Life-Changing Magic River of Money - Part 2 Book Sample (#2 of 3)

Ryan Petty

An excerpt from the Introduction to Part 2:

Float Your Way Downstream to Financial Freedom

Your house is just a place for your stuff…. Sometimes you got to move. You got to get a bigger house. Why? Too much stuff! 
-George Carlin

The thing I have discovered about working with personal finance is that it is not rocket science. Personal finance is about 80 percent behavior. It is only about 20 percent head knowledge. 
-Dave Ramsey

Part 2 is about the life-changing opportunity to leverage financial independence and freedom from your decision to tidy up, declutter, and organize your life. It’s an unexpected benefit derived from what is essentially housekeeping, and it is every bit as big and consequential as the life-changing benefit Marie Kondo wrote her book about (a simpler, more joyous lifestyle).

I said in the Preface that The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up started me… critically… to think.

What I thought about was the financial implications of decluttering, seeing for the first time the breadth of opportunities it creates for individuals who may initially seek only to alter their relationships to possessions in a quest for joy and happiness.

Though her book was not about making, saving, or investing money, I found it to be full of life-changing ideas that, if fully implemented and extrapolated on, would alter one’s financial outlook permanently. And, with that, one’s destiny. 

She did not see the financial implications, I assume, because she did not mention them explicitly. But The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up opened my eyes. The more I read of it, the more another book began to take shape; only this one I would need to write.

By decluttering and better organizing our lives, we can accomplish each of the following:

1.    We can clarify that most of our possessions are, in fact, surplus to our needs;

2.   We can reduce, as well, our needs for household living space, since we are intent on owning fewer possessions for now and always; and

3. Having first accomplished these two things, we can take advantage of opportunities to make financially significant decisions that were not previously available to us. Decisions we’ve earned the right to make. Decisions with far-reaching consequences: We can provide ourselves with any of several streams of unexpected income (money made and saved) that flow together as the natural consequences of actions we have taken.  

These income streams comprise the “Magic River of Money” this book is about. They are broken down further, grouped in categories, and described at length in the next eight chapters.

The big picture is that the surplus from decluttering and organizing one’s life, if captured across a lifetime, may be enough to fill the financial gap that haunts so many American lives....


For the balance of this book, I have organized chapters by income streams (some one-time or short-lived, others likely to be sustainable, long-term). Each is about either a different financial windfall or on-going flow of money that can be captured and made your own. That is: if and when you do the work involved in making decisions and carrying them out. 

Think of the ideas presented as you would items on a menu. Consider each of them and order several. But you cannot order them all. You will have to establish priorities, and pursue the ones that best match your situation and appetite.

At the end of each chapter, a section called “What’s at Stake” provides a commentary on the potential size of the opportunity and how to think about making it a reality in your life....

Just as streams flow together in tributaries to become mighty rivers, so the income streams from decluttering become powerful if and when you decide to develop them, whether  in sequence or together....

Copyright © 2015 Ryan Lee Petty

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