SAVINGS have, over the years, been a controversial topic amongst Christians. The saying goes, “The rich don’t belong in heaven”. And this has led to many, confused, people refusing to be the best they can be in an attempt to avoid being rich and evil. As a result, innovation and productivity have been greatly compromised as many people find it better to be town derelicts than work hard and be rich.
Basically, what is the biblical meaning of rich? Rich is obsession with money. Hence, in my life, I have met the richest men in life with no cents in their pockets. And the poorest men with all money in the world. These poor men are feeding and educating the real poor men and women. They pay for their medical bills and put roofs over their heads. A case in point: Bill Gates is a philanthropist. He thinks and cares beyond self. It just dawned on me that God made Solomon rich. Because he sought Him first.
So, I am teaching you to be smart with your money. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Have a saving plan. And start now to save. Don’t keep postponing because a delay costs you a fortune. Each year you delay to start a saving plan, you lose out a great deal of money: It is not the interest on your money in ‘year one’ of your savings plan that you will lose; it’s the cumulative effect of compound interest over many years that you lose.
For instance: take someone at the age of twenty who invests M1000 at a compound interest of 20 percent over a period of 45 years. At age 65 it would have grown to no less than M36.5 million. If the same person waited until thirty to make the same investment, the money would have grown to only M5. 9million. A M30million difference. What a difference!
How should your savings be divided? Experts suggest that in three ways: short term, medium term and long term. Short-term: This money is to be used for sudden and unexpected emergencies like car and fridge breakdown. And, ideally one needs the equivalent of about three months’ salary. The best place to keep this money is banks because emphasis is on security not growth.
Medium-term: This saving plan is aimed at something that will take somewhat longer to achieve, like buying a car or deposit on a house. Because the investment period is longer, one can consider equity-type of investments like unit trusts (that are easily accessible), shares, or even a 10-year endowment policy.
Long-term: This constitutes your retirement planning and here the bulk of investments should be geared towards beating the inflation rate. Options here include unit trusts, endowment policies, retirement annuities, property syndicates, pension and provident funds.
Truth is there is nothing attractive about poverty. It breeds worry; which is the greatest sin ever because it denies one a chance to tap into the great power he/she has. We live to maximize our potential. And if that tends to make us rich, then we were meant to be! My final words: Don’t fear being rich. Fear not building a relationship with God. So, strike a balance between your life’s commitments and God.