For long, I’ve tried to settle a debate in my head- which of these interests young people more- relationships (specifically guy-girl relationships) or money. And don’t be too quick to judge either. Going by the amount of time spent on these two, I’d say the battle is yet to be decided and a clear cut winner may still be a matter of personal opinion.
Anyways, I didn’t come here today to end an age-long tussle. Just to share a nugget of practical wisdom I discovered (and have practiced). I hope you’ll learn something valuable from it. And probably you already know about this (but maybe under a different label), then I only urge you to stay on the path and encourage many others to do the same.
Alright. So you want to make more money? Duh. Who doesn’t? You know, someone once asked John D. Rockefeller (the world’s first modern billionaire) “how much money is enough?”. He gave an answer that still makes me smile- “just a little more”.
But rather than get into money making strategies, how about we look at what we’ve got in our hand (or bank account) at the moment? Is it possible to do better with what you presently control in terms of financial resources? I think so.
I discovered that my finances (and yours too) can be divided into three major parts.
The Bread part
The Seed part and,
The Store part
Let’s quickly look at these, shall we?
It’s obvious, ain’t it? The bread part is the part you eat (now you know why they sometimes call money ‘dough’). With it, you take care of yourself and your living expenses. It also covers what you give to others as financial gifts and all that.
Here’s my advice to you on this- eat your bread without guilt. You earned it so don’t get all stingy on yourself- but remember, there are two other parts to come. So don’t munch that loaf too fast.
This is the part you invest for financial returns. As a believer, the first part of your seed is your tithe- that’s 10% of your income (uhmm…got any debates about tithing? Maybe some other time). The seed part covers your financial investments (in financial markets, investment instruments or a business) and your personal development endeavours (books, seminars, advanced degrees/certifications). Money has to be exchanged for these. To raise your value to the market place, you’ll need to part with some of your precious cash (free education nor cover this one).
Here’s my discovery: when sowing your ‘seed part’, do so with this understanding- every seed sown automatically schedules a harvest. Immediately the seed enters the soil, the law of harvest is set in motion.
Sow with joy and a long-term perspective.
Setting money aside to build a business or develop your skills may sometimes feel hard- especially when there are other pressing (in your opinion) needs. But do you really want that financial freedom you’ve read about in books and all? Then pay close attention to the seed part. It holds the key.
(Just as a side-note, I’ve observed that poor people enjoy eating their bread more than sowing their seed- infact, many will claim not to have any seed- yet the bread crumbs on their lips tell a different story. Hope that ain’t you.)
This is the part you keep. Don’t eat all and (this might shock you,) don’t sow all either. Retain reserves. In her book, I Dare You, Joyce Meyer wrote: “God commands the blessing upon the storehouse (see Deuteronomy 28:8). Do you have a storehouse?… try it out…start a storehouse to honour God’s principles and watch Him bless it”. I totally agree Joyce.
Every world-class organization has financial reserves that they can pull out in times of need. Run your personal finances like a world-class firm.
Here’s my take on this- store with discipline, self-control and patience.
In conclusion, here are a few quick tips to help you get/stay on the road of sound personal financial management.
- Don’t try to save too much at once. If you do, you’ll find yourself dipping into it like it’s your bread. To make it easier, operate more than one account and use one as your storehouse while the other handles your need for bread.
- The seed part is probably the most powerful. Why? Because it has the highest potential to multiply the others. What’s eaten (bread) is gone, what is stored (the storehouse) stays basically the same. But in the seed, in the seed (deliberate repetition) lies the power to multiply.
- Learn to say no to yourself. Curb your taste to match your financial level per time. As my friend says it, don’t live a champagne lifestyle on a lacasera income. Enough said.
- You must also learn to say no to others- sometimes. Yeah giving to others is good, but as my father, Bishop David Oyedepo once said, “God will never demand that you give to the point that you become a beggar yourself”. Gbam.
- NEVER ever plan your finances based on promises from people. This singular mistake left me stressed for months! Don’t do that to yourself.
- Although this might sound contradictory, it’s not. Learn to ‘flex’ yourself BY YOURSELF once in a while. A doctor friend of mine taught me this (I admit I haven’t done it as often as I’d like! Loll). Personal financial management is not a tensed-up game. Learn to give yourself a moderate treat every now and then (but I hope your definition of ‘moderate’ is at least close to what I have in mind).
There you have it- the three-pronged strategy to better personal financial management- the bread, the seed and the store. Do keep this article close by and refer to it often. I’m not a millionaire-yet, but what I’ve found is this- if we discover the principles, and commit ourselves to them, it’s only a matter of time.
To your abundance.
Live by Design.