Money is very important in life. Money, however, should not be a goal in life, whoever sets riches as a goal in life will end up very frustrated and dissatisfied. Money is not an end in itself but a means to an end. Money itself means nothing, it is what it can do that makes it important and attractive.
My dear friends, do you want money? Do you really want to be rich, the question is why?
If you’re yet to determine and articulate a meaningful reason for your pursuit of cash, you’ll be enslaved by money. Money is a beautiful servant but a terrible master. Lacking purpose for your desire for riches will automatically make money your master and this can ruin you.
To every man alive, there is a point you get to when you make enough to live comfortably and afford the basic needs of life if you work hard enough.
Once you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back and can feed well and sustain all these including paying essential bills, you’re very okay.
Truth is, there is a big difference between what you want in life and what you really need to survive, once you can conveniently pay for your needs, you’re fine.
Anything you can survive well without is tantamount to a want, not a need. For example, a personal car is sincerely a want not a need, people survive well with public transportation. Not buying a car will not kill you. And there are many happy people around you who don’t have personal cars.
Owning a house of your own is a want not a need. Living in a rented apartment will not kill you. In fact, I know people who lived in rented apartments all through their lives. These are people who struggled to build personal houses in their villages but at retirement, chose to remain in the city in rented apartments and they never lived in the houses they built in the villages. Living all lifelong in a rented apartment is not a threat to your life, it’s actually a want, not a need.
My point this morning is this, your desperate hanker for so much money, working hard morning, noon and night including some weekends must have a well-defined purpose.
Managing money successfully is the ability to determine a reasonable purpose for it otherwise you will be worshipping your greed all lifelong. If you have no great reason for chasing money, your life will be entrapped in covetousness, envy, strife, jealousy, vain competition and futility.
Why should you need a lot of money? You need a lot of money to pay for your dreams, vision and purpose in life. It is impossible to fulfil your dream without spending good money.
Money is the instrument you exchange for progress along your path towards your destination in life. You can’t fulfil your purpose on earth without good money. Defining your purpose and casting a vision will give you a rough idea of how much you may need to fulfil the dream and accomplish that vision.
To get on your marks and begin your race in this life, you need training, you need education. Good education is not cheap. If you’re not educated in today’s world, I’m afraid you can’t really accomplish in life. If it’s about skill acquisition, you need to pay to acquire the skills as well.
At the start of your life’s journey, your parents or caregivers actually fund your journey. Once you become an adult however, the funding becomes your personal responsibility.
The costliest mistake many people keep making is using income from paid employment to acquire things and not pay for their dreams in life.
To be truly successful in life, you don’t spend all your salary on things, you spend it funding your dream and purpose in life. Let me explain this. When you spend your salary on things instead of your dream, halfway through your life, you’ll become broke and you may struggle till the end of your days.
If today you’re in paid employment, it’s not a good decision to spend your salary on, for example, expensive cars, expensive vacations, paying expensive rents, buying expensive clothes, gadgets and electronics. These are things that will not add any value to you after retirement.
If you’re younger than 50 and still in paid employment, your priority expenditure should be investing in bits in your venture, your business and your ambition after retirement. You should be funding your post-retirement dream with a good part of your salary.
This may sound unusual but its common sense, it is not really wise to save money for any rainy day. Cash depreciates in value over time because of inflation. If you save cash, you are losing value every day.
What your savings could buy last December, it can’t buy half of it today. Sitting cash diminishes because inflation is at a higher rate than interest benefits, there is nothing called saving for a rainy day when the downpour really comes, I promise you, your savings can’t save you. If you’re saving money, you’re losing purchasing power. And the value of your savings will hardly revert to its original state, if it ever does it will take at least a decade if ever, in a place like Nigeria. Don’t just save, save to invest, investments appreciate with time.
By now you should be spending part of your salary on personal training, apprenticeship, education, information, books, tools, experience, exposure and knowledge of what you would love to do or become when you retire.
When you spend your salary on things, you’ll only be able to buy what your salary can afford not what you really want or deserve.
If you decide to build your house with salary in your thirties or forties for example because all your mates are building, or you want to escape landlord’s problems, you’ll only build what your salary can afford at that time, not what you really want or deserve.
It’s wiser to be a tenant till 5o and eventually build a lovely home; that house of your dreams in the classiest and most luxurious part of the city than to build with salary in a rush in your 30s in a suburb with bad roads, poor power supply, no security, poor drainage system and notorious neighbours.
Eventually, after retirement, you haven’t made good investment in yourself hence, you lack the capacity to keep making money to even maintain that house you rushed to build.
Never buy a luxury car with a salary, buy a functional car, when you eventually run your own enterprise after you retire, you can then buy the luxury car. There’s nothing as peaceful and soothing as being able to afford a brand new car in your seventies, pay for a good driver, have a gardener, a security guard, a nanny, a maid and all the help you need at age 70.
At 70 your physical strength is well diminished, It’s not fun pushing a 20-year-old car and trying to call up your mechanic on the expressway at 70, it’s distressing.
My dear friend, use salary to buy your dreams, if you buy things with your salary, you’ll be lonely, broke and unhappy after retirement.
People who invest in themselves and are knowledgeable are still relevant even at age 80. Their physical strength may be low, their intellectual capacity is still intact and powerful. They are consulted and appointed to committees and to manage key political or leadership positions in society. They keep making good money at old age as board members of successful companies and even their own dream companies. People who invest their salaries in things simply vanish from relevance once they retire.
Most effective money management is not in savings, even the stock market can fail; economic setbacks can make nonsense of years of financial investments, and that huge retirement benefit can be wasted and finish in just two years if you lack the skills and knowledge to manage money well. Investing in your personal capacity to solve complex problems and materialising your personal dreams is the most reliable and secure form of investment. Don’t wait for your employer to train you, pay for all the training you feel you need for that future. When you spend money as a salary earner, never forget you have about 25 to 30 years to still foot daily bills after retirement, except you plan not to live long. Dear friend, Invest wisely, manage your money well, don’t spend much on things; spend on your dreams.