Wisdom from the Ancients

There are countless how-to books lining the shelves of bookstores across the nation. Each one guaranteeing your success if you’ll just follow the guidelines within. I’m not denying that these books are filled with decent advice, but how often is the information within expressed in an interesting format? A format that captivates the reader instead of prescribing harsh guidelines upon one’s lifestyle.

 

I’d like to take a minute to talk about a book that I’ve had the pleasure of reading at various points in my life. A book which contains advice for everyone, at every stage of life and can easily be picked up or put down should you find yourself too busy. The title is The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. The book contains financial advice, using parables set in ancient Babylon as medium to engage the reader. At 144 pages, it’s a quick read, yet full of ideas so simple that you may feel foolish for not thinking of them yourself.

 

While I won’t reveal all of the advice the book contains, the first and foremost lesson held within is this, “A part of all that you earn is yours to keep”. You may be thinking, but wait, “Isn’t everything that I earn mine to do with as I please?” Yet think of all the expenses that one comes across in life: rent, clothing, food, student loans. All of these expenses lay claim to the money you earn. Most people will pay these expenses first and save whatever is leftover at the end of the day, but that isn’t a steady or wise way to save money. Instead, set aside a small portion of your earnings (the book recommends starting with 1/10 of what you make) before making any purchases and begin living off the remaining 9/10s. As you continue saving 1/10 of what you earn, you’ll notice your savings begin to grow, providing a safety net should fate conspire against you or a platform from which to build future investments.

 

I highly recommend this book for anyone who thinks they could manage their money a little better. While the hustle and bustle of modern living may seem too complicated for such simple cures, the fundamental secrets of acquiring money, keeping money, and using money to earn more money, have not changed since the ancient times of Babylon.

Scott MeyerBooksComment