As the late John Savage, a frequent speaker at the Million Dollar Round Table, once said, “Spenders in the world always work for savers. It never happens the other way around.”
The rich get richer for many reasons, but one is that they take a long term view about their money.
Warren Buffett yelling, “It’s my money and I want it now.”
There are a lot of financial choices in the world. Many companies prey on the “I want it now” mentality. As Gary Rivlin noted in “Broke USA,” payday lenders, tax refund anticipation loans, car leases, subprime mortgages and credit cards are fairly recent additions to the world of personal finance. All of those vendors will get you immediate cash — at a huge price to pay in the future.
Our grandparents didn’t have credit cards. Debt absolutely frightened them. Maybe we should be frightened, too.
As Joe Nocera pointed out in “A Piece of the Action,” his classic history of personal finance, the rise of credit cards, mutual funds, 401(k) plans and individuals investing in the stock market are all things that have happened primarily since the mid-1960s.
Our parents lived in an era where they worked a lifetime at one company and got a monthly pension when they turned 65.
Our children will switch jobs frequently and will need to depend on contributions, and the investment results of 401(k) plans to allow them to retire.
Our parents and grandparents had systems to protect them. Our children and grandchildren are on their own.
I preach a simple gospel: Think about the long term. Tear up your credit cards. Don’t trust Wall Street, your government or your employer to take care of you. Move your money to a local bank or credit union and let the money help your community.
Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” Actually Janis, (and Kris Kristofferson, who wrote the song), had it semi-right. Real freedom means living in a way where you can have fun, enjoy life and know that you are never going to hit a time when you are out of cash and out of luck.
Instead of “It’s my money and I want it now,” a better way to think is “It’s my money and I want it always.”
Don McNay Richmond is the founder of McNay Settlement Group. He is the author of the book, “Son of a Son of a Gambler: Winners, Losers and What to Do When You Win the Lottery.” He has appeared on the CBS Evening News With Katie Couric and other television and radio programs.