‘In my youth, I looked about me and saw all the good things that were to bring happiness and contentment. And I realized that wealth increased the potency of all these.’ (Arkad’ The Richest Man In Babylon)
1. Start thy purse to fattening: There are many labours and trades at which men may earn. Each of the ways of earning is a stream of income from which the worker diverts a portion to his own purse. Therefore for every man flows a stream of income, be it large or small according to his ability. If any man desires to build for himself a fortune, he must start by utilizing that source of wealth which he already has established!
The first remedy to cure a lean purse: For every N10 you earn, spend only N9! Your purse will start to fatten at once and its increasing weight will motivate you to fatten it the more.
Deride not its simplicity for truth is always simple.
2. Control thy expenditures: An unusual truth about men and the sons of men is this: What each of us call our necessary expenses will always grow to equal our income unless we protest to the contrary! All men are burdened with more desires than they can gratify, hence are earnings spent on satisfying these desires so far as they will go, still are many desires ungratified. Do not confuse necessary expenses with your desires! Study thoughtfully your accustomed habits of living for accepted expense that may be wisely reduced or eliminated. Let thy motto be: 100% of appreciated value demanded for each coin spent.
The second remedy therefore is that you budget your expenses that you may have fund to pay for necessities, your enjoyments and to gratify other worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenths of thy earnings.
3. Make thy gold multiply: ‘Gold in a purse is gratifying to own and satisfies a miserly soul but earns nothing. The gold we may earn from our earnings is but the start. The earnings it will make shall build our fortunes. After upholding the discipline of setting aside 1/10th of earnings, then controlling expenditure to protect your growing treasure, you must consider means to put your savings to labour and to increase it.
A man’s wealth is not in the amount of money he carries in his purse; it is the income he builds, the golden stream that continually flows into his purse and keeps it bulging. An income that continues to come whether you work or travel.
‘This then is the third cure for a lean purse: to put each coin to laboring that it may produce its kind even as the flocks of the field and help bring to you, income stream of wealth that shall flow constantly into your purse.’
4. Guard thy treasure from loss: ‘Misfortune loves a shining mark’ Every owner of gold is tempted by opportunities whereby it would seem that he could make large sums by its investment in most plausible projects. Often, friends and relatives are eagerly entering such investment and urge him to follow (Remember, Wonder Banks?).
The first sound principle of investment is security for thy principal.
This then is the fourth cure for a lean purse and of great importance if it prevents thy purse from being emptied once it has become well filled: Guard thy treasure from loss by investing only where thy principal is safe, where it may be reclaimed if desirable, and where thou will not fail to collect a fair rental. Secure the advice of those experienced in the profitable handling of gold. “Let their wisdom protect thy treasure from unsafe investments”
5. Make of thy dwelling a profitable Investment: If a man set aside nine parts of his earnings upon which to live and enjoy life, and if any part of this nine parts he can turn into a profitable investment without detriment to his well-being, then so much faster will his treasure grow. No man’s family can fully enjoy life unless they do have a plot of ground wherein children can play in the clean earth and where the wife may raise not only blossoms but good rich herbs to feed her family. The money lenders gladly consider the desires of men who seek homes and land for their families. Readily may thou borrow to pay the brick-maker and the builder for such commendable purpose, if thou can show a reasonable portion of the necessary sum which thou thyself hath provided for the purpose. Then when the house be built, you can pay the money lender with the regularity you pay the landlord and because each payment will reduce your indebtedness to the money lender, a few years will satisfy the loan.
Thus comes many blessings to the man who owns his own house and greatly will reduce his cost of living, making available more of his earnings for pleasures and the gratification of his desires.
This then is the fifth cure for a lean purse: Own thy home!
6. Insure a future income: The life of every man proceeds from his childhood to his old age. This is the path of life and no man may deviate from it unless God calls him prematurely to the world beyond. It then behooves a man to make preparation for a suitable income in the days to come, when he is no longer young, and to make preparations for his family should he be no longer with them to comfort and support them.
The man who because of his understanding of the laws of wealth, acquires a growing surplus, should give thought to those future days. He should plan certain investments or provisions that may endure safely for many years, yet will be available when the time arrives which he has so wisely anticipated.
The sixth cure for a lean purse thence is to provide in advance for the needs of your growing age and the protection of your family.
7. Increase thy ability to earn: As a man perfects himself in his calling, so does his ability to earn increase. The more wisdom we know, the more we may earn. The man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded.
Always do the affairs of men change and improve because keen minded men seek greater skill that they may better serve those upon whose patronage they depend. Therefore, be in front rank of progress and not stand still, lest you be left behind.
The seventh and last remedy for a lean purse is to cultivate your powers, to study and become more skillful and thus gain respect for yourself with confidence to achieve your considered desires.
These then are the seven cures for a lean purse which is offered to all men that desire wealth and must so have it to offer praise filled with DELIGHT to their creator.
(Adapted from George S. Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon”)