“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.
The Creator never made a man to be poor.
There is nothing in his constitution which fits drudgery and poverty. Man was made for prosperity, happiness, and success.
He was not made to suffer any more than he was made to be insane or be a criminal.
– Orison Swett Marden, Prosperity: How to Attract It
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?
It certainly is. Now how can we rise above it?
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.