Thursday, May 5, 2011

Money is like a carpenter's saw

"Money is like a carpenter’s saw. It can build you the most beautiful financial castle or it can cut you up in a thousand financial pieces. You must learn to use it wisely in order to benefit from it." -Steve Albrecht

This is a great analogy for money. I have a love/hate relationship with money. Or rather instead of love I'd say its more of an appreciation for.  I appreciate it because I see the good it can bring ie. food, clothing, a house, church buildings, entertainment. Also I have seen the bad it can bring, ie, selfishness, wickedness, pride, fear. So how do we keep on the good side of money? The answer is right above, use it wisely.  If a man or woman doesn't know how to manage money properly they can destroy their family. Sounds pretty serious, I know. But it's true. Many divorces can be attributed to fights over money. Poor money management can cause fear, anxiety, hurt feelings and low self esteem in any individual. So how do we avoid the pitfalls of bad money management? Simply follow the counsel given to us by church leaders, business practices, and many personal experiences of others. I have done some research and complied a list of advice given by others. You can take this advice to heart because its not mine. Trust me I wouldn't listen to a 23 year old who has never had more than $2000 saved up at a time either. haha. But someday I hope to be more financially savvy and stable and I have hope that will happen because I am going to follow the advice I am now relaying to you.

1. Pay an honest tithe- This is a commandment that if we obey, we are promised that we will “prosper in the land.” This prosperity might not always or ever be in the money department but we will receive blessings from it. I personally know this to be true. I have never by any means been rich but I have always been able to provide for my needs. Also learning to diligently pay our tithing will teach us to sacrifice, be better planners and make us accountable for our money. 

2. Live on less than you earn- This speaks for itself. If you spend more than you make you end up with negative money. 

3. Learn to distinguish between needs and wants- This is a hard one because it has to do with… dun dun dun.. Self-discipline. Ok maybe you all might not have a hard time with this one but I admit it is one of my weaknesses. Sean is great with this. He could be a hermit if he needed to. This is mostly due to the fact that he doesn’t have very many wants. He is pretty content with his needs being met, mainly food, clothing (that he doesn’t even care too much about), shelter and itunes. Ok itunes isn’t a need but it is the one want that he consistently asks for haha. I however have a gray area when it comes between need and want. Realistically I know the difference but I do a lot of justification so that my wants seem more like needs so I feel ok about buying it. This is something I am currently working on. It becomes easy to think that you must have every convenience available. 

4. Develop and live with in a budget- There are three types of budgets everyone should have in place: Monthly, Yearly, Long- Term. The long term is for major purchases like buying a home, car, education etc. The short term monthly and yearly budgets are for everyday spending. Make sure that within your budget you are setting aside money for emergency funds (in case you are ever out of work), and regular savings.

5. Stay away from dept- Self-explanatory. Un needed dept only cause headaches and trouble. It has been said by many wise men that for things like education, modest home and a modest car dept is ok.

6. Teach Family Members the Importance of Work and Managing Money- Children are rarely educated on money management. Children need to understand the financial pressures on a family. They need to know why they can’t have everything they want. They should also be taught the importance of saving money and where it comes from. I remember as a young child believe money just came from the bank and you could go get it whenever you wanted. My dad squashed that belief early on though and I am happy about that knowledge he gave me. I saw that he was a hard worker and that is where the money came from. Also I saw the work my mom did to ensure that we saved for the things we needed. 

 So there you have it. Lessons on money management complied together by Deana Howell. I don't take credit for thinking of these tips only looking them up and putting them together. Sean and I both came from modest upbringings. That's the polite, politically correct way of saying, poor. We both saw the work it took for our parents to provide us with what we had. I think for me I am just now realizing how much work it really was. Being the second youngest I thought for many years that I just got what I wanted because my wants weren't asking much. Looking back now I do realize that the reason I got what I wanted was because my parents sacrificed greatly so that I could have those things. I never had a cell phone or went on expensive trips or had expensive clothing but I did have many things most people in other parts of the world only dream of. Sean and I were both blessed with good parents that couldn't give us everything in the world materially but they did give us greater things. They taught us through their words and actions that though money is desirable there are things more important.

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