Can I Get a Witness? — Testimonials for Passion Saving

Set forth below are testimonials written by early readers of the Community Discussion Edition of my book Passion Saving: The Path to Plentiful Free Time and Soul-Satisfying Work.

“Your Enthusiasm is Infectious” — by Ruth N.

Testimonials for Passion Saving

I think you have good titles for the chapters. If I was browsing through your book at a bookstore, the first thing I would do is read the back. Then I would look at the Table of Contents. Based on your contents, I would buy this book. I especially liked the sub-title in Chapter Two (“Three Reasons Not to Put Money Aside for Your Old Age”) titled “Reason #1 — It’s Boring.” I got a good laugh out of that and thought “that is true!”.

My first impression was that this is a common sense and very practical approach to saving money, which is a breath of fresh air considering all the dry and boring books out there (which is why I never finished any of them). Those books, by the way, were all based on “Sacrifice Saving.”

I really liked your first three sentences (of the Introduction). These made me say, “Now this is the kind of person who is making sense!” Suddenly saving didn’t seem like something that was out of my reach. I think other readers will feel the same way.

This book is very well-written. You make things clear and interesting. I have no trouble wanting to read this book, and for someone who is as uninterested in saving as I am, you have accomplished a big feat. I am actually excited about reading more.

You did a good job comparing and contrasting the attitudes held in Sacrifice Saving and Passion Saving. This makes the reader aware of their old ways of thinking and opens their mind to a new way of thinking.

I like your personal story because it helps me, as the reader, relate to you. Your situation was similar to my current situation (for example, the $5,000 in your checking account). For me, it’s easy to relate to you because of this, and I am guessing there are a lot of other people out there in the same boat….

Overall, I really like your approach to writing. It is clear and easy to understand….

I think people will want to read your book because you understand human nature. For example, you mention that it is easier to focus on the short-term rather than the long-term desires….

You pointed out that people need to save for their own dreams. That was when I started wondering “What would I buy at The Freedom Store?” So I found this section to be the one that started me thinking about why I would want to save, because “so I don’t have to work” isn’t motivating enough for me….”

While I was reading this chapter (Chapter Four), I was thinking that you make the book clear and easy to understand and entertaining enough that I haven’t lost interest in it yet. I also thought that you would make a good motivational speaker….

I never thought of spending money at The Freedom Store. It sure does give me an entirely different viewpoint on saving. I actually find myself cooking at home instead of eating out because I think “I would rather spend some money on the “Get the Job You Want Instead of Settling for One You Have to Have In Order to Bring Home a Paycheck” package at The Freedom Store.

I think your greatest strength is summed up in the word “Passion.” Your enthusiasm is infectious. Now I am enthusiastic about it. I would venture that others will become motivated to save after reading this book, as I am. It’s all about the perception of saving, and now that my perception has changed, it has made a big difference and I find that my desire to spend has decreased. That’s never happened with any of the Sacrifice Saving books I’ve tried to read. I say “tried” because I never was able to finish one….

Passion Saving: The Path to Plentiful Free Time and Soul-Satisfying Work

You’re right about 10 percent being boring as a saving guideline. I used to calculate 10 percent to save each year and how much it would add up over a few years and it didn’t even seem worth it because 10 percent just doesn’t add up to much in the short-term. So your recommendation for saving more than 10 percent (which I hadn’t considered) made me run to my calculator (just to see if there is a difference) and it’s a lot more exciting because I can see the results faster.

I also found your humor refreshing. It’s the humor, I think, that maintains the reader’s interest the most….

As I was reading what you wrote under the section title “Where Have All the Productivity Dollars Gone?” I couldn’t believe what you were saying about saving for 13 years and then being able to retire (because it sounded too good to be true), so I had to get out my calculator and find out how much I could save by setting aside 30 percent for 13 years. I admit that I was impressed with what I found. I am a visual person and I like to see how the numbers add up…. If people would work through the numbers, they would be impressed and inspired with the results. I know I was. I didn’t think that I could ever save that much in so little time.

Overall, this is a wonderful book and it has great potential. I hope you experience success with this!

“When You Want More Freedom,…You Buy Some” — by Christina M.

I have gained many valuable insights that will help me to live a life of freedom. I am glad that I have read your book now as a college student. Now, I have more years to save and have a foundation to save the right way. One of the lessons I learned from reading your book is that those late night $3 cups of coffee while studying do make a difference in your financial freedom.

