LIVE RICHER Challenge: Day 1 and Day 2

The first week of January has been interesting. I’ve been making money moves.

On Friday the 2nd, I sat down and revisited the budget format from Michelle Singletary’s 21-Day Financial Fast. Budgeting is scary! OK, maybe not. I was trying to give every dollar a job and scared myself by almost getting down to $0, which wasn’t my intent. The zero-based budget is when income minus outgo equals zero. So in comes $3,000, and out goes $3,000 to saving, investing, paying bills, buying groceries, etc. I like having a little wiggle room, which is probably why I’m adverse to budgeting. I am going to run up my spending tab at the end of the month to see how I stack up to my budget. Should be interesting.

Live Rich(er), Die Trying

On Monday, I started in the 36-day LIVE RICHER Challenge started by Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche. Each day the participants must complete a task. The daily tasks will focus on the money theme of the week. The weekly themes are:

  • Week 1: Money Mindset
  • Week 2: Budgeting & Saving
  • Week 3: Debt
  • Week 4: Credit
  • Week 5: Investing & Insurance
  • Final Day: LIVE RICHER

Day One was about setting three main financial goals and sharing them with the rest of the Live Richer community or an accountability partner. Good thing I had already thought of mine. It was so great seeing all of the goals from fellow black women. They aim to do everything including raising their credit score by a certain number of points, save for a trip to Brazil, save for emergencies, increase their income and get out of debt. We have so much in common.

Today’s prompt prompted us to read “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse” in The Richest Man in Babylon book by George Clason. Then The Budgetnista requested that we share our favorite “cure” with the community, and how we’d use this “cure” to grow wealth.

I read the seven cures parable over my lunch break and was mesmerized. This book was first published in 1926. All of these principles for managing your finances still ring true. Amazing!

Trent Hamm explained the parable in The Simple Dollar (I’m too lazy to put in in my own words): “The tale “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse” relates a story about Arkad, the titular richest man in Babylon. He is requested by the king to teach a class to anyone who wishes to attend on the methods he used to build his wealth. He divides this class across seven days, with each day focusing on a particular method for saving money.”

Here are the seven principles:

  1. Start thy purse to fattening: Save 10 percent of your income.
  2. Control thy expenditures:  Budget, budget, budget! “Budget thy expenses that thou mayest have coins to pay for thy necessities, to pay for thy enjoyments and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenths of thy earnings.”
  3. Make thy gold multiply: Invest. “Put each coin to laboring that it may reproduce its kind even as the flocks of the field and help bring to thee income, a stream of wealth that shall flow constantly into thy purse.”
  4. Guard thy treasures from loss: Invest wisely. “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. Consult with wise men. 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. Own your own home. “…I recommend that every man own the roof that sheltereth him and his.”
  6. Insure a future income. Get insurance. “He should plan certain investments or provision that may endure safely for many years, yet will be available when the time arrives which he has so wisely anticipated. … Provide for the needs of thy growing age and the protection of thy family.”
  7. Increase thy ability to earn. Make more money. “The more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn. …cultivate thy own powers, to study and become wiser, to become more skillful, to so act as to respect thyself.”

This story is chock full of gems.

Arkad on NOT over thinking it:

Deride not what I say because of its simplicity. Truth is always simple.

Arkad on knowing what’s important:

Which desirest thou the most? Is it the gratification of thy desires of each day, a jewel, a bit of finer, better raiment, more food; things quickly gone and forgotten? Or is it substantial belongings, gold, lands, herds, merchandise, income-bringing investments? The coins thou takest from thy purse bring the first. The coins thou leavest within it will bring the latter.

Arkad on debt:

He must pay his debts with all the promptness within his power, not purchasing that for which he is unable to pay.

Arkad on giving back:

He mush have compassion upon those who are injured and smitten by misfortune and aid them within reasonable limits. He must do deeds of thoughfulness to those dear to him.

Arkad on setting goals:

Preceding accomplishment must be desire. Thy desires must be strong and definite. General desires are weak longings. For a man to wish to be rich is of little purpose. For a man to desire five pieces of gold is a tangible desire which he can press to fulfillment.

Arkad on increasing earning potential and lifelong learning:

As a man perfecteth himself in his calling even so doth his ability to earn income.

Arkad on wants versus desires:

I say to you that just as weeds grow in a field wherever the farmer leaves space for their roots , even so freely do desires grow in men whenever there is a possibility of their being gratified. Thy desires are a multitude and those that thou mayest gratify are but few.

SEEKING COUNSEL

After work, I saw my financial advisor and discussed my current outlook and goals. He lauded me on the decisions I’d made thus far and the fact that I paid off four small debts in 2014 and had a clear plan to rid myself of more debt. For my age, he said, I’m doing fine. Some folks have $30,000 in credit card debt, he said. Having a mindset to get rid of it as soon as possible is commendable.

The meeting was a great way to end the day. The future looks bright as long as I stick to the plan.

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