02/27/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Save 80% of Your Income

What? Yeah, that was my reaction too. And guess where I heard this? At a homeless shelter. Indeed.

Recently, I gave a talk at a homeless shelter in Santa Monica. A really cool place called Turning Point which helps homeless people get into permanent housing and jobs in two to nine months. They require that their clients save 80% of their income, given that food and housing is being provided free of charge. I joked that if I could get the average American to save one quarter of that amount, we'd be in a whole lot less trouble than we are now.

Of course, I talked about the eight financial archetypes. And I had them raise their hands for which was most dominant. And guess what, more of them were Savers than any other type. One gentleman told me that he used to own seven electronics stores, and saved up close to a million dollars before he retired. But post-retirement life left him feeling aimless, and he made a series of financial mistakes which wiped him out within 6 years. "How did I manage to do that?" he asked, plaintively.

It's all a matter of your attitude towards money, said another of Turning Point's clients. And that's what we talked about most of all - what attitude adjustment did each of them need to stay on their feet once they were out of the shelter. It was a moving hour, because I could feel the yearning to be free, and to make lasting changes coming from each of them. We don't need to save 80% of our income. But if you find yourself with no savings, you do want to start somewhere. Because once you're saving, no matter how little, you're re-programming your unconscious mind from "I'll never have enough." to "I have more than enough." And that kind of thinking begets more abundance.