I ran across this blog post a couple of days ago. I didn't write it, but I enjoyed reading it. It's practical, wise, old- school financial advice. I think it is possible Luci & I shared a father :) And as a side note, I like Suze Orman, too. Her show is worth negotiating my 9 pm bedtime, most weeks.
THE MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE
Written by Luci Swindoll
June 7, 2012
“From birth to eighteen, a girl needs good parents.
From eighteen to thirty-five, she needs good looks.
From thirty-five to fifty-five, she needs a good personality.
From fifty-five on, she needs cash”.
Those words by Sophie Tucker were said when she was 69 years old and the quote is one of my favorites. Not only because it’s clever but also because there’s so much truth to it. As you read this, you probably fall into one of those age categories, so don’t you think they’re applicable to where you are…or where you were? Since I fall into that “from fifty-five on…” category, let me talk a little bit about cash.
I well remember my first lecture regarding money and its value in life. I was ten years old at the time, and had spent every penny of my allowance on model airplanes. I’ve always been fascinated with models of any kind. (I once built the city of Jerusalem with tiny little cardboard blocks…but I digress).
I was showing my dad the model airplanes and told him how thrilled I was when he asked where I got the money to pay for them. After confessing I not only spent all my allowance but had also borrowed and spent money from both of my brothers, Daddy said, “Honey, someday when you’re grown, you’re going to be responsible for your own money and if you’re not careful with it, you’ll run out. You need to know how to divide it up. Think of it this way”, then he opened his hand, held it up with his fingers spread apart and said, (pointing to each finger one at a time): “Save some, spend some, tithe some, invest some, give some away. That way, you’ll always have money.” I’ve never forgotten it, and (when I followed his counsel) it’s served me well.
Money is a medium of exchange and while it may be an important commodity to have, there are many things it can’t buy: like happiness or honor. It can’t buy character or good taste. It can’t buy wisdom. Money can’t buy hospitality, kindness, a sense of humor or friendship; it can’t buy richness of heart or pay the price of redemption for a soul that is alien to God. So we could have all the money in the world, yet still be poverty stricken in the things that really matter. It is up to us to determine what we can afford and what we cannot, then live with that determination.
About twenty years ago I made a list in the front of my Journal that allowed me to check my value system before I spent money. To this day, I still use it.
1. Tithe off the gross.
2. Live within your means.
3. Take care of what you have.
4. Wear it out.
5. Do it yourself.
6. Anticipate your needs.
7. Research quality, and multiple use.
8. Make gifts.
9. Shop less.
10. Buy used.
11. Pay cash.
12. Do without.
That little list of “do’s” and “don’ts” has kept me sane more than once. It’s made me realize that even though “From fifty-five on, I need cash”, there are many things cash can buy that I don’t need. It’s taught me to be resourceful and careful instead of critical and pitiful. And most of all, it’s taught me to be grateful. Once we learn we are millionaires in Christ, having money is nothing by comparison.
Suze Orman says it well:
“How you handle your money is a reflection of how you handle every aspect of your life."