Responsibility Leads to Wealth

Keith emails Dave and asks why it is that people have money for cigarettes and lottery tickets but say they don’t have the money for renter’s insurance. Dave addresses his question on a philosophical note.

QUESTION: Keith emails Dave and asks why it is that people have money for cigarettes and lottery tickets but say they don’t have the money for renter’s insurance. Dave addresses his question on a philosophical note.

ANSWER: This would fall under stupid tax. That is an aggravating thing, and I don’t disagree with you. It’s a good thing to talk about what you brought up here. Why is it that people get mad at people who build wealth? Nine out of 10 of America’s millionaires are first-generation rich. They started with nothing. Instead of buying a lottery ticket, they bought renter’s insurance. When something happened and they had their stuff stolen, the insurance company put it back. They had car insurance in place so if their car got totaled, they didn’t have to file bankruptcy. They kept health insurance in place so when someone got sick, they could pay for it.

They were responsible. They saved money for emergencies. When an emergency happened, they just took care of it. They stayed out of debt because they delayed pleasure by waiting to buy something until they could pay for it. You trade bits of momentary pleasure for the quality life in your future and for the quality life in the future of your children. That’s called leaving a legacy and changing your family tree.

You don’t trade all of your momentary pleasures. You don’t have to totally give up fun or not enjoy life to win with money. You do trade some of the impulsive, immature purchases that we all do for a better future. Poor people delay none of them. They live for the moment.

It’s not that they don’t have money. It’s that they don’t have a vision for the future. They have surrendered a great life two and 20 years from now for, “Thank God, it’s Friday” and “Oh, God, it’s Monday.”