I am 27 pages in and I had to brew an afternoon espresso because I want to devour this book by nightfall. I will need to reread parts and mull it over. Sometimes the simple confounds me. However, these 27 pages already have me thinking. The book was written in 1926 and is still popular. I had to wait months for this book to become available.
Arkad is the richest man in Babylon. He comes from a poor and large family with no fortune or inheritance. He was not the brightest or cleverest in school. There is nothing special about him, yet he, of all his friends, becomes the most wealthy and his wealth continues to grow even as he spends and enjoys all the luxuries life has to offer. His friends, who are hard working and yet still struggling on the edge of poverty, go to ask him for the secret behind his wealth.
I’m only to the part where he is talking about a man that taught him some of the most important lessons of building wealth, such as paying yourself and keeping that portion of what you make, otherwise known as paying yourself first. Then some advice about investing and partnering with the right people in the right fields.
That is it for now, but it made me think of all the ways we save and how we did get ahead despite not being the most clever people. As most of you know, we had a rental property and it seemed very wise and I still think solid things such as property are smart investments. We are signing papers in a week to turn the house over to new owners. I have no regrets and we doubled our profit because we sold at the right time. But now we will have this huge chunk of money and what I want to do is pay our mortgage way down and do some work to gussy up the old man (house if your confused). But I wonder if we could do something smarter with the money. Maybe take a small sum and invest it in something that might grow and keep on giving.
In the meantime, I will read this book and talk to smart, more clever friends that seem to grow money from mere dust.
What I have learned in my life of mistakes and improvements is this; wealth is in every aspect of your life. It comes from paying yourself first, buying things that will cut down on spending in the future, creating passive incomes, all the way over to who you spend your time with, how you spend your time, and your mindset.
Let me expand on all those topics.
I was thinking about how much money some people spend on going out on the town over the weekends. It is fun and should be enjoyed now and then, but if done too much it will keep you in the poor house. Drinking out is very expensive as is dining out. We enjoy going out but usually choose lunchtime as that is just our favorite time and it turns out half the cost of dinner out. We choose places that are very affordable and choose ice water and tea if offered as our drink, skip desert, and take half of our plate home for dinner. It is not done on purpose, it is just how we started doing things and it feels normal. We tip well though. I was a waitress for years and I get it.
I have have money coming in for years from my channel, book royalties, gifts and the associates program. I tried to make good decisions with every dollar. You see, I did inherit some money when my mother passed years ago and I spent it all within two years simply living above my means. I know what they mean by “give every penny a job”. If not, it will slip from you fast.
I bought tools for the house, kitchen and garden that we could use over and over and would increase the quality of our lives. The Berkey filter has saved in buy water and using ever more plastic. The cloth cleaning tools I can wash save on money monthly from buying swifter’s, sponges, vacuum bags and so on. We stocked up on seeds and trees and tools for the gardens. We now have 38 healthy trees…well, 4 are questionable right now. We have an 800 square foot garden and more being planned that will produce plenty of organic food once we dial it in. These are things that save money every month and other things that will produce a harvest year after year and will increase with each year if we continue to educate ourselves on how to nurture the gardens.
I’ve learned to buy in bulk, to cook so many things from scratch. This saves huge amounts of money. I know this because I have months of cooking and baking deligently and seeing how little we need to shop and then the weeks when I’m burnt out and buy the “cooks helper foods” or toy foods as I call them with their packaging and everything done for you and I see that grocery bill.
We drink water, we love water, we don’t know anything else. I have since purchased ice trays so I triple love my jars of clinking ice beverage. Coffee is my drug. It’s a lot cheaper than drugs and booze, and it earns its keep. Just the simple act of not drinking bubbly or tasty beverages or expensive wines and beers, saves hundreds a month. I know this because I used to buy booze, cigarettes, sodas and I was always broke.
A full pantry helps. I feel abundance when I look at stocked shelves. I love when I only need one ingredient at the store for the weekly menu because I have already stocked up. I know that if we had to pull the reigns on spending or we didn’t have funds for a couple months we would be just fine, maybe bored silly with the menu after a month but fine.
You can do most things by hand but I did use extra money for a soy milk maker and it is a great thing. It used to take me all day to make soy milk and the kids didn’t like it for there was always some burning no matter how careful I was. This little machine makes good milk in 15 minutes. Saving time is huge. You save time and energy for other things.
Saving time and energy to be creative. I have been purging the house and stream lining my cooking and cleaning so I have more time to rest, take long walks, work on my writing and read books. I am creative and it is how I make extra money. When I’m rested and my mind is relaxed I produce. I never understood how valuable sleep and slowing down is to the creative self until I burnt myself out a few times over. I’m still recovering. I was the foolish one who thought you should work as hard and long as you could and then take a break. Problem with that is that you wind up useless for ages and turned off from the work.
The boys are eating like small bears and I felt like I was cooking all day. My brilliant husband said, “cook once but cook a lot!” Every morning I now pull out the bread maker and Soyabella and let my mechanical assistance make the bread and milk for the next day. I make a batch of vegan butter to last a week or two. Then I cook a huge batch of good food. That feeds everyone a late lunch (our main meal) and they can eat on it through the evening if still hungry. If I make enough we just eat that for two days, I’ll add one new item to it the next day to make it exciting again. For example, if it’s chili and corn bread, the next day we eat the rest of the cornbread for breakfast and make cheese and chili burritos with salad for lunch. I love cooking this way now. I can enjoy making meals but I’m only doing a big cook up every other day, sometimes even three days. This is precious time saved and avoids burn out.
