Laws of Money!
I have just completed reading a book titled ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ by George S Clason. Having read it a couple of times in the past, there is something that keeps drawing me back to this book again and again; its simplicity, practicality, the lovely stories and although it was set in the ancient Babylonian times, its application today couldn’t be more appropriate. Laws of money never change nor the cures for lean purses!
Money is one of the most sought after resources today and to a large extent dictates the quality of life of its owner. While some people just want enough to cater for their basic human needs, some want as much as they could lay their hands on. While some are ready to work hard to acquire it, some will do whatever is necessary to become rich, crushing whoever stands in their ways.
As important as money is, only a few have mastered the art of acquiring it and only fewer have learnt the secret of keeping it while it constantly seeps through the hands of most bearers. While it remains elusive to most of us, however, some due to chance or inheritance have found themselves custodians of this most wanted commodity, but due to lack of appropriate knowledge, the money has grown wings and gone with the winds.
So, some of the questions that have been reverberating through the ages and which most of us are still slaving away to find the answers to are: how do we master the art of acquiring and keeping money? Are there any sciences or arts to it?
While some people have stood out in history to be masters of money, most people have ended up being enslaved by its abundance or the lack of it. So, what set these people apart? Is it knowledge or lady luck or just fate? In my opinion, I think it’s knowledge.
We all crave for money at different levels, for different purposes and driven by different desires. For whatever reasons and in whatever quantities, money has become part of our daily lives and learning to efficiently manage it could significantly increase the quality of our lives.
Some of the things I learnt from the book (The Richest Man in Babylon) which could make us more disciplined or more successful with the handling of money are:
- A part of what you earn is yours to keep. In order to start building a better financial future for yourselves, start by utilizing your established source of wealth (income). “For each ten coins you put in, to spend but nine. Thy purse will start to fatten at once and its increasing weight will feel good in thy hand and bring satisfaction to thy soul”. Put at least a tenth of your income aside before you start paying for all your expenses (rents/mortgage, groceries, clothes ….etc). Saving at least a tenth of your income regularly is a sure way to building wealth.
- Control your expenditures. Fundamental human ‘needs’ are few, finite and classifiable, as distinct from the conventional notion of ‘wants’ that are infinite and insatiable. And the resources to satisfy these wants are limited, hence the need to Learn how to live on less than you earn and do not spend more than nine-tenths of your income. Our ‘necessary expenses’ will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary. All men are burdened with more desires than they can gratify. Therefore, since it’s impossible to gratify all our desires with all our earnings. Let thy motto be one hundred per cent of appreciated value demanded for each coin spent. “Budget thy expenses that thou mayest have coins to pay for thy necessities, to pay for thy enjoyments and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenths of thy earnings” What you do with what you earn is more important than what you earn. “He that spends more than he earns is sowing the winds of needless self-indulgence from which he is sure to reap the whirlwinds of trouble and humiliation”
- Make your gold mutiply. Put your savings to labour and make it multiply; invest your savings. “Gold in a purse is gratifying to own and satisfies a miserly soul but earns nothing.” One of the cures to a lean purse is ” ….to put each coin to labouring that it may reproduce its kind even as the flocks of the field and help bring to thee income, a stream of wealth that shall “flow constantly into thy purse” A man’s wealth is not in the coins he carries in his purse but it is the income that he builds. A fat purse quickly empties if there be no golden stream to refill it.
- Guard your treasure from loss. Study carefully the flow of business before making an investment. Do your due diligence before committing your money and seek advice from those who are competent through their own experience to give it so you could minimise your investment from risk of loss.
- Increase your ability to earn. “Cultivate thy own powers, to study and become wiser, to become more skillful, to so act as to respect thyself”. Have a strong, but simple and definite desire to increase your earnings, for preceding accomplishment must be desire and pursuit is the proof of this desire. Aspire to be the best at whatever you do! More interest in the work, more concentration on the tasks, more persistence in the efforts, and you are on the road to being the Subject Matter Expert in your field.
Adhering to these principles might not necessarily bring ‘millions’ your way, however, it will definitely usher in a big change to your lifestyles and give you an opportunity to optimally manage every ‘coin’ that comes into your ‘purse’ and multiply it. Wealth that comes quickly goes the same way. Wealth that stays to give enjoyment and satisfaction to its owner comes gradually, because it is a child born of knowledge and persistent purpose.