This book can benefit people of all ages, from the student in high school trying to save enough money to buy a used car to the retired gentleman trying to provide financial freedom for him and generations to come. One lesson from your book that all people can use in their everyday lives is the lesson in Chapter 3 that one must have the desire to save. One shouldn’t force one’s self to save, he or she should want to save and save happily.

In addition, the most important element in the book was, “When you want more freedom to live the life you want to live, you buy some financial independence, you make a purchase at the Freedom Store” (page 21). This was a key point for me and something I will carry with me forever as I spend my money; I have to also “spend” my money at my new favorite store, “The Freedom Store”.

Overall, an enjoyable read for the most part. Although I did think there was going to be more stories of how people left jobs they were unhappy in to find “soul-satisfying work”.

“We Do Need to Question the Conventional Wisdom About Money Management” — by Joe V.

Rob Bennett’s Passion Saving develops a great analogy of saving money to weight management. Successful weight loss depends on changing your lifestyle to incorporate healthy eating and regular enjoyable exercise, rather than continually denying yourself. Likewise, successful money management depends on changing your financial habits to make wise choices an enjoyable part of your life, rather than always “gritting your teeth” and “just doing it”.

I’d disagree that “willpower doesn’t work” – a single act of signing up for payroll deduction for a 401K, or an automatic investment program can have dramatic long-term consequences.

Passion Saving is full of contrarian statements, like “It’s Spending That Makes You Rich”, “Willpower Doesn’t Work”, or “There Is No Such Thing as Financial Independence”. These statements are deliberately provocative. However, once the author has grabbed the reader’s attention with these statements, he demonstrates that we do need to question conventional wisdom about money management. In particular, he shows that many of us need to change our motivations for why we save. Rather than simply making sacrifices for a retirement which is decades away, we need to realize how our saving can help us meet shorter term goals.

The Magic of Achieving Financial Independence Early in Life

Some of Rob’s statements are overly materialistic – “Purchases of luxuries define you in ways that purchases of things you need to buy to live do not.” Although I certainly enjoy a few luxuries, I am “defined” by my relationships to my friends, my volunteer work, my relationship to God, NOT by what I own.

Rob Bennett’s writing about planning for retirement is quite helpful. Rather than blindly accepting the usual advice that you’ll need 80% of pre-retirement income, he suggests carefully considering what you really need to live on, and exploring whether being willing to live on less could allow you to partially retire much earlier.

“Makes the Subject of Saving Edgy and Fresh” — by Maxine F.

Rob Bennett’s book Passion Saving hits the nail on the head for people like me who have always wanted to save more, but found it difficult to do so without knowing why. Saving doesn’t work until it becomes gratifying and fun in its own right, just like spending is. Passion Saving makes the case that sacrifice saving works against itself. Once you get passionate about the project of saving, everything falls into place.

Bennett’s program is exhilarating because it gives us permission to save not only for retirement, but for the fun, life-enhancing things we’re going to want along the way. Saving is not just for the far future, but also for today. Because these nearer goals are the things we get passionate about, Bennett says, we can use them. They’re an excellent spur to saving.

The author’s most resonating argument for me is his discussion of luxury. While middle-class ennui continues to engulf us in spite of our expensive cars, espresso makers and home theaters, the new luxury has become something other than the accumulation of more non-essential stuff. Bennett’s definition of this new luxury is free time. A financially independent person has the privilege of a self-directed life free of energy-draining money worries, and the power to pursue the things he or she is really passionate about. This kind of independence–not looking rich or having gadgets–is true wealth.

Bennett’s engaging, clear-eyed approach makes the subject of saving edgy and fresh. His witty use of opposites puts the concepts into high relief: passion saving, spendthrift misers, the present value of future happiness, it’s spending that makes you rich. I welcomed the personal element in the author’s description of his own money struggles and discoveries. His personal tranformation from a Clark Kent of money management to a Superman of saving is convincing and inspiring. Passion Saving clearly works.

“A Great Read” — by Greg A.

The mechanics of where we invest our savings (stock mutual funds, bonds or real estate) will never matter unless we can first find the motivation and desire to save without a sense of deprivation. Bennett lights the path to saving and investing with joy and passion for a better life. For those who of us who never quite found the joy of saving and investing, this is a great read.

“My Husband and I Have Spent the Whole Weekend Talking” — by Kara D.

Financial Freedom Fireworks

My mind is on fire. I must admit to never thinking about saving money as a ticket to freedom, as a step closer to my true self. Now I understand the title, find what it is you are passionate about and saving for that dream becomes a welcomed exercise rather than a chore in self denial.

