“When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” Proverbs 31:21
We all yearn for financial security–it’s engraved in our DNA. It is a worthy goal, after all, when we have a healthy bank balance it opens up many more possibilities. It gives us an opportunity to explore our God-given talents. When money is no longer an issue, it affords us the luxury of trying out different fields that make us happy without having to worry about where our next pay check will come from.
So, when is financial freedom achieved? When your passive income exceeds your expenses then, you can comfortably say you have financial security. Passive incomes are sources of revenue derived from businesses or investments that don’t require your direct effort and time to run. Such investments include rental property, investments in stocks and shares, royalties streaming in from books, music, etc.
While we all desire to attain financial independence, only a limited few ever reach that feat. The few who have who have attained financial independence have certainly learnt how money works. They do it by using certain laws and principles that have been used over the years bringing many untold success. In this chapter, we are going to look at this universal laws and principles how you can apply them in your day to day modest advantage choices.
The Gamblers Fallacy
It is principally at games of chance that a multitude of illusions support hope and sustain it against unfavourable chances. (Laplace, 1796/1951)
If you toss a coin nine times and it comes down ‘heads’ each time, the odds of getting yet another ‘heads’ on the tenth toss is still one in two. In a pure game of chance, past results have no effect on future outcomes. They do not change the probability that certain events will occur in the future. The delusion occurs when an individual believes that when a person fails or succeeds at something then their previous results will be reflected in subsequent attempts. The truth of the matter is they are still governed by the same law of chance. The past doesn’t guarantee a future.
The rules change when a game includes strategy and people are competing against each other–like poker. Chance or luck still plays a role but a third element is introduced to the equation–skill. A skilled player knows how to minimise his losses during a bad streak and maximise his winnings during a good one. Ultimately, better players who make the right bets on the right cards consistently win in the long haul.
It’s the same principle in life. Financial freedom and success are both about making the right moves, making the right decisions, over and over again until the modest advantage works in your favour. Just like in poker, some people may be luckier than others but ultimately it is those who have mastered the way of success that are able to minimize their losses and maximize on their profits.
That’s all there is to it, like it or not.
The Proverbs 31 Lady has developed consistent actions that have made her a very wise investor. She chooses to invest in land, she speculates until the land is profitable and she sells it. It is not by chance or luck that her trading is very profitable, it is because she is a skilled investor. She has mastered the art of spending money on items that grow in value rather than items that diminish in value.
The Law of Exchange
Most times we look for the most sophisticated ways of making money while all we need is covered in the basics. Money is a medium of exchange. It has no power- the only power it has is in the value we get when we use it as a medium of exchange. People receive an income for creating something or offering a service that other people value and are willing to pay for. What value are you offering in exchange of money?
If you want to increase the money you are getting, you have got to increase the value you are offering. This means increasing your knowledge, skills or even changing jobs. There are no short cuts in making money. It all narrows down to three things; the kind of service/product you are offering, how well you are offering it and how hard it is to replace what you are offering. This applies to all spheres of life whether you are employed, running a business or writing a book.
Desire to increase your earning potential by identifying your HABU (Chapter 12) and channelling your time and resources into giving the best service you can give.
The Law of Cause and Effect
“When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet” Proverbs 31:21
We covered The Law of Cause and Effect in Chapter 3. For every effect there is a cause. For example, a rich person may spend his time accumulating assets that increase in value such us land. A poor may decide to spend his money accumulating assets that diminish in value such as flashy cars and expensive gadgets. The rich man will be richer in 10 years while the poor man will be poorer. For both men, the amount of failure or success they will have accumulated will be directly proportional to how they spent their money.
Many women spend all their money on items they don’t need leaving them with no safety net for trouble or capital to take advantage of lucrative opportunities. Ours is a society of the stereotypical spoiled woman who impulsively buys frivolous items and squanders all her earning on things that don’t add value to her life.
To become wealthy, you need to start identifying actions that accumulate your wealth and consistently apply them in your life. You also need to consistently shed off any actions that dwindle down your wealth. By limiting your spending and setting apart a fraction of your income in savings, you can have both for the protection and prosperity of your future family and estate.
Make the right choice today. Work hard to build your wealth and be purposeful when you spend money. Make sure you have enough oil to ensure your lamp does not go off even late into the night.
