By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, January 5, 2009
Some statements are priceless. For example, in 1910 Wallace D. Wattles said in his book, “The Science of Getting Rich”, “If you want to help the poor, become rich.” You can obtain a free download of the book by going to http://thescienceofgettingrich.com/. It is hard to imagine that Wattles in 1910 could write a book for that era that would be so applicable today.
Instead of the overworked term “poor people” let’s use the phrase “people without money.” People without money do not open businesses and therefore do not hire employees. People without money are not in a position to help other people without money. Wattles nailed it – “If you want to help the poor, become rich.”
There are many fantastic books available that if studied can help anyone who applies him or herself to the very basic principles of experiencing wealth. Here is my short list:
• The 5 Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me, Richard Paul Evans, http://www.thefivelessons.com
• Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert T. Kiyosaki, www.richdad.com
• The Wealthy Barber, David Chilton, www.wealthybarber.com
• The Money Jar, Grant Sylvester, very hard to find but an excellent book
• 21 Distinctions of Wealth, Peggy McColl, www.Destinies.com
• The Millionaire Mind and/or The Millionaire Mind Next Door, Thomas Stanley http://www.millionairemind.com
• The Richest Man in Babylon, George Clason http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadershop/6725-0.html
• True Wealth, Your Values, Your Money, Joe Tye, requires you sign up for Spark Plug Plus Membership at www.JoeTye.com, it is worth the cost of the membership. Also available on the site for members-only is Winning The War With Yourself; excellent read
The current economic collapse has taught me is that most people, certainly not you, were not financially prepared for the collapse. Most of the above books would suggest that as a minimum, a person should have at least 6 months of financial liquidity in order to pay all of their known expenses in the event a total loss of income should occur. Do you have six months of cash? Do you have a list of your monthly expenses?
Abraham Lincoln once said, “And this too shall pass.” That is true, this economic crisis will pass and when it does, people will go back to doing what they have always done and they will get what they have always gotten (another great quote attributable to Albert Einstein). But just as the “bad times” will pass, so will again will the “good times.” It is a never ending cycle. History tells us that there will be ups and downs, so why do the downs always come as a surprise and so few of us are prepared for the surprises?
Personally I feel like my formal education has let me down. It was not until I embarked on a self-education venture that I learned about what Alfred Einstein called “the eighth wonder of the world - “compound interest.” Money matters were simply not discussed when I was growing up. In my case, “growing up” lasted well into my late 40’s. I have to believe that training on money matters is still not being taught in our public school system; what a pity!
I have discussed Joe Tye’s Direction-Deflection-Question (DDQ) in many of my Nuggets primarily because it works. “Is what I am about to do or say consistent with my ideal best self?” You can change the last part of the DDQ to accomplish anything you desire. In Richard Paul Evans’ book, The 5 Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me, there is a variation of the DDQ when he asks, “Is this expenditure contributing to my wealth or taking from it?”
Think about that! “Is this expenditure contributing to my wealth or taking from it?” If you train yourself to ask that question every time you pick up something in a store, or begin to order something over the Internet, chances are you will not make the purchase. We typically buy on impulse and THEN try to justify the purchase with logic.
If you want to make a difference, I would recommend the following action items:
1. Make it a priority to study money and the accumulation of wealth. Set a personal goal to have no less than 6 months of cash equal to 6 months of known living expenses available to you as soon as possible. When Hurricane Katrina struck my area, I had no idea if or when I would be allowed back into my home nor did I know if my home had survived the storm (it did). Having access to cash relieved a great deal of tension on the family and that was priceless!
2. Put your money accountability on a computer program such as Microsoft Money (the program was already pre-installed on my computer and it works fine), Quicken, or similar programs. Most banks now have online banking so you can match your online banking activities with your check register software program and if you do it on a daily basis you can SEE where your money is going or not going and how much you are putting aside, or not, and your wealth building. Simply setting a goal is great but it is hard to SEE. If you work the software daily, you can SEE and be encouraged to continue with your efforts.
3. Learn to create and work from a budget. Identify every expense you have from the big items such as mortgage payment or rent payment down to the expenses you don’t think about once a year like taxes owed, Christmas and birthday presents, etc. When you REALLY KNOW where your money goes, you can make better decisions as to how you spend and save it.
4. Neal Boortz in his book, “Somebody’s Gotta Say It” has a fantastic savings recommendation. He suggests that you never spend a dollar bill except for tips and tolls. If you want to purchase an item that costs only 89 cents, use a five dollar bill. Do what you will with the loose change but take the dollar bills and put them in a safe place. I started doing this in the summer of 2008 and by Christmas I had enough cash for all the Christmas gifts I wanted to give out with all the one dollar bills I had collected. I started again after Christmas and already it is growing and more importantly, I can SEE it grow.
5. Ask yourself this question as well, “Is it my ego that is driving this purchase or is it necessity?” If it is ego, think again. If it is necessity, is there a less expensive option? Ask the Evans question, “Is this expenditure contributing to my wealth or taking away from it?” As attorneys say, “Asked AND answered!”
6. Read all the referenced materials above but start with Richard Paul Evans book, “The 5 Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me.” It is an easy and very beneficial read!
There is a first step to help bring our country out of its economic woes – one person at a time! Start with you. If you help one person besides yourself, preferably your children, to make wealth building a life’s study, and they in turn help their children to do the same, our country would move from a debtor nation to a nation of wealthy and independent individuals.
A great many people talk about other people’s wealth as if they had to do something illegal to accumulate their wealth. If you are like me, I grew up in a time where being wealthy just wasn’t in the future of most of the people I knew. We didn’t talk about money, religion or politics – oh how times have changed.
A very good friend of mine once said, “I’ve tried poor; I’m ready to try rich!” As Yoda said, “No try; DO!
BEFORE YOU SPEND THE NEXT DOLLAR, ASK:
IS THIS EXPENDITURE CONTRIBUTING TO MY WEALTH OR TAKING FROM IT?