Don’t Be A Mule: An Explanation

by David Bakke

Over the course of the past year or so, I have received quite a few inquiries as to why I chose the title that I did for my book. Before it published, I had considered quite a few more generic titles (i.e. Making Money Matter, Good Financial Cents, etc.) The reason why I went with what I did was two fold:  first, I think for a lot of people out there, they need to be “hit over the head” so to speak when it comes to managing their money. It is pretty elementary to me now the need for prudent money management, but in my younger days, I was definitely one in that crowd. This is the first reason why I chose a more “hard hitting” title. Secondly, I wanted to make it something that is a little outside of the box. I think it stands apart from most other books on the topic, because it divides money management into three separate categories, and dissects each one. Some have called the title of my book “stupid” or “ignorant” and I can respect that opinion. However, I stand by the title of my book. It basically means what it says– “Don’t Be A Mule.”

What Do I Mean By That?

Here are a few quick examples where I think that people are basically being stupid with their money–

Grocery Shopping–When you are doing your grocery shopping–“Don’t Be a Mule.”  Don’t mindlessly wander through the aisles picking up the same overpriced items that you always do when you could take off the blinders, open your eyes, and start saving yourself some money  (see Chapter 3).

Bills–When you are paying your bills-“Don’t Be a Mule.” Do not robotically open up the envelopes, look at the amounts due, write out your checks, lick the stamps and send them off.  Check your utility bills for accuracy, check your credit card bills for mistakes, and if you find something wrong with any of them, then REALLY don’t be a mule…….stand up and fight for the money that’s rightfully yours. (see Chapter 4).

Leisure Time–When you get home from work at nite….Don’t Be A Mule.  Instead of sitting down in front of the TV for a mindless three hours of boob tube watching, actually think about what you are passionate about and what you can provide value to in someone else’s life.  This is the key and the beginning to being able to generate extra cash in your life, without even getting a second job. (see Chapter 5). Identify your talent(s), and figure out a way to turn them into money makers.

Daily Purchases–If you stop by a convenience store every morning for a cup of coffee, why not invest in a coffee maker and make it yourself? The money you save on a daily basis may not seem like much, but on an annual basis, it could mean hundreds of dollars. Do you go out to lunch every day of your work week? Consider brown-bagging it–the savings here are huge, and it is probably healthier eating.

Final Thoughts

Two final thoughts I will leave you with:

It is Not Forever:  I only propose these changes until you are financially fit. if the thought of packing your own lunch is too much, tell yourself that you’ll do it for six months and then look at your finances. if your credit card debt is paid off and you can afford it (and you truly enjoy dining out) then by all means, go back to eating out. I think this is a key point that many people don’t realize–the sacrifices that you need to make in order to fix your finances do not have to be permanent changes–only until your financial house is in order.

Your Money Is Hard-Earned:  This is another point that people just miss the boat on. if you are busting your behind at your job to make the money that you do, why would you let it flow out of your life in such an ignorant fashion. To me, logic states that if you work hard for your money then you should work smart to see that as much of it as possible stays in your life.


…..And there you have it, an explanation of what the title of my book really means….

{ 1 comment }

1 davy jones November 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Hi – I like your time-limited approach. We paid off our mortgage and have a plan to pay for our kids’ college with enough leftover for more coffee and (modest) take-out meals. It feels great to have a little extra to spend with our more flexible lifestyle!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: