Today, I will share 5 valuable tips from the Book of Proverbs that have worked for me in attaining, retaining and sustaining my financial freedom. There is a popular saying: ‘No man was born to remain poor. ‘’If you are born poor it is not your mistake, but if you die poor it is your mistake’. These tips from the Biblical book of proverbs are some ways a man born poor can change his fortunes.
Always set goals – When we set goals, we work towards accomplishing those goals. Without goals, we leave everything to chance and end up spending our money, time and energy on whatever comes our way. Everyone should have some goals in life so he/she can deploy his/her resources effectively. Prov 24: 27– “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house”. Proverbs 21:5 – “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”
Be careful of ‘Greed’ – One definition of greed says ‘intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food’..Greed is the reason many people make unfortunate investment mistakes. Greed beclouds their vision and they end up not understanding trade, business or investment opportunities, then they get swindled. The guiding principle against this vice is ‘never be in a hurry to make financial choices or decisions’. Be careful to ask the right questions always and refusing to get carried away with ‘bogus’ benefits these false opportunities offer. An investor who has an intense or selfish desire to ‘grab’ will not ask the right questions nor investigate properly when offered opportunities. If an investment sounds too good to be true, it is a red flag for you to investigate further. Proverbs 28:20– “A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent”. Proverbs 11: 24-25 -“There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. 25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself”.
Learn from other successful people. Over the years, I have identified a few successful people whose lifestyles challenge me and who I adopted as informal mentors. Some are aware they are my mentors while others don’t know me. There are some key characteristics to watch out for in people you want to adopt as Mentors and who you want to learn from. Integrity, knowledge and availability. There are two people who I share ideas with – while I am careful to get professional and expert support when needed for investment and business ideas, I still check with at least one of these individuals before I make a final commitment. Proverbs 27:17– “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”. Proverbs 15:22– “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established”.
Do not sleep unreasonably. I define ‘sleeping unreasonably’ as sleeping at odd hours, lousing around when you should be working hard on your academic or work deliverables. While I am careful for my health and do ensure I get minimum required number of sleep hours, I try not to sleep ‘careless sleep’ as defined in Proverbs 24:33-34. (33- “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 34 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man”). All forms of laziness and mis-use of time leads a man to poverty and far from attaining financial freedom. Valuable time spent on Social Media or excessive watching of television. Mis-use of time by unnecessary gisting or visiting can all be categorized as Non Productive Time (NPT) which could be better deployed. Time is money and the more you learn to efficiently and effectively manage your time, the closer you get to attaining financial freedom.
Pay good attention to your health. I have a target to eat and drink in moderation as I am careful not to do things that jeopardize my health. While like most people, I struggle with keeping to the right diet for my bodily needs, I am conscious and aware of the do’s and do not’s and focuses on eating/drinking right. I also know the value of exercise and constantly work on my target of minimum 30 minutes active exercise thrice a week.Proverbs 25:16– “Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it…”.