In a finance group on Habitica, we read The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. I have a copy of one of the original pamphlets, subtitled “A STUDY FOR THOSE WHO DESIRE MUCH GOLD,” and compliments of Investors Syndicate Title & Guaranty Co. of New York.
Clason wrote the book as a series of short stories in the 1930s, so this isn’t your normal finance book with graphs and charts. It’s written for people who don’t have degrees in accounting and who can’t define Time Value of Money. In short, normal people.
Gotta tell ya, this is the best basic finance book ever. I read it every month for almost two years when I first got married. Poor and motivated, that was me.
The most important piece of advice it offers: A part of all I earn is mine to keep.
That might sound simple, even trite, but how many people act is if it’s true? How many people pay themselves first? How many spend less than their income every month? Heck, how many spend more than their income every month?
People make this choice every day, day in and day out. Some will even say that they don’t have a choice. The cost of living is too high, or housing is too expensive, or the minimum wage is too low . . . or . . . or . . . .
I’m here to tell you that it is a choice. When my husband and I were first married, we weren’t just poor, we were po’. Poor is when you don’t have much money. Po’ is when you look for loose change in the couch cushions to buy bread. But we still saved, first some rainy day money so that we didn’t have to go into debt every time something unexpected happened and then money we could invest, money we could “jingle” as the book says.
Now we’re reaping the benefits of following the book’s guidance. Though we’re not quite to the point of retirement yet, we’re close.
If you haven’t read the book already, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. The sooner you read it, the sooner you can get started on the road to wealth.