“Not all Readers are Leaders, but all Leaders are Readers.”
~Harry S. Truman
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“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”
– Proverbs 22:7
Are you scared of opening the mail and looking at your gigantic credit card bills?
Do you hide from your friends and relatives because you owe them money?
Is your income not enough to cover expenses and pay your debts?
“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.”
– Robert Kiyosaki
What would you do if, right this moment, somebody gives you over P1 MILLION?
Remember your answer as we’ll return to this later. For now, let’s talk about savings and budget!
Expenses vs Income
Most of us want to save money… but there are ALWAYS groceries to buy, bills to pay, emergency expenses, and things we “need” to buy. If we only earned more money, we can save more, right?
Unfortunately, when we DO earn more through promotions, pay raises, and bonuses, there are MORE things we “need” to buy so we spend all our money.
Getting more money only makes us SPEND more, not SAVE more. It’s like pouring more water in a weave basket.
“Many speak the truth when they say that they despise riches, but they mean the riches possessed by other men.”
– Charles Caleb Colton
Sometimes I walk by the most beautiful malls and shopping centers in the Philippines, like Greenbelt, SM Aura, Bonifacio High Street, and several others. Everywhere I look there are rich people eating at restaurants where each dish costs more than a worker’s daily pay, dressed in the finest clothes that costs more than an average employee’s monthly salary, and buying gadgets that would take most of us a few years to save up for.
On the other side of the city, a few miles from those areas of luxury are entire communities who can’t afford a decent lifestyle. According to ABS-CBN’s report on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)’s Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) last 2014, around one in every four Filipinos live in poverty. Without a good source of income, many are forced to scavenge dumpsters and trash cans for food, sleep in cardboard boxes every night, and are forced to beg for a few coins to survive.
While some children play in the streets wearing dirty rags on weekdays because their families can’t afford to send them to school (a key to moving up in society), the children of wealthy parents have everything handed to them on a silver platter: the latest toys and gadgets, nutritious food, the best education, and far more.
Sounds unfair, right?
One Friday afternoon a friend of mine sent me a video link to an investment strategy.
During the first few minutes I thought it was about money cost averaging, a proven technique for minimizing risk by investing a set amount of money over time, but it wasn’t. It was an advertisement. Like how fast-food hamburgers always look better on TV ads, the investment “system” they featured showed VERY high past performance returns (around 20-30% returns). Those returns are possible… if you’re VERY lucky. Those who expect to ALWAYS get those high returns will be disappointed.
As the video continued to how the system works, my eyes grew wide with shock, and I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing for a few moments. It was like watching an advertisement telling people to drink a bottle of pesticide as a “health” drink.
Did you know that Jeepney Drivers can become millionaires?
Yes, I know they’re some of the poorest people in the Philippines and that they earn around P300-400 (around $7) a day on average… but never underestimate that.
They CAN become millionaires even with that income, and you know what…?
YOU CAN TOO.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
– Nelson Mandela
Before we begin, here’s a little quiz:
“Many times the reading of a book has made the fortune of a man.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you were given the choice:
A few books which cost P3,000,
or P5,000 worth of groceries/cigarettes/beer/gadgets which would you choose?
Most people would choose the P5,000 worth of stuff.
…but what if those books can teach you how to invest and BE A MILLIONAIRE in less than 20 years? Will you still choose the groceries and gadgets that probably won’t last a few months?
That’s the choice I once made, and I’ll tell you how it started. Who knows…
Maybe you can do it too…
“The shocking truth about prosperity is that it is shockingly right instead of shockingly wrong for you to be prosperous! … Please note that the word ‘rich’ means having an abundance of good or living a fuller, more satisfying life. Indeed, you are prosperous to the degree that you are experiencing peace, health, happiness and plenty in your world. There are honorable methods that can carry you quickly toward that goal. It is easier to accomplish than you may now think. That, too, is the shocking truth about prosperity.”
– Catherine Ponder, The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity
One of the absolute worst ideas in the world is the belief that being rich or having money is evil.
If you’re a good person and you work hard to create things that help others, will you be rewarded with poverty and suffering? Of course not! If what you do or create is valuable, people will pay you money for it. The more good that you do like heal people and save lives as a surgeon, hire workers to build homes for a hundred families, cook and feed thousands of families all over the country through your restaurant franchise, etc., the more wealth you will earn.
Thinking that money is evil comes from misunderstanding 1 Timothy 6:10. It never said that money, wealth, or desiring a better life is is evil; it only said the “love of money” is the root of evil. Many verses in the bible actually talk about attaining wealth (both physical and spiritual) as God’s blessings, and in this article I’ll tell you about my three favorites. The first two verses, by the way, are from the wise King Solomon, and the third is from Jesus himself, as written in Matthew’s gospel.
The First Verse:
“The rich man’s wealth is his strong city; the poverty of the poor is their ruin.”
– Proverbs 10:15 (ESV)
This one runs against the whole “being poor is good and being rich is bad” belief.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
– Henry Ford
Once upon a time, there lived a pair of twins from the Pa family. The stronger, smarter, and taller twin was named Tallo, while the other was named Nallo.
When they were little children, their mother once brought home a bag of cookies for them to eat. She placed the bag on a cabinet high up on the wall before leaving for work as she forgot that the two children couldn’t reach it.
Although Tallo was taller and stronger, no matter how hard he jumped, he couldn’t reach the cookies. He stopped trying and thought to himself: “No matter how hard I try, it’s useless. I CAN’T do anything.”
Nallo tried jumping for it too, but he also couldn’t reach it. Thinking of how he can reach the cookies, he saw the dining chair and a broom in their kitchen. He climbed on top of the chair and clumsily used the broom handle to try and reach the cookies. Although he failed a lot at first, after trying for 20 minutes, he eventually got the cookies and shared it with his brother. Nallo thought to himself: “I CAN do anything if I find out how to do it.”
As they grew older, Nallo and Tallo both went to the same school in their village. Tallo was smart enough to get good grades, but since he couldn’t get perfect scores, he stopped trying. Nallo had a hard time learning and failed the first few of his tests.
“The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this; decide what you want.”
– Ben Stein
Long ago in a distant province there lived a poor little girl and her family. Due to poverty, they barely had enough money to buy food and they sometimes ate just rice and bagoong (shrimp paste) or salt for dinner. While her mother and father were barely able to send her three brothers, they wouldn’t pay her tuition. Everyone thought that she should just find work as a labandera (a local laundry girl) in their village to earn extra money, get married, and live there for the rest of her life.
The little girl hated that idea.
She didn’t want to live in poverty, she didn’t want her life to amount to nothing more than washing laundry for a few piddling coins, and more importantly, she didn’t want her future children to experience the same hardships that she did.