For 3 weeks, I’ve been sharing a 4-part series on money.
Here’s my last installment: How to Enjoy Wealth.
Before I tell you how, here are two Bible passages about enjoying your wealth.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 says, If God gives a man wealth and property and lets him enjoy them, he should be grateful and enjoy what he has worked for. It is a gift from God.
Some are surprised by that passage.
Here’s one more…
Sirach 14:5 says, How can you be generous with others if you are stingy with yourself, if you are not willing to enjoy your own wealth? No one is worse off than someone who is stingy with himself; it is a sin that brings its own punishment.
Yes, God wants you to enjoy your wealth.
But you’ve got to enjoy it in a particular way.
Remember These 3 Investments
I’ve mentioned this before, but I need to say it again. Divide your money into three investments:
Step 1: Invest 10% in your Eternity
Step 2: Invest 20% in your Maturity
Step 3: Invest 70% in your Family
In reality, everything is an investment.
Step 1: Invest 10% in your Eternity. You’re a spiritual being. You will live forever. When you tithe, you’re declaring you’re merely passing this world and that Heaven is your future home.
Step 2: Invest 20% in your Maturity. Your biggest expense isn’t your car or your home. Your biggest expense is your retirement. You don’t want to grow old and poor. You don’t even want to grow old and rich. (Believe me, thats not fun too.) You want to grow old, rich, and generous.
Step 3: Invest 70% in your Family. Don’t invest in things. Invest in people. Don’t invest in stuff. Invest in relationships. Because the best investment in the world isn’t bonds, stocks, oil, silver, or gold. The best investment in the world is love.
Let me now give you my 3 rules on enjoying wealth God’s way.
Follow These 3 Rules
Rule 1: Invest in your future before your present.
Rule 2: Enjoy the simple before the complex.
Rule 3: Enjoy people before things.
Invest In Your Future Before Your Present
There are only 2 Money Strategies in the world.
Tell me which Money Strategy you use, and I’ll tell you (with 90% accuracy) whether you’ll become rich or poor in your old age.
Money Strategy Of The Poor
This method will make you poor—no matter how much money you earn.
Here it is:
Income – Expense = Tithes & Investments
Here’s what this formula means: The moment you receive your income, first subtract your expenses, and then invest and tithe from whatever is left.
Question: Is this your main Money Strategy?
If it is, be very afraid.
You’ll grow old and poor.
Let me share with you the other Money Strategy…
Money Strategy Of The Rich
It’s really all a matter of right order.
If you do it this way, you’ll be wealthy.
Here it is:
Income – Tithes & Investments = Expense
Here’s what this winning formula means: The moment you receive your income, you first subtract your Tithes & Investments, and then spend from whatever is left.
In other words, you need to invest in your future before you invest in your present.
The Story Of Mr. President
I know of a President of a company who—years ago—earned P200,000 a month. This was at a time when P200,000 was P200,000.
Mr. President had a nice house, three nice cars, country club shares, and travelled many times a year.
He’s now retired and lives a very different lifestyle.
No more nice cars, no more country club shares, and no more money. He now depends on his kids to put food on his table.
Reason? He is poor today because he used the Money Strategy of the Poor. He invested in his present before he invested in the future.
He’s not alone.
We think that all NBA players are rich.
Here’s the truth: Sixty percent (60%) of NBA players, after five years of retirement, go bankrupt. Sixty percent!
Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls teammate, earned $120 Million in his basketball career. But he got bankrupt.
It’s even worse in the NFL. Eighty percent (80%) of football players, after two years of retirement, go bankrupt.
Evander Holyfield earned $250 Million in his boxing career. But he too got bankrupt.
Mike Tyson, earned $400 Million in his boxing career. (Just to let you feel the size of that money—that’s P17 Billion.) Yes, he too got bankrupt.
Because all of them used the Money Strategy of the Poor.
