Family Wealth: Learning to Have Enough

Family wealth is, no doubt, an area where members must learn to have enough to be content. However, we take for granted basic life principles that have the power to propel us towards this goal.

Since I began raising a family, managing our little family wealth has never been a more serious business; so serious, I would spend sleepless nights figuring out how to cover all our priority needs in a modest budget. We learn this best when we have hit rock bottom in our finances, resolving never to find ourselves in that rut again.

Have you ever had your cherished house up for sale to survive? Have you ever been so desperate to borrow from loan sharks to send your children to school? Have you ever had only porridge to eat the whole day? Have you ever been left with only 25 centavos to feed your family? Pray tell, have you ever had no money to buy even a travel size bath soap?

I have, and believe me, one can never have enough with hard work alone. Beyond the blood, sweat and tears we put into increasing the family wealth, there are life principles we must learn but sadly take for granted. Let me spell them out for you.

Principle 1: Those who can be entrusted with little wealth can be entrusted with bigger wealth.

Do you sometimes wonder why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Surely, we have enough sense to know that we cannot blame it all on corruption in government. Nothing can stop us from expanding the little wealth in our hands to serve our family's needs. That is, if we manage the little wealth we are blessed with well enough.

A couple started a family with zero money and great debt. Within a year, they had reversed their situation-great money and zero debt. How did they do it? They learned the 3 S's-save, share and send to investments. It doesn't matter if you are a student receiving a regular allowance or an executive receiving a big salary. It all boils down to good stewardship.

Principle 2: The more we chase money, the more it eludes us.

If getting rich is your first priority, forget it. Many of us forget that money is not an end in itself but a means to an end. We use it as a tool to survive, improve ourselves, live comfortably and help others. It is not something we hoard or put up for display.

A young man who keeps borrowing books from a friend instead of buying his own thinks he is saving on money to get rich. The fact is, he is not getting richer in money but richer in a dependency habit which is a precursor to poverty.

Principle 3: We are blessed with wealth to share to others.

As we accumulate more wealth, the tendency is to increase our standard of living for our greater comfort and enhanced self-esteem. Then we wonder why even with bigger money in our hands, we still do not have enough for ourselves, much less to share to others.

Remember this. Money comes our way not to accumulate for ourselves alone but to help our family, our relatives, friends and others who are in need. We receive in order to give, and we give not in order to receive but in order to experience the joy of giving. Then shall the natural law of good karma take place in our lives.

Principle 4: Cut the borrowing habit. Pay your debts.

If you are a credit card addict who cannot pay your cash advances, better cut your card in half and cancel all thoughts of borrowing again. I have seen respectable men dishonor themselves with insurmountable credit card obligations. Do not be a lender's slave. Pay your debts even in trickles and you will earn your lender's favour and trust. Sooner or later, you will be awed at how you managed to free yourself from debt.

Principle 5: Live simply.

We have heard stories of millionaires and billionaires living in the same house for 50 years and driving an inexpensive car. Rich people have no need to flaunt their wealth. They just work hard, save, spend on necessities, share and live simply. Living simply is living in contentment. If you have enough to be content, why should you ask for more?

So you see, the problem in this world may not be poverty or the lack of wealth for there is abundant wealth around us waiting to be tapped and managed wisely. It is learning and living out key life-changing principles that will enable us to have enough to be content in this lifetime. Do these and see how they will work wonders in your life.

Likha Phil
About the Author: 

Likha specializes in family life and child development. Learn more about children, parenting, marital and family life from Likha at The Filipino Diaspora.

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