They say what you don’t know can’t hurt you. But they’re wrong: If you don’t have a keen sense of financial awareness, that ignorance is actually adding to your stress in life.
I once knew a guy who drove a small Honda. Hondas are usually reliable cars, and they can run for hundreds of thousands of miles — if you take care of them. But this guy wasn’t exactly a car genius. And he didn’t maintain that vehicle as well as he should have.
He did have that car for a long time. But somewhere along the way, he lost track of how many miles he had driven since the last oil change. The car wasn’t having any obvious problems, though, so he figured everything was ok.
But one day, that car didn’t start. And when he took it to the mechanic, he discovered the car had run out of oil, and the engine had completely seized up.
A lot of us treat our financial lives like that car. We don’t pay close attention to our finances, and everything seems fine — until one day the car doesn’t start, and we discover a crisis underneath the hood.
The Bible teaches us to maintain our financial awareness. Here’s what it says in Proverbs 27:23-24 —
Know the state of your flocks and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever.
Most of us don’t have livestock today, but when the Bible was written, flocks and herds represented wealth. So this proverb is really about handling money.
I want to unpack this proverb a bit to help you understand how important financial awareness is to eliminating stress in your life and building a prosperous future.
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Now, back to the topic at hand:
Let’s take a closer look at three principles of financial awareness that we can learn from this proverb.
1) Facts will bring you freedom.
Blind hope is not a good financial strategy. You can only make smart decisions with your money when you have a clear picture of your situation. So avoid the temptation to bury your head in the sand. Reality may not be fun to look at, but seeing it clearly is the only way to make it better.
2) Passion will bring you progress.
Handling your money shouldn’t be a bore or a chore. Remember, you have important responsibilities to fulfill with your money. This is your opportunity to change the future for yourself, your family and the world around you. So put your heart into it at make that change happen.
3) Laziness will bring you loss.
Cars need maintenance to run smoothly, and your financial life needs upkeep too. As the proverb reminds us, money doesn’t last forever. If you don’t pay attention to where your money is going, one day you might find yourself broke, with no idea of how you got there.
Ignorance may feel like bliss for a short time. But sooner or later, it leads to disaster. and that feeling isn’t blissful at all.
Freedom, on the other hand, creates lasting joy. And to get there, you have to spend some time sweating the small stuff.