Today, I urge you to use the Money Strategy of the Rich:
Income – Tithes & Investments = Expense
If you do, you get these two fantastic Bonuses…
No More Budgeting
Let me shock you: I don’t budget my money.
At least, not the way people define it.
Oh, I tried. Believe me. But it was so tedious, so time-consuming, and so boring, I gave up.
But if you’re the type that likes to budget, complete with multi-colored pie charts and 3-dimensional graphs, by all means, please continue!
Here’s what hit me: Even if I wasn’t budgeting—why was I still getting richer?
I realized why: I really was budgeting. But mine was a very simple budget: 10%, 20%, and 70%. That’s it!
Because each month, I was setting aside my Tithes (10%) and Investments (20%), all I had to do was live within 70% of my income. That was my simple budget!
No More Fighting
On the first year of our marriage, I used to fight with my wife about money.
I’d ask her, “Did you really have to buy that thing?”
And wham—World War III will start.
Here’s the good news. For many years now, we’ve not fought about money anymore.
I began to use the Money Strategy of the Rich.
Because I already set aside our investments for the future, I realized she can now do whatever she wants to do with the rest of our money. Why argue about those small things?
Later on, I realized my wife is a great money manager. I was blinded by my need for control.
Our marriage is so much better now.
It’s absolutely liberating.
Rule 1 is Invest in the Future before you invest in the present.
Here’s Rule 2…
Enjoy The Simple Before The Complex
One day, while walking in a shopping mall, I almost fainted when I saw the price tag of a lady’s handbag.
I told my wife about it. “Sweets, I just saw a handbag worth P250,000!”
She shrugged her shoulders, “Bo, that not very expensive.”
My jaw dropped. “Not very expensive?”
“Expensive handbags are between P1 Million to P3 Million each.”
What? I couldn’t believe my ears.
I thank God that my wife doesn’t buy bags like that. She follows Rule 2. She enjoys the simple before the complex.
When I went home, I googled, “Most expensive bags.”
It turns out P3 Million is cheap. Because the most expensive handbag is P168 Million. (Check photo below. Any takers? I get 3% commission.)
Here’s my point. If you’re not going to simplify your life, you’ll find a way to spend your money—no matter how much money you have.
Learn to enjoy simple things. Or else you’ll never earn enough.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m not saying never enjoy the finer things in life.
You can… but at the right time.
Key To Wealth: Delay Gratification
Let me give you an example.
Last month, I bought a ‘42 inch wide screen TV. (P35,000 only!) Yes, lower version and an unknown brand, but it’s working perfectly.
But here’s why I bring it up: I could have bought that 7 years ago—when I started earning really well. I could have bought that thing 6 years ago, 5 years ago, 4 years ago… But I didn’t. Instead, I invested my wealth. It was only last month that I bought my wide screen TV set.
Yet during those 8 years, I met people who had zero investments, but had a wide-screen TV in their living room, and an SUV in their garage.
Two Lines Of Wealth
There are two lines that will determine your wealth: Your Blessings line and your Spendings line (or standard of living).
Here’s the Law for getting wealthy: As your Blessings grow, your Spendings should grow in a slower way.
Do that and you’ll be rich.
This is not the case for 80% of the people. Most people grow their Spendings (or standard of living) with their Blessings.
Don’t do that!
Here’s my personal experience. Through the years, my income has grown. But I didn’t let my expenses grow with it.
After years of doing this, I now only spend 10% of my income for my daily expenses. 90% of my income goes to Tithes and Investments.
Why? Because I enjoy the simple before the complex.
The Bible says, But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. (1 Timothy 6:6)
If you want to be wealthy, you need to be content.
Some of you might ask, “But Bo, you just taught us to earn as much as we can. Isn’t that the opposite of what you’re saying now?”
No, it’s not. Don’t be content with what you earn, but be content with what you own. Don’t be content with what you earn because you’re not only thinking of yourself. You want to earn as much as you can because you want to give as much as you can.
But be content with what you own.
