview with Bonnie Dewkett, The Joyful Organizer

Whether we like it or not, many things in life boil down to relationships.  We all have a relationships with money and we all have relationships with the “stuff” in our lives. Again, just like many other things in life, our relationships can be positive or negative experiences. But often it just depends on how we frame them.

Seth Godin on Money

So, let’s take a look at our relationship with money and our relationship with “stuff”. To help us look at money, we’re going to discuss a recent article by Seth Godin, one of our favorite bloggers. To help us look at the things we surround ourselves with in life, we’ll talk to Bonnie Dewkett, Certified Professional Organizer from The Joy of Organizing podcast. Read more…


Combined Topic: Let’s Talk Money With Seth Godin    

In this episode, we talk about an article by Seth Godin.  If you haven’t heard of Seth Godin, he’s written fourteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. And every single one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. Candidly, his blog post is typically the first thing in my Inbox in the morning. Seth is also a fellow Buffalo boy, like me.

So, Seth recently wrote a post titled Thinking About Money. He said, “Many marketers work overtime to confuse us about money. They take advantage of our misunderstanding of the time value of money, of our aversion to reading the fine print, of our childish need for instant gratification and most of all, our conflicted emotional connection to money. Confusing customers about money can be quite profitable if that’s the sort of work you’re willing to do”

He makes a few interesting observations about money that we thought was interesting and so we picked a few of them and discussed our thoughts:

  1. The amount of money you have has nothing to do with whether or not you’re a good person. Being good with money is a little like being good with cards. People who are good at playing cards aren’t better or worse than anyone else, they’re just better at playing crazy eights.

  2. Money spent on one thing is still the same as money spent on something else. A $500 needless fee on a million-dollar mortgage closing is just as much money as a $500 tip at McDonalds.

  3. If you borrow money to make money, you’ve done something magical. On the other hand, if you go into debt to pay your bills or buy something you want but don’t need, you’ve done something stupid. Stupid and short-sighted and ultimately life-changing for the worse.

  4. To go along with #3: getting out of debt as fast as you possibly can is the smartest thing you can do with your money. If you need proof to confirm this, ask anyone with money to show you the math. Hint: credit card companies make more profit than just about any other companies in the world.

  5. There’s no difference (in terms of the money you have) between spending money and not earning money, no difference between not-spending money and getting a raise (actually, because of taxes, you’re even better off not-spending). If you’ve got cable TV and a cell phone, you’re spending $4,000 a year. $6,000 before taxes.

  6. If money is an emotional issue for you, you’ve just put your finger on a big part of the problem. No one who is good at building houses has an emotional problem with hammers. Place your emotional problems where they belong, and focus on seeing money as a tool.

  7. Like many important, professional endeavors, money has its own vocabulary. It won’t take you long to learn what opportunity cost, investment, debt, leverage, basis points and sunk costs mean, but it’ll be worth your time.

  8. Never sign a contract or make an investment that you don’t understand at least as well as the person on the other side of the transaction.

  9. If you’ve got a job, a steady day job, now’s the time to figure out a way to earn extra income in your spare time. Freelancing, selling items on Etsy, building a side business–two hundred extra dollars every week for the next twenty years can create peace of mind for a lifetime.

  10. The way you feel about giving money to good causes has a lot to do with the way you feel about money.

  11. Don’t get caught confusing money with security. There are lots of ways to build a life that’s more secure, starting with the stories you tell yourself, the people you surround yourself with and the cost of living you embrace. Money is one way to feel more secure, but money alone won’t deliver this.

  12. Within very wide bands, more money doesn’t make people happier. Learning how to think about money, though, usually does.

  13. In the long run, doing work that’s important leads to more happiness than doing work that’s merely profitable.

Interview with Bonnie Dewkett, The Joyful Organizer

We had an amazing interview with Bonnie Dewkett of the Joyful Organizer and the Joy of Organizing Podcast. Here are the questions we asked during the interview:

– So Bonnie, who are you and how do you make lives simpler?

– We’ve found, and I’m sure you have too, that when someone “discovers” simplicity and really works to attain a higher level of simplicity, it can have a tremendous impact on their life. Can you share an example of two of how you’ve witnessed that impact or help enable that change in someone’s life?

– In one of your recent blog posts titled “Why Do We Own” you touch on a couple of reasons why we tend to own things and want more.  Can yo0u tap about what those reasons are and how knowing “why we own” we might be better able to control the clutter we let into our lives?

– One of your specialty services is photo management. that is one area where we’re working on developing a good Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) for ourselves and it’s also an area we’re often asked about from our listeners.  What tips can you share for others who’d like to “rein in the horses” and get control of their photo memories?  Maybe some tips for digital and physical photos?

– Another very popular question we get from our listeners is, how do you get others in your life, let’s say a spouse or loved one, to jump on  the simplicity or clutter-free bandwagon?  It can be a sticky situation…can you share some tips on how folks can work together towards living a simple life?

– So Bonnie, like us, you and your husband Matt work together, and you transitioned from the corporate world to start your own business together.  How has that changed your life together?

– Can you tell us a little bit more about your coaching services?

Thing Segment:

OK…for the first time every we have a “combined thing” which was spending time with old friends and new friends at the World Domination Summit over the 4th of July holiday weekend in Portland. Chris Guillebeau and his crew put on a fantastic event once again, and I think they did a pretty good job of scaling from 1000 people to 3000. So, we’ll see what next year holds in store.


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The Joyful Organizer

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Bonnie’s Books on Amazon

Thinking About Money

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4 thoughts on “SLT034: Let’s Talk Money, & An Interview with Bonnie Dewkett

  1. Clicked on links for joyful organizer. Sad that there have been no new podcasts since jan. I have listened to all of Matt and Bonnie’s podcasts. Looking forward to some new shows from them.

    • Hi, Melissa. I think Bonnie and Matt are going to start the Joyful Organizer back up again soon. She took time off for a bit to finish her Masters Degree. I loved their shows too!

  2. Dear Vanessa and Dan,
    My husband and I just happened upon your podcast by accident. The first thing we noticed is how sweet you are with each other (my husband made that very comment). We both work full time and have three young children (3 boys ages 7, 5, and 3). We are awash in papers and chaos. We live in a small house (by American standards) and have tried (and are trying) to live simply. Making or finding the time to simplify our lives as a family (to purge and organize) is a daily struggle and one we often lose. We would love to hear more on what the best way to “start” reclaiming our lives would be. I’d love to hear more specifics about meal plans and your ideas for keeping the kids on track at home with routines. Thank you and keep the laughter and great ideas coming. All our best from Boulder, CO, The Lewis Clan

    • Hi Brooke! Sorry for the delayed response but we’re fresh in from our extended road trip and are catching up. Thanks so much for your comment! As luck would have it, we’re (well, Vanessa is) addressing some of your concerns this week in Episode 36!

      It sounds to me like you’re pretty determined to overcome some of that “chaos” you mentioned. It will certainly help make that small house more livable and enjoyable, too. I’m biased, but I’d recommend you check out some of Vanessa’s stuff on her Get Simplifized! blog, too. She’s got TONS of great tips and videos that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Specifically, regarding meal planning, here’s one of her posts that comes to mind: Developing a 31 Day Meal Plan.

      I hope this helps…and thanks for noticing how Vanessa and I treat each other. It’s something she certainly deserves and something I fall short on from time-to-time, but thankfully she doesn’t kick me to the curb!!!

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