The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young- let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance- for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. Proverbs 1:1-6
If you want to get a good start on understanding the principles of personal finance, sit down and read Proverbs. If you are looking for it, it is full of sound advice on money and life. Over the next few posts I’m going to share the main principles I’ve taken from it. There are many more, but these are the top principles I think you need to understand and follow.
Dishonest Scales – This is a phrase used throughout Proverbs, and it is very important. The point is you have to be honest in business and in life. If you are cheating it will catch up with you eventually. If you want to succeed you have to have integrity. The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight. Proverbs 11:1
Co-signing – Co-signing for a loan is something that is talked about specifically in Proverbs. You should not ever do it, but the biggest reason isn’t that you’ll have to pay the loan. The biggest reason is that your relationship will be ruined when you have to pay the loan. This is very similar to not loaning money to friends or family. If you have the money and you want to give it to them that is fine, but don’t loan it and don’t co-sign. A man lacking in judgment strikes hands in pledge and puts up security for his neighbor. Proverbs 17:18
Debt – Simply put, don’t go into debt. It was the cause of this financial crisis, and it was the cause of many personal crises in families across the country. If you are in debt fight to get out, and if you are out stay that way. The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7
Laziness – Laziness will not get you anywhere. Right now we have more people than ever living off the government. Help in bad times is one thing, laziness is another. You have to actually work hard to succeed. Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry. Proverbs 19:15
Diligence – Working hard and consistently will help you succeed. Life is hard, and everything won’t be given to you. But if you keep at you will make it. Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. Proverbs 10:4
Plans / Advisors – You can’t do it all yourself, and you can’t just “wing it.” Seek help from people who have more experience than you, and let them help you plan your future. Make a budget, save for retirement. If you wing it, forty years from now you’ll be reading 73 ways to prepare Spam and love it. Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed. Proverbs 15:22 The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
Generosity – It really is better to give than to receive. This is the cornerstone that keeps everything together. The best part about creating wealth is having the ability to help those around you that have been less fortunate. One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:24-25
If you follow these 7 principles of personal finance and the many others found in Proverbs you will find success, and you will be blessed. Stay tuned for an in depth look at each of them.