Phil Laut’s book, Money is My Friend, came into my life in the offices of a publisher at Ballantine Wellspring. I was there with my agent to promote the book I had written at the time, Mind, Body, Wallet. The book didn’t get picked up– I didn’t have a platform, etc. But the publisher gave me several books including a slim volume of Money is My Friend. In retrospect, all the efforts I put into my book were worth being exposed to Phil Laut and his work.
I recently found out and was saddened by the news that Phil passed away a few years ago. I interviewed Phil, attended his seminars, and was coached by him.
He was a smart and warm person. He served as a captain in the Coast Guard during the Vietnam War. He was a peaceful warrior who fought to help people transform their self-concept and their relationship to creativity and money.
Phil’s strength was how intelligently and playfully he challenged people’s thinking about money. Even the title, “Money is My Friend”, is like a little zen koan, meant to smash all previously held categories and thought patterns.
There are so many ideas in this little book that I like to read it once a year. For now, I want to concentrate on two of Phil Laut’s powerful and fun ideas:
- Your Purpose in Life
- Creating Multiple Savings Accounts
Don’t Be a Purposeless Samurai (While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood)
A clear statement of purpose aids in defining goals and making decision because it is very unlikely that a goal or decision that is not in alignment with values that matter to you can be enjoyable to accomplish or can contribute to your peace of mind. Without a clear sense of your purpose, all of the education you receive and all of the improvements that you make in yourself serve only to make you a more productive slave to someone else’s purpose.
Phil Laut, Money is My Friend
One of the great things I learned how to do as an Outward Bound instructor is how to use a map and compass. Though I still got lost occasionally, logic, careful observations of my surroundings and using the map and compass, always helped me get back on track. Having a purpose doesn’t mean that you won’t get lost or challenged, but it does help you get on track.
Money is My Friend uses a simple formula to get people to sharpen a purpose statement: brainstorm your favorite characteristics, brainstorm your favorite ways of expressing your top four characteristics, and formulate a statement (25 words or less) of your picture of an ideal world. You put this all together in a paragraph.
Multiple Savings Accounts: Money with Purpose
Phil Laut’s idea of having multiple savings account revolutionized my financial life. Having multiple savings accounts changed my financial life because it allowed me to be clearer about the purpose of my money. Having one savings account makes it hard to be clearer about the different things you want to accomplish with money.
In Money is My Friend, Phil suggests that you create the following accounts:
- Cash Flow Savings Account
- Large Purchases Savings Account
- Financial Independence Savings Account
- Millionaire’s Savings Account
- Annual Income Savings Account
- Taxes Savings Account
- Generosity Savings Account
When you create these accounts, you aren’t only learn how to shift your money, you are also learning to shift your mind about money. I will include more information and thoughts about how to use multiple savings accounts in another post.
I know purpose has that “self-help” sheen, so I’d like to leave you with an alternative. Porpoise. Live your life with porpoise. Walk with porpoise. Save with porpoise. Don’t swim blind in the ocean of life. Do it with porpoise.