Article by Rick Mapperson
If you ask most people what their attitude to money is, they would all say the same thing – I need more it.
Money is one of the potential divisive and controversial subjects you can discuss with people. Some people say that money is the cause of all conflicts in homes and nations. Money is in fact neutral.
The same money that is used to buy weapons that kill people can be the same money that is then used to finance the doctors who repair the injured. Money is just a tool.
Billy Graham said “There is nothing wrong with possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possess men.”
Some people believe that their lives would be perfect if only they had a little bit more money. If they are honest, they were admitting that they want a lot more money. There is a reason so many people are buying tickets in lotteries. They truly expect that if they win a huge windfall that all their problems will be solved.
Several years ago actor Sylvester Stallone was asked what effect money had on his life.
“Money does not bring peace of mind. It brings more problems. Everything is magnified one hundred thousand times. That is not to complain. But once you make a fortune, you would think it would be all green lights and blue skies. But that is not true. In fact, it brings out some of the vilest characteristics that you can imagine.”
We need to have realistic expectations about what money can do, but more importantly, what it CAN’T do.
Someone has described this situation well.
Money can buy a bed…but it cannot buy sleep.
Money can buy amusements but it cannot buy happiness.
Money can buy companions but it cannot buy friends.
Money can buy books but it cannot buy brains.
Money can buy a house but it cannot buy a home.
Money can buy medicine but it cannot buy health.
Money can buy flattery but it cannot buy respect.
So how can we have financial security? How can we manage our money so that we are in control of it rather than its controlling us?
Here are some simple steps:
1. Have a safety net.
Did you know that during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco that during the first half of the construction 23 men fell to their deaths in the waters below? It was so dangerous that they stopped construction. Then they built a huge net under the bridge at a cost of $100,000, so if anyone did fall they would not be hurt. During the second half of the construction only 8 men fell and of course, none of them died. But here is the amazing thing… during the last half of construction the work proceeded at 25% greater efficiency.
Having the net under them did not make them more careless it made them more confident and more efficient.
Those workers experienced a new freedom.
Financial security can bring a net of assurance can take stress and worry out of our life.
How we do we get there though?
How can we achieve financial independence?
Sorry to disappoint you but there are no shortcuts. People that promise you that you can “get rich quick” usually have an agenda that will help me them rich and at your expense.
1. You must have a budget.
Most people do not have a budget. They spend what they get and then hope that dreaming and best intentions will combine to bring financial stability. It is never going to happen. We need to be deliberate with our planning. We need to have a plan.
Keys for successful budgeting.
- Write it down, on paper, on purpose. Every dollar has a purpose.
- Be realistic
- Plan for emergencies. You need “rainy day” money
- Factor in fun. You wont stick with the budget if there is no provision for entertainment and enjoyment.
You must remember that you do not work for an employer. You work for your own company. You manage money for a company called “You company.”
The average person earns 4 to 10 million dollars in their life. Does that scare you? It should. Its not exciting. It’s not revolutionary, but the best way to achieve financial freedom is knowing what you earn, being very deliberate with what you earn and making sure you set aside something of every dollar you earn.
2. Eliminate debt
Debt is poverty with a façade of prosperity. We are trying to be rich with money we do not really have but think we will one day.
How to get out of debt?
Here are some effective steps. They will not work unless you do. If
1st. Commit yourself to removing debt from your life. do not accept debt as normal.
We should regard this as a kind of “Debtors Anonymous.” In AA, what is the first thing an alcoholic need to do to take control of their problem? That is right: They need to acknowledge that they have a problem. Likewise, for us to gain control of our debt, we need to believe that debt is toxic to our financial future.
2nd – Make a commitment not to take on any more debt. This is not always possible, but that should be our goal.
3rd – Develop a written plan on how to retire your debt (a budget). Contact those who you have debts with. Companies will often have options that can negotiate a better deal for you. They will not volunteer these offers unless you can assure them that you are committed to working proactively with them. Ask for a better deal. The worst thing that happen is that they say no. If you do not ask you won’t know.
4th – Set a reasonable period to retire your debt. Be realistic. Allow for emergencies.
5th – Adjust your lifestyle to meet your objectives
Do not eat out as much
Do not subscribe to cable TV
Leave the car home and walk where you can. Your body will be grateful you did and so will your budget.
A lot of times, we buy “things” that we really do not need. And we subscribe to services we could live without.
6th – Begin to pay debts off – small ones first. The logic here is that with every debt that is paid off, we gain confidence that we can meet our objectives.
3. Harness the power of WHY
The Power of “WHY”
There is a secret mechanism behind your own human motivation that you need to know.
Whenever we make a decision, two elements are present:
1. The decision at hand. E.g. “I’m going to lose 5 kilo’s this month”
2. The reason WHY you want #1 and the emotional pressure of that “WHY”
Here is the secret:
Whenever you make a decision, a commitment, or a goal, the single most important thing which determines whether you will SUCCEED or not is if you’ve created a BIG enough REASON for yourself to succeed.
This is what I mean by the power of “WHY?”
Whenever you set out to succeed at something, first ask yourself:
“WHY is this really important to me? WHY MUST I have it?”
Once you ask this question you absolutely MUST come up with a powerful enough reason or a series of reasons which will turn your soul on fire and give you the drive necessary for you to follow through with your decision until the end, and make it IMPOSSIBLE for you to sit around and procrastinate.
I guarantee you that if you currently have some things you’ve wanted in your life for a long time but they’re still not there it’s because you haven’t taken the right action, or the right amount of consistent action in your life to get that.
And the main reason you haven’t taken the action is because you haven’t given yourself a powerful enough REASON that drives you emotionally at full strength towards that goal!
Let’s quickly look at some examples of really poor decisions:
When most people decide they want to lose weight or do something for their body, their decision is usually one sided without even being consciously aware of the “WHY.”
Decision: “I’m going to lose 5 kilos”
Reason: “Because I want to look thin, lean and attractive”
That reason is nice, but it’s simply not emotionally driving enough to push your limits to the point where you stay absolutely committed to your goal until you achieve the desired result in your life.
This is why most people’s “new year’s resolutions” hardly ever get accomplished, because they are simple blatant decisions with little emotional value.
If you want to GUARANTEE your success you have to stack your reasons to a point of emotional overwhelm where there is NO ROOM for failure:
Decision: “I’m going to get out of debt!”
Because I am tired of being nervous every time the mail comes or the phone rings.
I want to be able to provide nice things for my family without worrying about how I am going to pay for it.
I want to have money set aside for emergencies.
I want to be relaxed, secure and HAPPY.
This sounds so simple but it’s extremely powerful. Most people don’t do it because they’re afraid of being honest with themselves.
4. Increase your income
You don’t paid by the hour, you get paid for the value you bring to the hour. Improve your value by being a valuable employee.
5. Work on family relationships
Marriage is grand, Divorce is 200 grand. Dysfunctional families will send you broke. If you are addicted to something you will end up broke.
If you stay with something who is addicted you will end up broke. Nice people get ahead in this world.
6. You have to be a giver.
You will not learn how to be wealthy until you give. Giving people are generous people and generous people have quality relationships.
Do you need help with finances? Hope Chapel can help people with money management strategies. We can assist with helping you set goals and give you assistance to reach financial freedom.