Ok, I know that I have been on a quote frenzy lately but here is another great one!
“The greatest calamity which could be fall us would be submission to a government of unlimited powers”
Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US President
Seems like we have come into submission to a government of unlimited powers, especially when it comes to spending money that they do not have.
I came across this quote the other day in one of the books that I am reading. I thought that it was perfect with everything that is going on around us, from tax tea parties, new health care legislation, and losses of personal liberties due to court rulings.
“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master” – George Washington
I thought that this was fitting coming from a Founding Father.
It’s that time again. Over 2,700 athletes from over 70 countries are in Vancouver to compete against each other for Olympic glory. Some teams will be big, like over 200 athletes from the US and Canada; and others tiny, like the lone Jamaican and Ethiopian athletes. Some are favored to win, others are just happy to make the trip. Obviously some athletes have advantages. Aside from the obvious (coming from a country with some snow probably helps) some of the athletes have Olympian parents, corporate sponsorships, or the best possible equipment.
All of them will try their best, but in the end there will only be 258 total medals and only a third of them will be gold. When it comes to our personal finances though, all of us can win. To me, winning with money doesn’t mean having the most toys or accumulating the biggest pile of cash. It means being in control of your finances and knowing your future is secure, rather than living pay-to-pay and letting your money just happen to you. Yes, some people have higher incomes or come from wealthy families. But with hard work all of us can become debt-free, save for emergencies and build wealth for our future.
This brings us to another fact about the Olympians in Vancouver right now. All of the athletes, certainly the ones who do well, have committed themselves to hard work. They have been willing to sacrifice many things to achieve. Are you committed to working hard and sacrificing to win with money? In addition, top athletes have coaches to motivate and spur them on to their best performance. For you, this might mean finding the right books to learn from, attending a Financial Peace University course near you, or the services of a trained Financial Coach. Depending on your circumstances, one or more of these could be ideal to help you move to the financial winner’s podium!
First, let me say that I understand that the government wants our money back from TARP. What they should have done is never have given TARP out in the first place. Listen, even if the government does set in place extra taxes on the 50 largest financial institutions that took TARP, who do you thing is going to end up paying the additional taxes that Obama is proposing. I can answer that question for you you. We will, we will end up with increased fees and less services at these financial institutions. We have to remember that these financial institutions are public companies and not non-profits. They will make a profit and the consumer will continue to pay more in fees to cover the additional taxes. Keep your check books balance to reduce overdrafts and make sure you know what banks are in your ATM network. If you are with one of the 50 largest financial institutions, I recommend you switch to a small local bank or a credit union. Look for a bank or credit union that is active in your community that and that you would not have a problem recommending to someone else.
Americans and Canadians are finally beginning to save money again. For a few years in the mid-2000′s savings rates actually became negative in America, meaning that families on average were going more in debt each year. Thanks to the recession, people are beginning to consume less and set aside more money for a rainy day. Unfortunately there are many commentators who percieve this as a bad thing! They think that people borrowing money and spending it is what is needed to return the economy to growth. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that too much borrowing and spending (by individuals as well as governments) is what caused the current crisis; it can hardly be fixed with more of the same. The savings of today become the basis for future expansion and growth of the economy as they are put to use by entrepreneurs and investors to produce more wealth, instead of to merely spend on more stuff like the average consumer would. We Canadians are fortunate that our government has recognized the value of saving by creating the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), a fantastic vehicle that allows us to save for anything, not just retirement, and all growth is entirely tax free. Unfortunately governments the world over are also discouraging saving by setting interest rates almost ridiculously low. Even so, don’t be ashamed of saving instead of spending. Get out of debt, save an emergency fund and save for your and your children’s future; and do so knowing that it’s helping the economy more than people spending money they don’t have.