Have you ever wondered how rich people got rich? How do they manage their finances? Who were/are their advisers when it comes to managing money?
Well, I used to and still ask these questions to many people to get their opinion on money management and personal finance. Some are nice enough to share their views, some ignore saying its fate, some gets aggressive saying why to look at others, first look at yourself and some have actually learned and experimented it in their lives, that is, the art of getting rich and it is equally rewarding to discuss these with and seek advice from the ones who have actually experienced it.
How often is that we seek advice on personal finance from the experienced? How often do we implement that advice? And, how exactly are they able to give such solid advice? (In some cases people are out there just to take your money away from you with some pathetic advice, definitely not including them here !)
The Richest Man in Babylon, is the book that asks these questions, consider several scenarios (that are still valid to this date given that the book was first published in 1926), gives a proper plan to personal finance that could lead a person to get rich and have enough in his pocket so that he could enjoy his retirement early!
The book tries to form a story around the tablets recovered from an excavation site, which was the ruins of Babylon around the Euphrates. It describes how a man named Arkad was able to find the laws of gold, how he used them and how he maintained his finances from his early days, after a fateful encounter with a rich man during his work of making tablets.
The story starts with Arkad's friends trying to find the mantra to get rich, which led them to Arkad's doorstep with several other interested people who gathered there for the same reason, to know how one can get rich!
From there the story moves from one character to another, telling us their stories and how they were able to please the goddess of money and how all of them, one way or another, are connected to Arkad, describing him as the Richest Man of Babylon.
The book also showed, how Arkad as a father, gave a task to his son to prove his worthiness to become heir to his estate, to which his son at the end of his long 10 years of journey explained the 5 laws of gold and proved his worthiness.
In the end, we get to know how taking loan after loan can take away our freedom and how much it is important to guard our savings.
Now, not going into the details of each section of the story, I would like to share my views on some of the quotes that I found insightful from the book.
Quotes, that did strike my brain wires:
"A man’s wealth is not in his purse that he carries"
It can also be interpreted as a man's wealth is the knowledge he carries and the wisdom he shares. Even if someone tries to steal the wealth of that person, how much ever they try, they would not be able to steal the wisdom that made him wealthy.
"Fickle fate’ is a vicious goddess who brings no permanent good to anyone"
Don't put your future to fate, work for it and create your own fate. Fate may make you feel rich with small pleasures from a sport like gambling, but it has never produced permanent riches.
"A part of all I earn, is mine to keep"
The most relevant quote, that we often misinterpret with saying is, isn't that all I earn, is mine to keep? Definitely not! All you earn is for spending on your needs, wants and desires, that does not go in your pocket but to a different person! It is important to understand that you should start keeping a part of all you earn to yourself. The book gives us wisdom on how to start savings, by keeping one-tenth of your daily, weekly, monthly or yearly earnings. Be sure to make it your mantra on personal finance!
"Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared"
As the quote says, do not stay idle and let the opportunity pass by, instead prepare for it, work on your goals and when the opportunity comes, you would be ready to strike.
"What each of us calls our 'necessary expenses' will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary"
Such an apt quote that force us to think about our 'necessary expenses' and how we must make sure to not confuse these with our desires and how such a simple thought can help us minimize our expenses. Keep your expenses lower than what you earn, always know the difference between your needs and wants.
"Desires grew in men whenever there is a possiblity of them being gratified"
Keep a tab on your desires, don't let them exceed what you earn. Increase your savings and gradually you will see your desires being fulfilled with enough left on your hands.
"For a lean purse to a man no longer able to earn or to a family without its head is a sore tragedy"
Make sure you save one-tenth of your earnings and have proper insurance in place, so that you may never encounter a situation that could become a tragedy for you and more for your family.
"The more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn"
Well, this solves the situation faced within the previous quote. The very mantra is to earn money and manage finances, be eager to learn, to know and to implement, so that one day when you look back, you don't have any regrets.
"Good luck waits to come to that man who accepts opportunity"
Never ever think that 'Good Luck' is something that will come to you for not doing anything! It's the goddess that bestows her blessings to the one who rightly grabs the opportunity and makes the most out of it.
Some more intriguing quotes, what you may call honourable mentions, that I would like to highlight (even though they are as impactful as above, it's just that the article was getting long! So if you would like to discuss these further, then I would be happy to connect with you and deliberate over these mantras.)
"To earn wealth is but a slight burden upon the thoughtful man. Bearing the burden consistently from year to year accomplishes the final purpose"
"If you desire to help thy friend, do so in a way that will not bring thy friend's burden upon thyself"
"Better a little caution than a great regret"
"We cannot afford to be without adequate protection"
"Ill fortune pursues every man who thinks more of borrowing than of repaying"
"Where the determination is, the way can be found"
Now, don’t believe my words just for the sake of it, it's a long way ahead to master the art of riches, but I can say this much for sure that once you read a book and if it strikes the wires of your brain, inspires you to do the right thing and let you know what actually is the right thing, then definitely reading that book is knowledge worth knowing!
How did you find your way to managing your finances? Which book helped to open these doors for you? What did you love about this book, The Richest Man in Babylon? And if you have not read it yet, then what are you waiting for, go ahead and read it and manage your finances like never before!
Well, this marks the end of the article. Thinking of doing such Non-Tech Non-Dev blogs in future as well, let me know the areas where I can improve my writing. It would be great to connect with you, let's connect!
Till next time!