I really like money. I would say I love money, but the Bible says not to. If you’re like me, you like money too, and you wish you had more of it. Well today is your lucky day because I’ve found the three ingredients to accumulating more wealth, and I want to share it with you.
When I was a teenager I was lazy. I liked money, but I wasn’t willing to work to get more of it. My idea of making more money was going to Mom and Dad and asking them for money without them finding out the other one had already given me twenty dollars.
My parents paid for everything. In high school they paid for my car, my insurance, gas, food, and anything else I needed. When I went to college they paid my rent, but they couldn’t afford my tuition. Thankfully, the government was willing to loan me the money.
The government must’ve known I would soon be making big money and could easily pay them back. They had to be surprised and a bit worried when my first job out of college paid seven dollars an hour. I know I was. They had to be even more worried when I quit that job a year later to go see a girl.
But that girl was exactly what I needed. That girl was my motivation.
Now, I needed money because I needed to get out of my parent’s house, and I needed money to pay for a wedding and a honeymoon. Now I have to think about kids and insurance and retirement and on and on.
Now, I can’t be lazy anymore, but more than that, I have to be smart. I have to figure out how to accumulate wealth, and I have found that there are three main ingredients.
- Live on a Budget – Yes, the word everyone loves to hate, the dreaded budget. You can’t accumulate wealth without one. You need to know how much money you’re bringing in and make sure it’s more than the money you have going out. It used to take hours to do this because you had to jot down every receipt and put it into a spreadsheet. Thankfully now there’s an app for that. Mint is the best budgeting app I’ve ever used. It does everything for you. You just need to link it to your online banking account and any other account you want to track. It’s safe, secure, and best of all, free.
- Reduce Your Debt – Once you start using a budget, you’ll soon find out where all your money is going. At this point you can reallocate some funds that may be going to Starbucks, McDonalds, or iTunes, and start using that extra cash to pay down debt. I really like Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball Method, but whatever method you use, the main thing is you focus on paying off debt. The less debt you have, the more coffee, burgers, and music you can buy in the future.
- Give 10% Back to God – This is the piece most people miss because on the surface it doesn’t seem to make sense. How can you have more money if you’re giving it away? God tells us we are stewards. We are people who manage or look after someone else’s things. Nothing we have is ours. It is all God’s, and we’re responsible for looking after it and using it how God would want us to. We learn in Matthew 25, the importance of good stewardship. God’s blessings flow through open hands. If you’re doing everything else right and still can’t seem to get ahead, this may be the piece you’re missing.
These three ingredients are great, but there’s one thing that holds them all together. I like to think of it as the secret sauce of accumulating wealth.
Self-discipline holds all the pieces together. This is where most people fail. They have the right ingredients, but they don’t have the self-discipline.
A budget does you no good if you don’t stick to it. You’ll never pay down debt if you can’t say no to some things you want. Without self-discipline, you’ll be tempted to take the portion you’ve set aside to give back to God to pay for other things in your budget.
If you struggle in this area, and I think most of us do, Michael Hyatt gives five tips for developing more discipline in our lives.
Once you get disciplined, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy financial future.
What would you do with your life if money weren’t an issue? What one thing would you buy that you’ve never been able to afford?