Saturday, August 10, 2013

Don’t Try To Look Wealthy (Just Be One!)

Do you want to become wealthy?

       Don’t try to appear like one.  Just be one.

In the bestselling book, Millionaire’s Next Door,authors Thomas Stanely and William Danko were surprised to discover that “real” millionaires in America have very simple tastes.  Let me say that again, lest you think that was a typo error: Most REAL millionaires have a simple lifestyle…

In their book, the real millionaire was not defined by how much money he earned but by how much wealth he kept.  (My definition is slightly different: The real millionaire is defined by how much wealth he gives away!)  Their point?  You could earn buckets of cash but that doesn’t mean you’re wealthy.  You could earn millions but are still be buried in debt, still have financial worries, and have a net worth of a doughnut—because you’ve been SPENDING it all on deteriorating stuff.

Don’t be shocked, but these authors found out that most of the real wealthy rarely wore designer clothes, rarely lived in expensive homes, rarely had expensive vacations, and rarely bought luxury cars.  So where did they put their money? They lived way below their earning capacity, so that they could save more and multiply their money through investments and business. 

If you want to be a multimillionaire, I always recommend that you invest at least 20% or more of your monthly income and give 10% of your monthly income to God.  To do that, you need to simplify your life. 

Check this out: According to their surveys, 66% of the buyers of brand new luxury cars were NOT truly wealthy. Most of truly wealthy kept their cars for a number of years.

According to their research, most of the real wealthy didn’t reside in upscale villages.  (One reason was that residing in plush villages would “pressure” them to maintain an upscale lifestyle—something they didn’t want to do.)  And most didn’t change homes for thirty years or more.

One of the most startling facts the authors found out: Most of the real wealthy stayed married with one spouse (no divorce, no alimony), and had a good family life.  They trained their kids in the values of simplicity, frugality, and hard work.

Question: Are you comparing yourself with your richer neighbors and friends?  Give up that nasty habit.  Be happy with where you are and who you are.

       Don’t try to appear wealthy.

A Budget Is A Theological Document;
It Tells You What You Worship

       If you aim for nothing, you’ll get there.

       And if you don’t plan how you’ll spend your money, you’ll also end up in the same place financially: you’ll have nothing at the end of the day.

First of all, track your spending.  For the next 30 days, before leaving for work, tuck into your pocket a little notebook where you can jot down expenses every time you purchase something.  Each new day should have its own page.  Tedious?   Don’t worry—you’ll get the hang of it after awhile, it’ll be like second nature.  Anyway, its just for 30 days.  (Extend it to 60 days if you want more information about your spending.)

       You’re doing this because you want to know where your money goes.  This “diagnosis” will give you the wisdom where to cut back and do some “surgery”.

       At the end of 30 days, pull out your tiny notebook and make a spreadsheet.  (You can also use your computer for this.)  Create categories: Food, House maintenance, Medical, Clothing, Tuition, etc.  Pencil down your expenses and viola, what you’ve got is a “spending record.”

       If you do this for about two months, you can create a “spending plan” or budget—based on your diagnosis.

       One guy who made a spending record for the first time was shocked to realize he could save P3,500 each month if he gave up his after-office-hours snack before returning home.  “I deserve this because I work so hard,” he reasoned—until he summed up the yearlysavings if he went straight home to his wife and let her feed him from their kitchen.

And remember: The moment you get your salary, give your tithes first and your investments second.  If you don’t make these your first payments, trust me, you won’t be able to tithe or invest at all.

May your dreams come true,

Bo Sanchez

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