One of the stupidest and most damaging myths is that you can become wealthy by pinching pennies.
Suze Orman and David Bach should be arrested for perpetuating this idiotic idea. And the media powerbrokers who give them a soapbox to stand on — starting with Oprah Winfrey — should be tarred and feathered as accomplices.
I’ve never known anyone who became financially secure by making budgets and cutting corners. And I’ll guarantee you that’s not the way Suze and David did it. They made their money the way all wealthy people make their money — by working really hard.
That’s the only way to get out of the red sea and up onto the gravy boat.
What’s that you say? You know several rich people who are really tight with their money?
Well, I’m sure you do. But for every one of those bastards, I’ll show you two wealthy people who are and always have been generous spenders. Including yours truly.
Stingy rich people are parsimonious because they enjoy being so. Pinching pennies isn’t a financial planning strategy for them, it’s a twisted hobby.
Here’s the truth that you won’t hear from anybody famous but you’ll hear it from little ol’ me: To make a lot of money, you must earn it. Not by saving or trying to outwit the IRS, but by building a business — creating products and selling them.
I’m not saying a businessman shouldn’t be careful with expenditures. It is quite possible to bankrupt a business by foolish spending. But the lion’s share of your time must always be devoted to bringing in the bacon.
One of my colleagues spends a lot of time policing his company’s parking lot. He “patrols” the lot two or three times a day to check for vehicles that don’t have a parking sticker.
When he finds an offender, he pastes a warning note on the windshield and records the license plate number. Then he re-records it with his secretary.
Last week, we had a meeting at his office to talk about a potential deal. He couldn’t stay focused on the deal, because he kept looking out the window, hell-bent on catching a parking bandit in the act.
“Maybe you should stop policing the parking lot,” I suggested.
He looked at me for a long moment and sighed. “That’s a good idea,” he said. “My doctor told me I have to reduce stress, and that parking lot is making me nuts.”
Then he shook his head. “Nah,” he said. “I can’t afford to hire someone else to do it.”
Now this is a very bright guy and a talented businessman. He is not the jackass I am making him out to be.
But it doesn’t occur to him that he’s wasting precious time on something that doesn’t matter. If he devoted his policing time to coming up with new business ideas he could buy himself a dozen parking lots — complete with full-time attendants — every year. And he wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not he could afford anything.
This goes for everybody. If you want to solve your money problems — whatever they are — come up with some ideas to make more money.
If you don’t have any ideas, just keep reading ETR. We give them out like biscuits at a dog show.