10 Years Without Money


Hi Scott,

Ten years I have been a monk and therefore ten years without money. Now, at age 52, I am leaving the monastic life and coming back into the regular world. (Scott, I notice you are a bit older, wiser and chubbier than when I last saw you on TV all those years ago.) I am earning $52,000 a year but have no assets or savings. I am not sure I will ever have the chance to buy a home, but I would really welcome your advice on how to build up some wealth. The world has changed a lot, I see.


Scott's Answer

Hi Doug,

My wife calls me her ‘Barefoot Buddha’ (mental note, when your wife and your work are commenting on your chubbiness, it’s time to hit the gym).

Anyway, you’ve got a couple of good things going for you:

First, you don’t have a wife, or children, so you can focus 100 per cent on yourself.

Second, you’ve spent the last decade without an iPhone, a butler’s pantry, or KFC. In other words, you’ve broken the chains of materialism!

Having said that, you still need financial security, so your priority should be to increase your income so you can sock away three months of living expenses in a Mojo account.

And the house? Well, if you’re willing to move to a rural area, you could eventually afford a cheap home, too. (They’re cheap in Manangatang, and if you can stick it out in monastery, you’ll be a shoo-in for Manangatang.)

Remember, you’ve got at least 20 years of full-time work ahead of you. Repeated studies have shown that, once you earn over $75,000 a year, money doesn’t make you any happier. But you’re only earning $52,000, so you have $23,000 worth of happiness to gain!

Thank you for reading