I even clean to save time and energy. I have become re enchanted with housekeeping once again. Every few months I take a of bucket of water and detergent, rags and tools and I wash down and scrub everything! Walls, doors, baseboards, fans. I deep clean oven, fridge. Wash windows outside and in. Shampoo carpets. Wash everything not nailed down. Everything is pulled out and scrubbed under, over, behind. I clean out cupboards. I purge and reorganize, restock. It is seasonal deep cleaning and inventory time. It makes it so easy to keep the house tidy and clean for the next few months.
Downsizing has helped this seasonal cleaning go from weeks to a few days of concentrated effort. Upkeep helps too. I am constantly giving away bags of foods and items we don’t use. I give away furniture that is just crowding rooms, extra stuff, silly items and books that no longer interest me. The house is downsized to charming and cozy but spacious and easy to clean thoroughly. I went from hours of cleaning to a couple hours here and there or an hour for daily maintenance.
A clean house saves money. It helps with the mental well being and inspires me to do other task. Making it easy by decluttering and keeping organized ensures that I won’t hire a housekeeper once a month, which I would and will one day if I get too busy with other things. But that is another blog post about sharing wealth.
I don’t tithe. I have big issues with tithing and making poor people think this is a heavenly act. No, God doesn’t want your money. God has the Universe. The church wants your money. Mega churches are built on your tithing. From what I surmise that the Infinite Wisdom and Creator is all about…I am just guessing that acts of love and kindness is what Spirit is after? Yes? Right, so I “tithe” to organizations that ensure a better world for my children and other peoples children, pets, and Mother Nature. This doesn’t save money but it feels good, like I’m doing my part, no matter how little. I was volunteering in the community but now that Bali is back to working all week I can not do that at this time.
Ok, here is one act that makes money. Or three. I always wanted to write and I started writing on a cheap laptop maybe 5 or 6 years ago. I learned how to self publish for free, make my own covers and so on. Then I started blogging and loved it. Then a YouTube channel was started for free. I eventually made money on all parts. Not a lot because I started out so small and I wasn’t very smart about pricing and royalties. I am learning. These things are great because they keep making money even when I’m gone. This is passive income or residual income. You do it once and it keeps working for you.
We do hire help and we do go out into our town and spend money. I believe money gets stagnant if just hiding in a savings. It needs purpose. But you can be wise with who you hire and for what. We do many task by hand. We paint and clean and garden and repair as much as possible with our own hands and some how to’s on YouTube. We hire help for bigger projects thus creating jobs and sharing money.
Money is energy. Build it, share it, keep it flowing.
Wealth comes in the form of good health. We are mostly plant based but there is still junk food and sometimes meat, fish, maybe real cheese. However, we keep upping the amount of fruit and greens with creamy smoothies and salads and steamed or sauteed veggies with meals in larger and larger portions. I am not sure why but we took to eating off salad plates more often and that helps us not gorge ourselves or waste food. We have these smaller plates that look so full and then we register that we are full before filling it again. I only buy junk food on Fridays now. We can eat what ever we want on that day. The rest of the week is health food. We walk everywhere because we love to and we live in a lovely area. I have given up on the work out machines and weights. I know that walking fits in naturally so I keep to that for now. We get stronger and more vibrant with each day. This is true wealth as you know if you’ve ever struggled with illness or poor health in any form.
Wealth comes in the form of a sound mind, happiness and contentment in life. I have withdrawn from social media over the years and recently YouTube. News is outlawed in our house. I’ve had to ask visitors to our home, to not discuss news, politics, and so on in our house. Some people don’t respect that and keep bringing up depressing world events over and over. I have put distance between us and those sorts of people. This may sound harsh but I want my kids to have childhoods and not hear about all the worlds problems or such negative talk. Especially these days, it’s out of control and so weird and toxic.
The boys have parks and playdates, friends and gatherings. I have a handful of people I adore and I am quite alright keeping to myself and tending my home. I don’t care for a social life at this time. I have two young men to raise, a husband to take care of and three dogs that are very needy. My basket is full. Besides, what could be better than spending time with children and dogs? You don’t have to be a Zen monk or Taoist monk to pull away from society and create a blissful, quiet home life. Make your home a sanctuary for all who live there.
And that brings us to your time and energy. My friend described it as gold coins. Where do you want to spend your gold coins? On whom would you spend those gold coins? You wouldn’t just throw them out willy nilly. You would carefully invest them in time and people that improves the quality of your life.
We can conserve our wealth, share it, grow it, save it and all in basic ways. We don’t have to be big investors or brilliant souls to increase our reserves. We just need a plan.
- Pay yourself first. This was a big game changer for us. It literally changed our future with in a year. We had tried saving for two years with no success and as soon as we stared putting away the first paycheck of each month, everything turned around.
- Don’t waste time or energy with those that bring you down emotionally, even physically. I have had friends that always had problems and I was spending more energy on their situations instead of improving my life.
- Conserve in all areas of the house and utilities. By reusable everything and nothing disposable. It will save you at least a hundred a month.
- Buy a water filter system so you don’t waste money on buying extra water. You are already paying the city for water, make it count.
- Learn how to grow food. Stock your yard with gardens and fruit trees.
- Learn how to stock your pantry for at least 3 months.
- Practice frequent no spends until it becomes natural.
- Put as much energy into your mental well being and physical health as you would a very important project. If you don’t have peace, happiness, or health, life is hard all the way around.
Now, I didn’t finish the book last night but I’m off to finish it today.