WHAT DO YOU WANT TO GROW?
By Eddie Hedges
Many of my friends are farmers. In the springtime, they prepare the soil for planting. When the time is right, they plant their crops. If they left the seed in the barn instead of planting them, what would happen? Nothing at all would happen. Actually, over time the seed would rot and would be of no benefit to the farmer.
But when the seed is planted, is properly cared for, and the right weather considerations exist, it will produce more fruit and more seed. The seed’s purpose is to produce, but for it to be productive, it must be planted. Another consideration is when the farmer has planted the seed, he does not want them back the same as when he planted them. He wants them to grow and hopefully produce a bountiful crop.
What are the seeds in your life that you want to plant? Maybe it is a novel or an article you have considered writing. Perhaps it is some form of public service that would better your community, church, or even your country. It could be taking a course of study that would further your career. Or with your family or other relationships.
But what about planting seeds to build your financial future? Consider this thought, dollars are like the farmer’s seed. You can plant them or can eat them. When you plant them, you can watch them grow and produce more. When you eat or spend them, you get only temporary satisfaction. Think about this statement from leadership expert, John Maxwell, “You cannot harvest what you have not planted. You cannot harvest where you have not planted.” Consider how it applies not only to money, but anything of importance and value in your life. Goals and ambitions are great only when fulfilled.
I have found that it is not how much you make, but what you do with what you make that is important to your financial future. The key is following sound financial principles.
The financial principle to building wealth is consistent savings. Your savings are the seeds for your investments. They are to produce more money, which can be invested for greater returns. If you never start saving or you are inconsistent in savings you will never build the foundation necessary for a sound financial future. Consider this thought as it applies to your retirement. You will pay for your retirement either through a plan of systematic savings and investing when you are young OR you will need to work longer in life. But you will pay for your retirement now or later. Also, there may come a time when your earnings potential is reduced or your employment opportunities are not as great. This is just a fact of life. I personally believe it is better to save and invest throughout your working lifetime and prepare for the twilight years of your life.
How is this best accomplished? I recommend you follow the financial principle of “Paying Yourself First.” This means, out of the money you make—be it from a salary, investment income, or any other source of financial gain—take and invest a portion in a safe, secure manner that will pay a reasonable return on your investment. I suggest that you set a goal to save a minimum of ten per cent of your income and to do this consistently. Also, the earlier in life you start saving and investing ten per cent of your income, the greater the results. This is due to the compounding effect on your investments. As your income increases, perhaps you can increase the percentage from the income you save. If your income initially is low, you may need to start with a lower percentage than 10% and increase the percent as your income rises. To illustrate this please consider this simple comparison, $2,000 saved annually for 40 years at an average annual yield of 5% would result in $241,559.00 at the end of the 40 year period. Compare to $4,000 invested annually for 20 years at an average annual yield of 10%, which would be $229,100.00 at the end of the 20 year period. Both of the illustrations are from a total investment of $80,000.00.
Paying yourself first may be difficult when you first start, but I think you will find it becomes easier over time. Once you see your funds growing, you will become excited and work harder to build your savings. The benefit will be so much greater than the sacrifice. This is the first step in making money your slave instead of allowing money to be your master.
My website, www.authorwebservices-gem.net/Authorsxpress/Author, has a section “Investing Recommendations” if you would like information to guide you in how to invest and protect your money.
So the question remains, “What do you want to grow?” Start planting the seeds today for an abundant harvest tomorrow. All people have seeds of greatness within them. Some will plant them and enjoy the benefits of their efforts, while others will never see their dreams fulfilled.
My hope and prayer for you is that you don’t let your seeds stay in the barn.
Eddie Hedges is the author of THE HEART OF FINANCIAL MATTERS, SEEKING A SERVANT’S HEART, ebook available at iuniverse.com for only $0.99. For more information about the book and the author, please go to www.authorwebservices-gem.net/Authorsxpress/Author.