Don’t be a Tightwad. Let Go and Enjoy Life.
There’s a story of a woman who wanted to go on a luxury cruise. She pinched pennies and saved for years, foregoing many small pleasures in order to put away cash for her dream cruise. She read different cruises, imagining the day she would stand on the top deck and watch the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea and the shorelines of Greece, France, Spain, and Italy.
She saved and saved, and finally the big day came. Enthusiastically, she got on the boat, took part in the activities, and enjoyed the sun and the beautiful scenes for a week. To save money on her limited budget, she skipped the main meals and bought small snacks in the gift shop. She was a bit hungry most of the week, but she loved the whole experience.
On the last day, a new friend from the cruise invited her to dinner. She replied that she could not really afford it. The friend was surprised and asked her, “Don’t you know the meals are all included in the price of your ticket?”
Too many people are like this woman as they go through life. There are so many experiences, blessings, and opportunities that are included in the price of admission to this life, yet they miss out on them simply because they don’t understand the big picture.
Here are the basic principles of financial fitness according to Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward from their book, “The 47 Principles of Financial Fitness”:
- It’s not what you make but what you keep that determines financial success. Pay yourself first and save what you pay yourself.
- Money is a gift. It has a specific use. This means that you have a stewardship. You are to use your money for something that matters, for your family and beyond.
- Live within your means. Always. No exceptions. Period. Follow a good budget. Give each spouse a small allowance so you have a discretionary money each month, and don’t nitpick each other on the little things.
- Stop getting financial advice from broke people; get it only from those whose finances you want to emulate.
- Consistently budget and save for unexpected expense.
- Pay 10% of your income to tithing. Give even if you are really broke. Giving puts you in a mindset of abundance and puts any financial worries in their proper perspective, so it should not be limited to just tithing. The Bible categorizes giving as: a) tithes and b) offerings.
- Using your time, money, and talents to genuinely help others naturally increases your happiness. Seeking money for money’s sake may or may not influence your happiness, but seeking money in order to fulfill your stewardship and serve and bless others automatically increases it.
The rest of the 40 principles in book will discuss the offense, defense, and the playing field of personal finance.
You can scrimp and eat small snacks and skip meals that you already paid for with your ticket to the cruise called life, or apply the principles of financial fitness and enjoy the great results that will bring you.
Finally, not living your dreams really is a life of quiet desperation. Chris Brady said, “Not all of us die in the end. Some of us die in the middle.”
The 47 Principles of Financial Fitness by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward