My son just had his fifth birthday and consequently came into some money. To a 5 year old, $30 feels like a fortune. As we were riding in the car one day, Seph began to contemplate what he should do with all that cash.
At 5, he already knows to tithe. But he questioned what he should do with the other $27.
He asked me what I thought, and I told him I’d have to ponder it because I needed to teach him how to use money better than I did when I was his age.
Seph replied, “I know how money works daddy.”
I said, “You do?”
He said, “Yes Daddy.”
“How?” I asked.
What he said next is a common perception. He told me, “You take your money, you give it to the lady behind the counter and she gives you what you want. That’s how money works, Dad.”
There you have it. At 5 years old, my son had reached the same financial education level that I’d achieved by the time I graduated college. I didn’t know how to budget, I didn’t know how to save and I definitely didn’t know how to invest. That’s because they really didn’t teach on these subjects in school. Consequently, most adults grow up with that same mentality and understanding of money.
Case in point:
I was sitting at dinner with some old friends. By adult standards, they live a successful life. They have a 3,000-square-foot house built in 2010, an in-ground pool, a newer car and lots of toys around the house. They also make well over six figures — like I said, successful.
As we were eating, they started telling Ashley and me about this startup company they had the opportunity to invest in. You could tell they thought this company was going to go big. They showed us some of the product the company had already produced and even mentioned that they could buy in for only $5,000.
Excitedly Ashley and I asked when they were going to do it. The wife’s next statement was revealing. She said, “Yeah right. Like we have an extra $5,000 lying around for us to invest with.”
They would have had the extra funds had they known the strategy of the three piggy banks. The way this strategy works is you allot a portion of your paycheck to go into three categories with each having its own “bank” or place of allotment.
The three categories are tithing, saving and investing.
The amounts you pay into each bank is a personal decision, but make it standard, and do it before you pay any other bills. You want to get into the habit of paying yourself first before anyone else.
Let’s see how quickly this works. Suppose you make $100,000 a year, and you resolve to deposit 10 percent of that into each piggy bank — 10 percent for tithing, 10 percent for saving and 10 percent for investing. That would be $10,000 per piggy bank for a total of $30,000 each year, and you could enjoy the remaining $70,000.
What would you have accomplished by the end of the first year?
You would’ve amassed more than a month’s income in your savings account — that’s huge. There’s a lot of comfort in having a months worth of expenses at your fingertips. Next, you would’ve helped your congregation or favorite charity with a 10th of your income. This would’ve fed your soul as well as those in need around you.
Finally, you would’ve put $10,000 into an investment account to be used to buy capital assets. That money could be used to buy Lonnie deals, as a down payment on a rental house or even as the capital needed to buy into a startup company, all of which will grow your wealth. And that’s how money works.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.