Her Cash Cushion
“She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” Proverbs 31:18
A few women in the world get laid off with savings, a transferable skill or another job waiting. Most of us lose our jobs, with no financial cushion, we are untrained, and do not know what to do with the rest of our lives. The Proverbs 31 Lady is prudent to save her income so that future financial difficulties can be cushioned.
Having cash helps protect you against life’s uncertainties. For example, let’s say you lose your job and it takes a few months to find another job. During this time, you still have to pay your bills.
A cash cushion to cover three to twelve months of your living expenses will allow you to pay those bills while not incurring any debt or tapping into long term investments. You should also keep in mind having a cash cushion is important when working on debt.
Understanding and dealing with the risks life throws at you is one of the key actions you can take to ensure that the wealth you have built is kept from harm’s way.
We are surrounded by risks; accidents, lawsuits, fire, disability, and loss of income–the list is endless. Visit a financial institution near you and find out how you can protect yourself and your assets from loss. If one of your major investments cannot be covered, think about how you will withstand the loss when it happens.
As you build your financial foundation and work towards saving for your financial future, you need to protect yourself and your assets along the way. There are many insurances ranging from Health Insurance, Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, Disability Insurance, Life Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, and Business Insurance.
Be wise–look ahead to see if your job, profession, or business will be needed in the future. Consider your education and upgrade where necessary. Prepare yourself adequately for a profitable field of endeavour lest you endure the punishment of working harder for less money than your wiser peers. The long-term pain of under employment overrides the short-term pleasure of taking life easy.
The Proverbs 31 Lady laughs at the days to come because she knows she will be okay. She knows that only fools press forward without critical and sceptical analysis.
The Art of Delayed Gratification
Ours is a world of people who want to be rich, so they are vulnerable to ‘get rich quick schemes’. If they are offered “financial independence” and their own “business,” they gladly pay the marketer and sign up. Ten years later, they have done this several times, without any profit, and the loss of time they could have been ploughing and working on a legit business!
One of the symbols of personal maturity is a person’s ability to delay gratifications. Whether it is in the area of finances, relationships, health and diet, spirituality or any other important areas of life, a wise woman will never ever allow immediate and short-lived pleasure to jeopardise her entire life-time. She invests in today’s pain so that she can cash in on tomorrow’s pleasures. She works on the philosophy; work today and enjoy later.
Many people invest in businesses they do not understand just because it worked for a friend they know, ignoring the coming changes in the economic or political environment that will cost them in the long run. Learn how to secure the goose that lays you golden eggs. Make sure your dealings are profitable (Proverbs 31:18).
A wise woman will never allow her selfish instant gratification and desire for quick money to ruin her systematic plans and investment for her future. Know yourself not by who you think you are but by the habits that gear you towards a goal. Use of your time and money is definitely the most vital of these habits. Know the cost of your goals in terms of cost and time and save towards achievement of these goals. Don’t go all out spending money you don’t have on parties, holidays or other festive seasons.
Give yourself a sober strategic plan for future growth and safety, even though it may hurt short-term profits. This will help you cushion you from coming trouble.
Her Support System
As you work on becoming a financially wise woman, remember you cannot walk this road alone. Consider being part of a support group. Having the proper guidance and encouragement around you is important and can help you stay motivated along the way. A Proverbs 31 Lady seeks safety in a multitude of counsellors.
For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers. (Proverbs 11:14)
We must all have the proper guidance in order to fully succeed. While we live in a capitalistic world that encourages us to take charge and make aggressive demands on life, the bible offers far wiser counsel. Here we are encouraged to give up capitalism and to deepen our humility and acceptance and to listen carefully to the instructions of those who have walked on our chosen path and succeeded. Be wise, hide the corny from risk and do not rely on your own limited opinions. Do not rush into anything without reliable and tested evidence. Surround yourself with wise men with the fear of God.
“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:16
Her Ever Burning Lamp
Let us get one thing straight, the twenty hour work week is an absolute myth. The reality is financial freedom doesn’t come easy. If it did, everyone would have a few million dollars in their bank account.
The wealthy people I know, who were not born with a silver spoon, toiled endless hours to get to where they are. Sometimes they worked three jobs just to be able to pay off college loans, cater for their monthly bills or save enough money for a down payment on a home. Many others returned to school and juggled employment and family obligations for many years.
If you are not happy with your lot in life and you feel you deserve better, don’t just wish it to be so and wait–take action! Don’t be lazy, don’t make excuses, and don’t feel sorry for yourself. Stay positive, keep focused, and you will see abundance before you know it.