About a year ago, the LIFE business came out with its flagship product called the Mental Fitness Challenge. Part of the Challenge is a self-assessment test that offers 360 degree anonymous feedback to evaluate you in a number of areas. One of those areas is finances.
I sent invitations to a number of friends and family and asked them to evaluate me in the various areas and was fairly happy with what people thought of me. The one area I was disappointed in, but not entirely surprised, was the area of finances.
Courtnee and I have been your typical Amercian dual-income family. We both had good jobs that made for a good household income. She was a realtor and I was a recreation director. Often times I jokingly referred to her as my sugar momma because she made more money than I did. But at the end of 2008 the real estate market crashed. Basically, she lost her “job,” and as a result of losing over half of our income, and being in debt up to our eyeballs, we went bankrupt rather quickly.
Neither one of us blame the economy, the real estate market, or anything else for what happened with our financial situation. We blame ourselves. We were like so many others that financed or put on credit our toys, vacations, occasional meals out, shopping sprees, etc. We had around five or six credit cards, a mortgage, two car payments, a camper payment, a hot tub payment, and student loan payments. And guess what? When our income went bye-bye, all those payments didn’t.
Now I am not ignorant to the fact that I am part of a minority of people that has had great teaching when it comes to spiritual truths, leadership, and even relationships. I’ve been on staff at a church that sent me to a John Maxwell conference and was plugged into that network, was involved in an industry that has a lot of continuing education related to leadership and relationships, and am currently involved with a church that is very strong in teaching leadership principles, family principles, and spiritual growth.
But aside from a few nuggets of truth here and there, Courtnee and I have never truly been educated in the area of finances. I purposely use the word educated, because despite having taken an 8-week course on finances, and hearing some basic principles from time to time on Sundays, to be truly educated in any area, one must be inundated with correct information.
This is yet another reason why I am so thankful for the LIFE business. We are constantly reminded and taught rock-solid, time-proven principles about finances (among everything else). Although it’s been a long road out of our financial pit, we are nearly out of debt, have dramatically reduced our expenses, and see our income increasing progressively. We still have much to learn, and more discipline to develop, but again, the future is extremely bright.
Here are some principles on finances that come straight from chapter 8 of Orrin Woodward‘s book Resolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE. These principles have helped save us from our finacial ignorance, and have equipped us with proper thinking about finances. If you want the deeper scope of these principles, be sure to purchase, read, study, and implement these principles. They will revolutionize your finances.
1. Accurately identify your net income.
2. Document all of your expenses.
3. Set a goal to live on 75% of your net income.
4. Never finance anything that depreciates.
5. Set a price limit on spontaneous purchases.
6. Use cash as often and whenever possible.
7. Wipe out consumer debt before saving.
8. Know the difference between a true investment and an expense.
9. Focus on quality of life and peace once you become wealthy.
10. When wealthy, never forget to be a blessing to others.