Proverbs 13:11 – ‘Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.’
My husband and I live in an old commission home in the less affluent part of town. It’s a regional town that we live in and we’re very comfortable in this old home that costs us less to own with a mortgage than a rental on the other side of town that is a few years old and offers greater conveniences.
I remember a couple of years ago having a visit from some interstate friends. They are 10-15 years older than us. When I was first engaged, my fiancée and I would meet with them and discuss our faith, relationship and future investing plans. This couple was where I could picture myself aiming to be in a decade’s time. They were strong in their faith, raising four young children and owned a home that they were renovating to sell on for a profit.
After four years of marriage my husband and I welcomed our second child into the world and they came to visit. With their four girls they entered our home to meet the newborn boy. I remember one of the older girls who was around 11 at the time, asking if we were poor. When her mother clarified why she thought that, she said it was because our house was small.
I smiled and indicated that we weren’t. How could we be poor when we had Christ, a growing family, a home that we could afford and food in our cupboards? At that young age, she thought that their large, four bedroom, two bathroom home with a dining, living and outdoor room indicated riches. I can understand the concept!
And yet, I also know that the bible says wealth is gained little by little in Proverbs. I also know that it is unwise to look rich by what you have in your possession – a big house, an expensive car, jewellery, etc – if these are all financed by debt in loans and credit cards.
I purchased our home after saving half my wage for a year as a stud hand on a large horse property. I had free accommodation and didn’t have to travel to work; it was the perfect environment to save consistently. And 12 months later I had a reasonable deposit for a modest home, in spite of my small income.
Add in the government first home owner’s grant in Australia which was more for those buying in regional towns – and I had enough to cover my real estate related fees and then some. This didn’t encourage me to seek out a more expensive house, but to instead decrease the debt that my mortgage started out at.
Don’t despise humble beginnings – they are a great way to get your foot in the door with regards to investing and to lessen your chances of a financial upset affecting your ability to keep your investment. Investing in what you know you can comfortably afford is a wise way to build up your wealth over time.