Monday, April 15, 2013
What if there was money left over at the end of the week or the month? What if after the bills were paid, the groceries were in the refrigerator, and the gas gauge in your car read full, there were a few extra bucks in your wallet? Then what could you do? Maybe you could get rid of that pesky credit card balance that never goes away. Maybe you could get rid of that student loan that has been chained to your leg for the last ten years. Maybe you could even take your wife and kids out to a nice restaurant for Sunday dinner. It could happen, you know. You can learn how to spend less and earn more. You can take the first step today. If you start each day with intentionality in your heart, a willingness to learn and take action, a week will come when you will have a little left over money. What if after a few years of building a careful intentional relationship with your money, reaching the point where you are systematically building your 401K for retirement and saving for your kids’ college education, you find there are a few extra bucks left over to budget? Then what could you do? Maybe you could start paying down that mortgage. Maybe you could open a taxable investment account. Maybe you could even take your wife and kids to Disneyworld instead of dad’s cabin on the lake. It could happen, you know. If consistently, over time you do the right things like learning how to carry a zero balance on your credit cards or living with a rust bucket ten year old car until you can pay cash for its replacement. You can learn the fine art of living a better life on less. Ultimately contentment does not come from a multitude of things. What if after twenty or thirty years the day comes when you can retire with dignity? The mortgage has been paid off. The kids are grown up and on their own. You have enough in your investment accounts to fund an appropriate lifestyle for the years God may give you. What if after all that you have a little surplus, a little left over money, then what could you do? Maybe you could set up a trust for your children and grandchildren. Maybe you could help fund your grandchildren’s college accounts. Maybe you could give a little extra to your church. Maybe you could even take your wife on that Mediterranean cruise she has wanted for the last ten years. It could happen, you know. There are plenty of examples of fairly humble people who never earned all that much in any given year who are enjoying a comfortable retirement. Some of them are still planning for the future. I won’t lie. It isn’t easy and there are no guarantees, but you can learn how to move the odds in your favor through a combination of frugality, hard work, and financial discipline. What if after you pass from this world there was some money left over in your estate? Who you could bless? Maybe you could help fund your children’s retirement. Maybe you could guarantee that your family could stay on your farm. Maybe you could help endow a hospital in a third world country. It could happen, you know, but it has to start in your heart. P.S. If you don’t take any action you will never get any results.