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Wants are not Needs

October 25, 2014 by  
Filed under blog

Ok, let’s talk about money.

A few days ago I was thumbing through a book I wrote back in 1983, The Courage to be Rich, when, in Chapter 4–The Fallacy of Working for a Living, I found a quote from a guy by the name of Joe Karbo (who, sadly, passed away from a heart attack at the young age of 55). The quote was: “Most people are so busy earning a living they never make any money.” What Joe was saying is that most people are ‘wage slaves’ and never figure out that the key to wealth is really not your earnings or wages. Yes, wages have a part to play but only if you do the right things with a portion of your wages. Your wage doesn’t have to be huge but the key, of course, is saving some of it and setting it aside then letting it build up enough for you to make the right investments.

Of course, the problem with most people is they don’t use enough discipline to control their spending. They think there are things that they just have to have now such as a new dress or car, a fancy night out on the town, an extravagant vacation, etc. I find it very interesting that people choose words like ‘need’ rather than the more accurate word ‘want’ when talking about the things they spend their money on. There is a huge difference between our needs and our wants. Most of the things we think we need are really just things we desire. We all need water, food, shelter, clothing and a certain amount of security to survive and have the chance to thrive. If you take time to think it through, you will be able to see the difference and if you really see the difference, you can then choose to set aside those wants that you previously thought were needs. That will get you the money you’ll need to save up in order to invest and get ahead.

What I used to do when I was depriving myself of a lot of extras that I really wanted right then and there was to concentrate on the huge benefits that I would be receiving later on. I would focus on two wonderful words: ‘passive income’. That concept of having income that would come in automatically each month, whether I got out of bed or was vacationing in Europe, would really motivate me to not spend on things that were wants and to keep saving more and more of my wages. And it paid off big time. Now I spend a lot of time traveling the world and doing super fun things without worrying about the money. It comes in every month no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

It’s so funny how often I hear, “Oh Mark, you are so very lucky to have such a great life style.” They probably don’t mean that literally, but I always respond with the same thing, saying, “Believe me, it’s not luck. It was good planning and discipline over a long period of time.”

Friends, pretty much anyone can do what I did. It does take time but it’s so very worth it. If you think you are too old and don’t have enough time to do it at least pass the message on to your kids and grandkids. They will thank you and greatly benefit for many generations to come!

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