There are two types of money. One is the money you need to live on. The other is the money that works for you. The first one you work for. The second is just what it says. Money that works for you. Something that has always puzzled me is people that make a living and pay their bills, but when it comes to investing they think someone else is smarter than them. My wife retired in January of 2009. Just in time to get her clock cleaned by the economy collapse. We knew it was coming, but the money was in accounts that we had no control over. The financial gurus had make the wise investments. When the economy tanked they said sorry. Then they said let us continue to invest your money for you. We said no thank you and took our money and managed it ourselves.
The thing that saved us was that we had been planning to retire for some time. I was already retired on Disability. I had to sell my truck and all my equipment when I had my heart attack. We came out pretty good though. The equity paid off most of the bills. When the wife retired we bought a new car, cash and paid off the balance of the bills. We are by no means rich but we are comfortable. I am not bragging just stating the position I am writing this from.
Years ago I had a couple people share a few pieces of wisdom with me and if you follow these little rules it will make your life a lot easier. Maybe not "right now" which is how 80% of Americans live, but down the road which is what very few people plan for. It is sort of like the old adage, "Live like there is no heaven, and pray there is no hell." Many Americans live by that rule alone. Even if they do not state it that way.
Rule 1. The first rule I learned was that "The Borrower is the slave, of the lender." You work for those that lend to you and give you credit. There are ways to use that rule to your advantage which I will explain later and have in some of my previous posts. That is a Biblical verse and it is the truth. When you borrow money you now need two dollars to live. One to pay the lender, but you still need one to live on also. So you have to make twice as much to survive if you are in debt. So the first step to actually having a life and enjoying it is really simple, in theory, dump the debt. Dumping the debt should be your only focus especially if you are young and in debt. The reason is if you don't, you will eventually be old and in debt. Which is where many Americans end up.
Rule 2. You can work harder, or you can work smarter. This rule helped me survive my last years of trucking as fuel prices went through the roof. Fuel prices went up to $3 a gallon right before I retired. If you are running 3500 miles a week and getting 5 miles per gallon you are spending $2100 a week on fuel. If you start hauling lighter freight and it puts your fuel mileage up to 7 miles per gallon you have just cut your fuel cost to $1500 for the same amount of miles. That is a saving of $600 a week which is not chump change. What you do not see is that a set of tires that were lasting a little over 200,000 miles are suddenly lasting almost 400,000 miles. At $300+ a tire a set of 18 tires is $5400 bucks. That means instead of buying a set of tires every fifteen months or so. I went to buying a set every thirty months or so. So I saved the price of at least a set of tires over time. Also my maintenance dropped dramatically as I was not hauling heavy truck breaking freight. I went from hauling loads that weighted 45,000 pounds to hauling loads that weighted 8,000 to 15,000 pounds. Fortunately for me I worked for a company where I got to pick and choose the freight I hauled. Hopefully you can see the benefit of smarter. I did not figure all that out myself. I was buying a set of tires when a friend explained it to me. He also taught me the value of running virgin rubber. I would sell my old tires for $100 each and buy the new ones on the company discount for about $280 each. So I was almost always on new rubber and I do not remember having a flat after I changed the way I ran.
Rule 3. Make your money work for you. How do you do that? Always put back a percentage of what you make to work for you. It is working for you and as long as it is. It is not your money. How does this work. You save your money and look for the deal of a life time. When you find it you take your Working Money and put it to work. You buy something cheap, sell it and make a profit. The profit and what you paid go back into the Working Money account. You keep doing that till you reach your goal. What should your goal be. To have enough to live a couple years without working. Sort of like what is going on in the economy now. However once you get there you can still make your Working Money work for you. Here is where the exception to Rule 1. comes into play. If you have good credit and you see a sure deal, not an iffy or flakey deal. A rock solid one and you do not have enough in your Working Money account. If you have the credit go to the bank get a ninety day note for what you need. Make the deal and pay off the note. Then take the profit and the Working Money you used and put it back in its account. Doing this a few times can move you towards that goal of a couple years income. Some people become so good at it that it becomes the way they make their living. At a minimum it can supplement what you make from your "regular job" and make your life somewhat easier to get by.
You say, but I am unemployed and I do not have a job. That is an excuse. In the ARMY we said the effective range of an excuse was ZERO meters. I invite you to read my blogs that are listed under Money. The first thing it requires is a change in attitude. Nobody owes you anything. If you want something out of life it is your job to get off your butt and go get it and that is Biblical and I can prove it. I do not quote a lot of verse but this is one of my favorite ones.
8This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Read it closely. Who does it say shall make thy way prosperous. Thou means "YOU" Reading God's Word will give you the knowledge and wisdom to accomplish what you set out to do. However you have to provide the labor and make the effort. The condition is you have to study and know His Word. God said it he will do it. Here are a couple other verses that back it up.
IIChronicles 16:9 says, the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Yes, again there is a condition. You have to have a heart for God. I will give two more quotes and then I will get out of the Bible. The first deals with and shows the condition of many people in the world today. Many will be able to relate to this one.
Haggai 1: 6 says it pretty clear. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 7Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
Who has not had days that they felt like the above verse applied to their lives. The next quote I think applies to America as a whole. It was where America was at, and where we could go back to, but as long as this nation continues in the ways it is going. It will not change. Malachai 3:7 to 12 puts it in pretty plain language. Verse 10 and 11 say that if you follow God he will pour out a blessing you not be able to receive it all. Just remember all blessings are not money. Contrary to the view of many TV evangelists. He will even protect your crops in the field from evil. So if you are following the Lord your Working Money is in his trust and he will Bless it and Prosper it. Just don't forget to tithe on your Working Money.
. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
So you have now had the Turtle crash course in Finances. You can quit whining and start reading God's Word and trust him to come through and do what his Word says he will do. The choice is yours and you are the one who has to make it.