Don’t allow material things to define who you are. Don’t be defined by the watch you use, the clothes you wear, and the car you drive.
Be defined by your relationship with God.
You don’t need a Rolex to feel good. You don’t need a Jaguar to feel good. You don’t need an Armani to feel good.
I feel good because I’m forgiven. I feel good because I’m anointed. I feel good because I’m commissioned. I feel good because of my God who calls me friend.
If you enjoy simple things, you’ll avoid shopping on impulse.
Proverbs says, Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough. (Proverbs 21:5)
When you go out shopping or marketing, have a plan. Bring a shopping or grocery list. And stick to it. People who don’t bring a list will spend 30% more than those who do.
Say no to impulse buying.
The Bible also says that The borrower becomes a slave of the lender (Proverbs 22:7).
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to become a slave.
But anyone who lives in endless debt will tell you that’s their reality. That’s their life.
Here’s the horror story: 20% of credit card holders can’t pay their debts. And as much as 70% of credit card holders pay only the minimum each month.
That is utter foolishness.
Borrow only for business (and only if you know what you’re doing). But never borrow for consumables. Because being a slave is no fun.
If you don’t have the discipline, tear up your credit cards.
Here’s the third Rule…
Enjoy People Before Things
In case you’re wondering, this whole message isn’t about being a miser.
I’m not a miser. And I don’t want you to be a miser.
You don’t want to be like Hetty Green.
In 1916, Hetty Green was the wealthiest woman in the world. She was a business tycoon who invested in whaling, China trade, railways, and government bonds.
But she was a miser. She wore the same black dress and undergarments until it was worn out. She ate mostly pies that cost 15 cents. She instructed her laundry woman to wash only the dirtiest part of her dress (the hems) to save money on soap.
And when she herself suffered from bad hernia, she didn’t like surgery because it would cost her $150.
Being a miser towards yourself is bad enough. But she was a miser with her family members too.
This is how stingy she was: When her son broke his leg, she brought him to a charity clinic.
But how much was she worth? When she died in 1916, she had $200 Million. Adjusted to our time, she was worth $3.8 Billion. (P167 Billion.) Indeed, the richest woman of her time.
But she was not happy.
She was called the “Witch of Wallstreet” because she always looked angry and sad.
God doesn’t want you to be a miser.
God wants you to enjoy your wealth.
Here’s the key: Save your money, yes, but spend your money to enjoy the deeper things of life. In other words, enjoy people before things.
At the end of the day, it’s people who will make you happy.
Save on stuff. Save on things. But don’t save on love.
Invest In Love
I don’t wear a Rolex.
I don’t buy expensive clothes. (If you see me wear an expensive shirt, you can be sure it’s a gift.)
I don’t drive a Jaguar.
But I spend a lot of money on my relationships.
I repeat: Love the best investment in the world.
I spend a lot of money just to bring my family and friends together.
I go out on dates each week with my wife, my kids, my mom, my sisters and their families. Each year, I take 10 mini-vacations with my family and friends.
At the end of the day, it’s people who will make you happy.
I remember the day when my father passed away.
I was in front of his coffin—and I was so much at peace.
Why? Because before he died, I was able to spend my time, my effort, and my money with him. I visited him often. I served him often. I brought him out on dates.
In other words, I invested in our relationship.
So spend your money on what truly matters.
Friend, God wants you to enjoy wealth.
But don’t enjoy it alone.
Enjoy it with others.
May your dreams come true,
PS. Start your own business. But before you start your business, I strongly suggest you join the TrulyRich Entrepreneurs Workshop on April 2 and 9. You’ll save a lot of problems, pain, and pesos! For more information on the TrulyRich Entrepreneurs Workshop, click here.
PS2. Learn how to intercede and experience more of God’s power in your life. Join the Power of Intercession Seminar by Vita Monforte on March 26, 2011, Saturday, from 8am to 6pm, in Pasig. Seminar fee is P200 only (subsidized by generous donors). To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org now.