Money is a word we use to describe portable, exchangeable value.
In the smash hit Nintendo game, “Animal Crossing,” players quickly discover that they need “bells.” Without “bells,” they cannot have a home, or clothes, or gardens. Sure, there are things they can do —like watch a sunset— but, there are clear limits. In that game, bells = money. And, like in the game, there are many things you can do that don’t require money, but there are clear limits.
So, let’s assume you need money.
In this series about BUILDING FINANCIAL STRENGTH, I will use the word “money” a lot. But, for the record, these principles I cover will usually apply to almost anything of value, not just coins and currency. If it’s an asset that can be used to improve your financial situation, even if it’s something intangible like a business contact or word-of-mouth advertising, you need it and you need an increasing supply of it ... just like money.
For most of us, money flows through our lives; it’s like standing in a stream. You can have some of that stream if you use the right tools to capture it. And you can keep some of it, if you can discipline yourself to hang onto it.
DIVERSION: Most of us are standing in a deeper stream of money than we realize. And that means, if we apply ourselves to the process, we can divert some of it for our own purposes. We need to do that. We need to not only get some, we need to keep some.
Most of us spend whatever money we get. Even though the stream goes up and down, and even though we actually get more money sometimes, we usually don’t have any left over.
ACCUMULATION: I hope you did your homework and read “The Richest Man in Babylon” (TRMIB). That little tale covers many principles, and numero uno is: Pay yourself first. Some of us can save up some money for a specific purpose, and then keep it for a while so we can spend it on something we want.
Most of us, though, struggle to keep some forever.
Does that sound strange to you: to save money and never spend it? That is the key to building financial strength. Without accumulated resources—i.e., savings—we are stuck where we are. As strange as it may seem, the truth is this: if you can force yourself to save some money without ever spending it, you will, in time, have more money you can spend.
Most of us can, if we desire to do so, divert some of our money stream into a permanent savings account of some sort. Yes, it almost certainly means spending less than we are used to spending, at least for a while —months, probably years— so we can grow our permanent savings. But, if you can act as explained in TRMIB, you will have more opportunities, more resources, more faith and support from family and friends; and sooner than you might imagine.
Homework: Read WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE? Read the Pink Pages. Same as last time, just get a copy you can read. Try your local library. If they don’t have it, ask about borrowing it through Inter-Library Loan. If you want your own copy, check used bookstores in your area.
To your benefit,
Stephen C. Orr
To Read more of Steve's writings, go to https://steveorr.blogspot.com/