I hope today’s message finds you very awake and aware, and ready to make good, solid financial decisions for 2013.
My family and I just got back from Nicaragua a few days ago. Being in a 3rd world country, you see things very differently. One of the things I love about Nicaragua is that it’s a very old world kind of place.
I mean, just picture this: You’re leaving the airport and driving down the road in Managua, and there are cars everywhere. You see a father with his 2 beautiful sons in a little makeshift carriage being pulled by a really skinny horse who is sweating profusely. Then you’ll see a father and mother with 3 kids on a motorcycle. Then as you get a little ways out of the city, you’ll see a little kid, maybe 5 years old, herding cows on the side of the road. As we drove, we had to watch out for cows and goats and chickens and all kinds of animals in the streets, as well as people! And then after dark, we really had to be careful to watch for the men who had a few too many Toñas (Nicaragua’s beautiful famous beer) who were staggering through the street. All of these things are very common here.
During our 3-hour drive to get to our destination, my aunt and I had a conversation about the finances of the people in Nicaragua. I want to share this with you because I believe it will be helpful for you.
Aunt Marie asked what people do here. It was obvious that the people there made different amounts of money – there were people on foot, on a bike, on a bus, in a taxi, on a motorcycle, or in a car. It was so interesting to see.
We were there taking care of 200 families who had nothing - they lived in homes made out of other people’s trash. Most people never manage to get out of that extreme poverty, where their children are walking around with no clothes on and they don’t know what they’re going to eat that day. But if they do get out of that lifestyle, they get to the next level of someone who is working.
What is sad is that those who are working and able to make a little bit of money end up spending it on booze and sodas. Then there are those who make a little more money, and those are the ones who blow their money on booze and sodas and eating out. And then there’s the ones who blow it on taxi rides. Instead of living a simple life, they are living in a poverty mentality.
And that’s the same mentality I had when I was 17 years old and pregnant out of wedlock. My parents disowned me, my boyfriend deserted me, and I was going to have to take care of my baby on my own. I was working 2 jobs to pay for rent, food, car insurance, and gas. I remember standing in the grocery store, and I reached for the Heinz brand of ketchup, but when I saw the price, I thought, "There’s no way I’m going to pay that much for ketchup!" It’s almost like it was embarrassing to buy the generic brand. I stood there and thought to myself, "Someday I’m going to make enough money that I can buy all the name brands in the store."
It’s the same here in Nicaragua. There is the idea that, "When I make more money, I’ll be able to buy a soda as often as I want to." How sad! But that’s what we do. I don’t care what country you live in, that’s what we human beings do. It’s sad and terrible, and it’s because of a lack of understanding and a lack of vision.
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One night we had dinner with some friends who manage the ranch where we stayed in Nicaragua. They have 300 employees, and they told us about a mindset that is common there. There is this mindset that there’s never going to be a tomorrow. You never plan for the future, but instead only live for today. And because there’s no tomorrow, you spend all your money on silly little things. That really is the mentality of most of the people inside of this very poor, yet very beautiful and fruitful country.
My point for today’s financial lesson is this: Don’t be in that 98% of the population that ends up dead or dead broke, struggling all their lives. That is not your calling. That is not your destiny.
You are here reading this post, listening to the audios on our website, tuning into our weekly radio shows because you were not made to be in that 98%! You were made to rise out of that and then help others get out of it.
Look at what everyone else is doing with their money. Where do they blow it? On stupid little things, never thinking about the future. If they didn’t blow it on the little things – the candy, Starbucks, clothes, toys – then they could be paying cash for a car or a house or a vacation. But instead, they stay stuck!
This poverty culture is all over the world, and even in the U.S. – and it could be in you.
What happened to the last raise you got? Where did it go? What about your last bonus? Are you making more money today than you were when you first entered the workforce, whether that was last year or 20 or 50 years ago? You’re probably making more money today than you did then. You’ve probably gotten some bonuses and raises. So where did all that money go? Convenient foods, sodas, coffee, eating out, partying, shopping, more stuff. There’s that thing in the back of your head that says, "Someday I’m going to buy the expensive brand."
Come on, think bigger than that!
Listen, your desire is to become financial independent. And if that’s the case, you cannot think or buy like the 98%ers who will remain in an impoverished mindset and an impoverished lifestyle, always living paycheck-to-paycheck, and needing to borrow money when something happens with their home, their vehicle, or their health. That is a poverty mentality. That individual blows the money on the front end on silly little things instead of keeping and saving the money and planning for a greater financial future.
I’ll say it again – you are destined for financial independence. So now it’s time to step up out of that poverty mentality that has crippled most of the world today.
I hope today’s financial lesson was helpful for you, especially if you’re sitting there looking at the Coke on your desk! It’s time to wise up and step into financial independence!
God bless, and I’ll talk to you soon!
In great faith,