Money is an answer. That’s right. Ancient text revealed a lasting truth that remains to this day: money answers all things. It’s true. We use money to buy things. People are paid for their services with money. We express what something is worth in terms of money. Though the kinds of currency might vary from nation to nation, one truth is universal: whether you want to buy a home, start a business, finance your child’s college education or go on vacation, the answer to how these things will be done is rooted in money. The key to understanding how money works is in understanding one simple principle: It is not enough to work for money; you have to make money work for you. You have to view money as a business.
For many of us, money is considered a limited resource; there never seems to be enough. Remember that it answers all things. We use it to get what we need and want. The fact that it seems to be limited should not stop us. If it is the answer, then there has to be a way to make it work.
In any business, a true entrepreneur always looks for creative ways to take a limited resource and create wealth. So if money is your limited resource and you are in the business of money, make it your business to get creative and create wealth!
Earning a living is only part of the process. It is not enough to bring home a paycheck, so don’t stop there. Once you have the money, work the money. Deliberate planning and execution of your plan will truly set you up for success. Determine what you need for your bills, what you need for your enjoyment, and put the remainder to work. How is that done? Through investments.
Every day in many ways, we all make investments. We invest time and energy. We make commitments of support. We usually do so because there is ultimately a promise of return. Somehow, we are going to benefit personally.
Investing money is no different. When you invest your money, you are making a financial commitment in order to gain a financial return. Therefore, it is important to understand what type of investment vehicles there are and what works best for you. Investments must be made skillfully, not haphazardly.
Investing has a definitive purpose: to break the cycle of poverty that has kept many of us in a state of economic slavery. You have to position yourself to invest. You position yourself by eliminating debt and daring to discipline.
Debt is probably the biggest hindrance to investment. Face it, the more debt you have, the less money you have to invest. Yes, it is true that some debt is unavoidable. We all have expenses that automatically come out of simply living. But, there is some debt that is created out of ignorance and a lack of discipline. This is the debt that we have to guard ourselves against. Money answers all things, but mismanaged money has no voice. It says nothing!
Do you remember that first credit card offer you got in the mail? I do. I was in graduate school working two minimum wage jobs when I got my first offer, pre-approved! I went ballistic and in no time had established myself as an official charge-o-holic. I used my earnings to pay the bill. Then I’d charge my necessities on the card and use my earnings to once again pay the bills. The cycle was established and solidified with the acquisition of more credit cards. The more cards I got, the more I charged. The more I charged, the more debt I created. With no change in wage, I began making only minimum payments. I didn’t realize making only the minimum payment would put and keep me in a financial stranglehold. I wasn’t even thinking about the interest rates.
Because we are not taught the truth about credit, many of us make and have made the same mistake. We view the credit as a medium of exchange; we can us it to get what we need or want. That in and of itself is true, but we must also acknowledge an often-overlooked truth: that medium is someone else’s money. That person or corporation has extended it to you with the expectation of a financial return. They don’t care how long it takes them to collect as long as they collect, because the bottom line is the longer it takes you to pay, the more profit they make. As long as you remain in debt, your money will never be able to work for you because you’ll always be giving it to them!
Discipline is mandatory. It is the groundwork that leads to strategic and skilled investing. Once you have positioned yourself where debt is under control, you are now ready to set a portion of your money aside in a vehicle that will generate interest on your behalf. Not sure where to invest? Seek the advice of a financial planner who will assist you in finding the right investment/savings vehicle for you. Get out of debt, get disciplined, and make your money your business!