My husband and I have spent the whole weekend talking about how we could save in order for him to take a leave of absence from work and we could travel around the world with our children in ten years time- somehow reading your book helps me to feel that perhaps this is within our ability to do. It is mind blowing to think this dream is not some far flung idea that everyone (including myself) knows will never come to fruition. Most days I am hesitant to even put breath to this dream for a myriad of reasons but your book has provided some hope and completely blown the lid off the box that contained my dream for travel and family and quality time.

My husband is currently reading your book and I plan to pass it on to my brother as well.

Until reading your book I truely did not think it was worth my while to look at the numbers involved in financing my personal dream, my passion, but your message has brought me hope and encouragement that becoming a Passion Saver can indeed help my dreams become a reality. Previous to reading this book I didn’t realize there was a Freedom Store at which I was eligible to shop. As a middle class American struggling to make ends meet, I assumed pursuing my passion was a luxury I couldn’t afford- what a false assumption! I never thought a book shelved in personal finance could be so inspiring and speak so strongly to my authentic self struggling to be freed. This book is about identifying your passion and mapping out the way to actualize that vision- sooner rather than later.

Passion Saving reads like a casual conversation with a likable guy who wants nothing more than to help others experience the same joy and happiness he has found through utilizing the tools of a Pasison Saver.

If quality of life is important to you, if fulfillment in your work matters, if you want to spend more time doing and being with those you love and you can’t quite seem to shake the dream you’ve always carried for your life, then you can not afford to pass this book by.

Rob, this book gave my husband and I so much to think about, thank you. I am going to check out some of the titles in the recommended reading list too. I feel like I just realized there is a whole different way of living – am I the last one to figure this out?

“My Usual Skepticism Went Out the Window” — by Blane

I just received Rob Bennett’s book titled Passion Saving. I had stumbled on his web site from a link in another article, and after only a few moments reading, knew this was surely something that I had been looking for. My usual skepticism went out the window, and I ordered my copy in just a few minutes.

Delivery time was exceptional, and in a couple of days I had devoured the entire book. I was encouraged by the ideas presented. As a baby boomer in his early 50’s, I know too well the feeling of having saved too little, too late. I also know the feeling of spending my entire working life in an occupation that I had turned from not liking to actually hating.

I will give this book a definite two thumbs up, especially for a younger reader looking for ideas on early retirement. The ideas presented are a totally different approach from merely saving for old age, and give a new possibility for enjoying your money wisely now, as well as using it to pave the way for a comfortable future.

I will say that as an older worker who has managed to save only a fraction of what would be needed to pursue Rob’s ideas, that a bit more information would be welcome. I actually sent an e-mail to Mr. Bennett about this. I was surprised to get a quick response with an invitation to be an active participant in the blogs, and gather more information there. Also, I understand future books are in the works.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fresh approach to finances that can make a difference in how we view our saving and spending. My advice, especially to younger people, is to look at the suggestions in this book as a new possibility for your financial future. By all means visit and get a good overview of what to expect from this book.

“Preach It, Brother!” — by Janine Bolon, author of Money — It’s Not Just for Rich People!

The points that have me the most excited are the ones discussed in the sections entitled “Save the Way You Spend” “Retire Now!” and “Three-Paycheck Analysis.” All of these points hit home with me. I remembered the path that my husband and I took to financial independence and how each of these issues were hit, worked on and then resolved as we moved toward our goals. So, good work! You’ve done an excellent job explaining and bringing your own frustrations to the reader as well. This is so important when explaining the path to others.

Then I hit page 106 where you say something most important. “To be middle-class almost by definition means to be on a quest for more meaningful work.” Preach it, brother! That is the single greatest message we can deliver to folks trying to become wealthy. Many people have lost sight of their particular meaning of life. We all need to ask ourselves: “Why am I here?”

“Made Me Want to Raise the Bar a Bit” — by Anson O.

I finished reading your book today. I bought it online last month from your website.

It was an enjoyable read. I really liked the layout of it, which made it very easy to read. I find it difficult to find a lot of time to read (one of my passions I would like to make more time for) and it made it great to read for hours or for 10 minutes if that is all that I had.

It is a great philosophy on saving and I will adopt some of the ideas that are in it. In a way, it is kind of what I always felt and it is nice to see it written down to get motivated by it. It also filled in a lot of the gaps that were missing in my saving strategy.

Over the last couple of years I began to worry about retirement — I am only 31!

I have been reading financial books on investing, trying to learn more about this world we live in, to find out how to make a living in it so I can retire the Sacrifice Saver way. Reading your book made me want to raise the bar a bit and see how much sooner I can start enjoying The Good Life.

Thank you for your motivating words.