Attitudes About Money
by Carmen C. Garcia, CPA
Have you ever heard someone say…?
"If I had lots of money, I would be happy." Or
"There is never enough money." Or
"Winning the Lotto would solve all of my problems."
Most of us know the answers to these questions. We know money is not the solution to the underlying problems in these questions. Money is not what makes us happy. However, it can certainly make us unhappy if we feel we don't have enough or are not being paid adequately. One of the universal principles in metaphysics is that everything you need to make you happy, including all the money in the world, is already here for you. Winning the Lotto would not solve all your problems. Recent studies of Lotto winners have shown that Lotto winners, and former high-priced athletes, are more apt to end up broke again. Why is that?
The problem lies in our educational system. Schools and parents don't teach children about money; how to make it, how to spend it, how to make it grow and how to protect it from taxes. In his best-selling book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, (Warner Books, Copyright 1997) Robert Kiyosaki tells us that the rich teach their children "not to work for money, but to have money work for them." Robert grew up having two dads, his own dad and his best friends' dad. He learned from both. His own dad was a highly educated government employee and died broke. His friends' dad never finished school, but built a million-dollar empire and taught Robert the rules the rich play. Robert retired at age 47, a millionaire many times over.
Most parents tell their kids to study hard so that they can get a good paying job with great benefits. The kids graduate, get married, have their own children, buy a house and a car and get deeply in credit card debt, living from paycheck to paycheck. They enter the Rat Race. The poor and the middle class work all their lives to make someone else rich: their employers, the government (by working from January to May just to pay taxes), and the bank, paying off the mortgage and credit cards. You work for money and the best you can hope for is a pension or social security at the end of 30 years.
The rich, on the other hand, play by a different set of rules. They teach their children about money around the dinner table, not at school. You won't find these rules being taught at any traditional school. Here are some of those rules found in Robert Kiyosaki's book:
- Don't work for money (earned income), have money work for you (portfolio or investing income). You may have to start working for money until you get enough knowledge and experience about how to have money work for you.
- Learn financial literacy and acquire financial intelligence. Learn about balance sheets and income statements; how cashflow works; how stocks, bonds and mutual funds work; how banks, mortgages and credit cards work; and buy assets which put cash into your pocket, instead of buying liabilities which take cash out of your pocket.
- Be focused on what is your goal. Know what business you are in, the business of becoming rich. Roy Kroc, founder of McDonald's said he was not in the hamburger business, he was in the real estate business.
- Learn about taxes and the power of corporations. If you are not an accountant, then hire professionals to advise you. Paying $500 for professional advise can save you thousands later .
- The rich invented money, don't let it intimidate you, it's just an agreement. You can buy almost anything with nothing down and other peoples' money. It depends on how good you are at sales. If you want to be rich, you need to have the self-confidence to sell. Perhaps not selling products, but everyday we sell ourselves and our families on our way of life, our employer on our job, a client on a project, etc.
- Work to learn, don't work to earn money. Seize opportunities to learn even if you have to work free, the knowledge and experience gained can make you millions.
All of this is well and good but if you have to make a living and pay bills right now, you may not have a choice. No financial advisor I know every said to get rich overnight, it's better to work at getting rich slowly. If you are young and have time on your side, it is easy. Using disciplined investing with dollar cost averaging and mutual funds after 40 years and the power of compounding interest, you could retire at 65 with millions in your portfolios. However, if you are closer to 50 or 60, time is running out. Here's what Robert Kiyosaki says to do:
- Stop doing what you are doing. Step back and look at what's working and what's not. If you doing the same thing all the time and expecting different results, you're crazy!
- Look for new ideas. Go to bookstores and look for books on different and unique subject. Study and learn, then Just Do It!
- Find someone who has done what you want to do. Take them to lunch and pick their brain! Most people are flattered by your questions and will open up to you for a terrific learning opportunity.
- Take classes, workshops, seminars and buy tapes. Many are free or charge a small fee. Never, Never Stop Learning.
Here are some thoughts on money I've run across and some practical ways to look at it. Money is Energy. Since ancient time goods and services have been bartered and energy is really the medium of exchange. Money is Love. In love, money often manifests as the expression of that love. Money is Freedom. Having enough money to pursue your goals and dreams means being free. Money is only an idea. If you want more money, change your thinking. Study, learn, practice what you learn and start small.
Carmen C. Garcia, CPA, is President and Owner of C.C. Garcia & Co., P.C. a San Antonio CPA firm serving individuals, small businesses and non-profit agencies. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.ccgarcia.com.