Our education, experiences and memories are three things that we can never bequeath to our heirs. When we die, all these “precious” things go with us and are gone forever. After living over half century on Earth, as a precocious child of God, I have learned so much from the University of Hard Knocks — many valuable lessons which I now feel the urge to share with all those I love dearly.
Had I known and applied these sound and time-tested Principles of Success (in all of Life’s quadrants: physical, social, mental and spiritual) much earlier in life, I would have been a better, happier and more fulfilled person today. However, considering my humble beginnings in a modest progressive farming village in the Philippines, versus an affluent Orange County, where I live the last 40 years, I feel that life’s journey is not that bad after all.
I used to say I am a self-made man, but it is now more appropriate (with humility) to say that I did the best I can with the talents that God has graciously given my human efforts that brought my family and I to where we are today. Indeed, our life is our gift from God, and what we do with our life is our gift to Him.
Among the things I have learned early in life that became more valuable every year I’ve lived in America is in the area of savings and investments. As workers, employees, laborers and breadwinners, young and old are pre-occupied with the business of living, I feel the importance (like a parent to a child), to convey some gems of wisdom so that the child can have a better life than his parents. To all the millennials, the young people of the world, I plead you to heed this financial advice on savings which everyone who is earning a living has the power to create and control its continued existence or cause its premature death.
You must start believing saving has that profound value that becomes more apparent with the passage of time. The growth of your savings is somewhat analogous to the invisible yet magical rewards of responsible parents in witnessing their children metamorphose into good citizens and becoming their own successful and fulfilled human being.
With that emotionally charged introduction, let me now share top 10 reasons why a man must save and invest:
1. Your savings affect the way you stand, the way you walk, and even the tone of your voice. In short, your physical well being and self-confidence. A man without savings is always running. He must take the first job offered, or nearly so. He sits nervously on life’s chairs because any small emergency throws him helplessly into the hands of others.
2. Without savings, a man must be too grateful. Gratitude is a fine thing in its right place. But a constant state of gratitude is a horrible place to be in. A man with savings can walk tall. He may appraise opportunities in a more relaxed manner, have time for judicious estimates and not be rushed by economic necessities.
3. A man without savings is always prone to react, often displaying more form than substance. Without savings, a person’s confidence is easily eroded as his daily chores revolve around tension-relieving activities instead of indulging in income producing endeavors while surrounded and probably intimidated by more relaxed, powerful and productive people.
4. Without savings, a man delays decisions that are good for him and his family and often misses opportunities in his lifetime, like associating or running with true winners in life. For lack of savings, he is relegated to the backseat of life, envying the gaiety and camaraderie of those who have.
5. A man with savings can afford to resign from his job when his principles so do dictate. And for this reason he will never need to do so. A man who can afford to quit is much more useful to him company, and therefore more promotable as he can afford to give his company the benefit of his most candid judgments. He does not need to kiss somebody’s you-know-what.
6. A man with savings can afford the wonderful privilege of being generous to this family or to his neighborhood’s emergencies. He can take the level stare of any man, friend, stranger, or even his enemies. This priceless commodity adds to his personality and character.
7. With savings, a person can afford to order from “left to right” fine dining restaurants, stay in more expensive hotels or resorts without being nervous with the bill. A Man without savings is forced to stay with friends and relatives’ homes when he is out of town.
8. With savings, you do not have to feign your happiness or contentment; you do not have to live in a far-away fantasyland. While it is true that money (savings) can never buy true happiness, it definitely serves as a nice down payment! Believe it or not, it is more fun to suffer in comfort than to agonize in misery.
9. The ability to save, fortunately, has nothing to do with the size of one’s income. Many high-income people spend it all. They are on the treadmill, darting through life like minnows. In his classic book, “The Riches Man of Babylon,” Clayson strongly admonished that every person must affirm and declare, “I must pay myself first because a part of my earnings is mine to keep!”
10. Lastly, heed the advice given by the Dean of American bankers, J.P. Morgan, to a young broker, “Take waste out of your spending; You’ll drive the enjoyment out of your life!”
After all, next to our personal relationship with our own God, faithful action in taking care of our families is our primary responsibility and this can be fortified by habitual savings and investing them wisely. Religiously doing this habit builds not only our character but increases a comfortable nest egg. What we do now, not tomorrow, is the beginning of what we do next. Our savings are the seeds of what we can harvest tomorrow.
(You can have a free consultation with this writer, who is also a retired CPA and a financial advisor or any one of his PENmates)
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