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Life Savings

When I was 6 years old, my father taught me everything I needed to know about money when he said, "A penny saved is a penny earned." I became such a good saver that by the time I was in the 2nd grade I was selling back to my mother my dimes I saved from my milk money. Of course my father also taught me about deception when I saw him hide several $100 bills in my bedroom closet and whispered to me, "Don't tell your mother or it will be all gone." I learned my lessons well. I learned money is more valuable than people and people are untrustworthy.

My father also taught me about the value of a good work ethic. He said that a person is measured by their successes and those measurements are determined by your employer. He showed me that he was a hard worker by working 12 hour shifts 7 days a week and he never was home. He worked nights and slept during the day so we had to tip-toe around the house or the hammer would fall on us. My father would get paid every week and he would cash the check and hand over a portion of the money to my mother to pay the bills and run the house. And he would hide several bills in my closet. I remember my mother constantly complaining that she was "Robbing Peter to Pay Paul" when it came to making choices to buy groceries or pay the electric bill. She would say there never was enough and I would wonder why my father wouldn't help her by giving her the wad of bills in my closet. One day when I was alone I counted the $100 bills and there were 17 of them. That was a lot of money in those days and it seemed selfish even to a six year old. But I kept quiet in fear of my father's wrath.

I was well into my 40's when I received my first real lesson on finances. I had been injured on the job and forced to retire from law enforcement at 45 years old. My daughter was in high school and I had no idea what I would do since my income suddenly was cut in 1/2 but my bills remained the same. I met a man who introduced me to books and audio tapes written by successful people; Robert Kyosaki, Zig Ziegler, Dale Carnegie, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, and Dave Ramsey. I learned about financial health, wealth, and investing in oneself. Someone said, "If you work hard on your job, you'll make a living. If you work hard on yourself, you may make a fortune!"

If you think of it through the eyes of reality, money has only the value we place on it. If you were starving, you wouldn't eat money. If you were adrift at sea, money alone couldn't save you. People have value and are more precious than gold or silver, but sadly, we invest our time in the accumulation of money and throw people away. Money is neither good nor bad, but how we use and pursue it can be bad. One of Jesus' apostles said,

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith

and pierced themselves with many griefs."

1 Timothy 6:10 New International Version (NIV)

So, make sure you are learning and teaching others the correct lessons when it comes to building your life savings. Invest in yourself, and in others, and the value you bring will be priceless.

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