Financial Literacy—Your Key to Success
It’s often been said that money cannot buy happiness. While that’s true, anyone who’s ever had trouble coming up with the rent or paying their monthly utility bills knows money can make a big down payment toward living a less-troubled life.
In many ways, financial health is similar to physical health. Both are enablers rather than ends in themselves. Both are truly blessings, often the result of commitment, sacrifice and a great deal of personal effort. The rewards, however, often more than justify whatever amount of effort is required.
Perhaps most appealing of all, financial health can mean freedom—freedom from want for yourself and your loved ones; freedom from worry about paying your bills; freedom from the inability to have what you and your family need, much less what you’d like to have; and freedom to depend on yourself rather than someone else to provide work and be “the boss” who will tell you what to do and when to do it, then keep most of the profits you’ve worked so hard to obtain.
Contrary to some unsuccessful political and economic philosophies, motivation for personal financial gain is not a “bad or selfish thing.” In fact, it’s a very admirable thing, as indicated by the creativity and contributions to a better life that have emerged from the quest for financial rewards. Few cures for diseases have been discovered in the scientific laboratories of nations where financial incentives are nominal, if they exist at all. The standard of living is also much lower in such places than in free nations, where the profit motive drives people to constantly strive to be more productive, exceed their job goals and try to move up the organizational ladder.
Interestingly, a critical component of achieving true financial quality of life involves the possibly unexpected concepts of generosity and giving.
With regard to generosity, some feel doing well financially imposes at least as many obligations as the privileges and rights it offers. Chief among these is using at least part of your personal or your company’s earnings to benefit your neighbors who need and deserve help. We can refer to this practice as “community tithing.”
People who want to work but can’t find a job; people who have a job (or two jobs) but still cannot make ends meet; people who are unable to work at any job for some (legitimate) reason; the very young and the very old; people who have fallen prey to some form of addiction but are doing their utmost to overcome their dependence on drugs, alcohol or other harmful substances—all of these people deserve help. You can’t do it all, but you should do your part to help.
Give what you feel is a fair percentage of your earnings through ethical, reliable non-profit screening agencies or your church. Open your heart to help your brothers and sisters in your community. You can afford it, and you won’t even miss your donation.
And, amazingly, the science says that the sheer act of giving, will actually boost your quality of life by over 25%!! Who knew that by giving, you gain?
Oh, yeah…seems like God’s been reminding us of that reality since the beginning. Slow learners, some of us…