As I said last week in my blog “Pro Tip: Don’t Spend All of Your Money,” there are ample words of wisdom to be found in the book of Proverbs. Take Proverbs 10:4 for example. The New International Version of this verse reads, “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.” I also like the Living Bible translation of this verse, “Lazy men are soon poor; hard workers get rich.” The term “hard workers” really resonates with me. The obvious take-away from this verse is that we need to work hard at our jobs. However, there is another take-away that I get from this verse: we have to work hard in our daily lives.
First, let’s break down what it means to be hardworking. People that are hardworking, according to Merriam-Webster, are people that constantly, regularly, or habitually engaged in earnest and energetic work. By working hard in our daily lives, we are doing the things that maybe aren’t so easy, but that we know are good for us in the long run. We make the decision to do the things that are good, but difficult, and we make that decision constantly, regularly, and habitually.
I can tell you from experience that living on a budget is hard work. The easy or lazy option would be not living on a budget. It would be so much easier to go to a restaurant every night instead of buying groceries and cooking dinner. It would be so much easier to buy all of the clothes that you want instead of narrowing it down to just a few pieces. It would be so much easier to spend your money on something fun instead of putting it away for retirement or emergencies or savings. We have to remember, though, that “lazy men are soon poor.” If you are lazy when it comes to budgeting, if you choose the easier route, then you will have a hard time building any wealth.
In order to build any wealth, we have to live on less money than what we bring in. This is a simple matter of math. If you spend all of the money that you make and don’t have any left over at the end of the month to invest, then how can it be possible for you to increase your wealth? It’s not. It’s as simple as that. Budgeting, even though it is hard work, creates a plan for your money and can allow you to have money left over for investing and building wealth.
If you are new to budgeting, it is going to take practice. It is going to be rough at first. You will get frustrated and it is going to be hard work, but after a while it will get easier and easier and might even become a habit for you. The path to wealth is not an easy one to take, but it will be so worth it in the end.
Now, if you are in debt, before you even start thinking about investing and working toward building your wealth, you need to get out of debt. If you have credit card debt, student loans, car loans, 401(k) loans, basically any kind of debt that is not a mortgage, then you need to get that taken care of first and foremost. You are going to have an extremely, extremely hard time building wealth if you are throwing money away every month to interest. I could go into detail on my thoughts toward interest, but I’m not going to here. If you would like to know my thoughts on interest, read my blog “My Disinterest with Paying Interest,” although the title of that blog pretty much tells you how I feel about interest. Just like with budgeting in general, getting out of debt is hard. It is not going to be easy. It will take sacrifice and diligence, but it will be worth it.
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