How do individuals or families accumulate wealth?

family jumping on beach

They save by moving money received as income into a separate account before they spend it. It doesn’t matter if you have received an inheritance or won a lottery – the rule is the same. Save, and then invest before you spend.

Here are some excellent reasons for investing.

  • It gives us a sense of financial security, earned by continued discipline and adherence to the principle of saving, which adds to our sense of personal dignity.
  • We are eventually rewarded by seeing money make more as it works for us, gaining and compounding.
  • Saving paves the way for the actualisation of our goals and objectives in life, such as acquiring a home, making significant purchases, travelling, putting children through college or university, or going back to school ourselves.
  • Accumulated assets will increase our net worth and bring us financial independence. Such control and flexibility are within our reach if we start now.

Stumbling blocks to saving. Don’t defer to only saving what’s left at the end of the month or waiting until “things get better”. Usually, nothing is left at the end of the month, and things rarely improve because the philosophy has stayed the same – spending above income continues, and debts increase. Except for a home mortgage or loans for motor vehicle transportation, and in some cases for investing, debt is a deterrent to financial independence. Commit to a strategy to pay down all household debt and save at least 10-20% of your monthly income.

Inflation is a constant battle. Over the years, inflation has reduced our buying power. When increasing to reduce inflation, interest rates also increase our debt repayment load as a percentage of income.

Planning for your dependants. Ensure you have sufficient life insurance to pay off your debts, such as credit card balances, car loans, IOUs, and any business-related debt. Incorporate this with enough coverage to provide future income for your dependents. This is especially necessary if your debt exceeds your annual income, as it does for the average household where debt runs at 150% or more of income.


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