If your income is your only wealth building tool you’d better learn to manage it well or you’ll have none in the end.
When Dave Ramsey said, “Rich people have big libraries. Poor people have big TVs.” it got me thinking…. I began writing the things the wealthy do with their money that are different from what the poor do with theirs.
Being one who loves lists, my list reminded me of the many valuable lessons taught by Rabbi Daniel Lapin in his book, Thou Shalt Prosper, which I am currently reading. One was that all natural laws have a physical and a spiritual side, ignore one and the others will never materialize.
Layed out in 10 chapters called “Commandments,” chapter 8, Know Your Money, reinforces my premise here. His advice is:
- Work on your trustworthiness
- Learn to read a financial statement
- Create your own financial statement
- Develop a market for the goods or services you know well
Lapin’s book is a valuable study guide and reinforces my premise. You have to learn to master your money.
In the spirit of knowing that (1) what I don’t know is more important than what I do know and that (2) one should always place your becoming above your current being (a) let us look at some facts.
- 92% of millionaires develop a long-term plan for their money
- 97% of millionaires always achieve their goals
- 94% of millionaires live on less than they make
- 70% of millionaires save more than 10% of their income
- 95% of millionaires save and pay cash for large expenses
- 82% of millionaires have no car payments
- 73% of millionaires have never carried a credit card balance
- 96% of millionaires have never had a past-due bill
These facts (b) are hard to argue with. They are the building blocks of their success. But in all of these cases, the average person falls short in the achievement of these proven successful habits. The reasons are legion or are they only excuses?
In my case, though I grew up in an upper-middle-class neighborhood my parents didn’t have these skills so I didn’t learn them from them. But I have always been free-spirited and pig-headedly did things my way. Not listening to the sane voices in my life could have been my problem.
I finally grew up enough to realize that my way wasn’t getting me anywhere. As I searched for answers to my financial questions I learned that the habits of the wealthy were in stark contrast to those of the poor (mine).
Thou I shouldn’t have been, I was shocked to learn that most of my habits were on the poor‘s side, not the wealthy. I set out to make changes and the life I now live is liberatingly different.
Wherever you find yourself on these two lists, you, like me can make changes when you are sick and tired of getting nowhere. When that day comes and you are willing to change your life everything in your life will change. Because you will do something to make a change. I know. It’s working for me. And things look so much better from here. Are you willing to join me?
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said, “Education doesn’t make you smarter,” and our empty bank accounts and poor-man habits prove this to be true. If education made us smarter each and every one of us would be or would be working on becoming a millionaire, yet we are not.
For the majority of us, our income is our only wealth building tool. But since we’ve never been properly trained to use it to our advantage we are starting at a disadvantage and need to carefully assess our financial situation so we can become financially independent.
If you only change one financial habit this year work on saving your money or spending less than you make. This simple skill is the catalyst for building wealth. All other wealth building habits stem from this one habit.
The best advice I can offer is to read the best books on finances, work on improving your bad habits and follow a proven financial plan. It has worked for the 10,000+ millionaires studied by Chris Hogan and the one-day millionaire me.
(a) Jordan Peterson
(b) Everyday Millionaires by Chris Hogan