Friday, February 10, 2012

How to Get Rich

A friend of mine shared this article on facebook. It's from CNN Money and is titled "How the Rich became the uber Rich." I clicked on it for lack of anything better to do. After reading it, I'm here to declare that this article is bunk!

Here is a quote that doesn't make any sense:

"In 2009, the richest 10% of Americans accounted for about half the nation's wealth. Narrow that focus a bit further, and the trend is even more alarming. The top 0.1% -- those who make at least $2 million each year -- controlled 10% of the economy.

That's a far cry from the 1950s, when the suburban American dream ruled: the bottom 90% of Americans controlled about 68% of the economy."

So, in 2009, the richest 10% of Americans accounted for about HALF, that would be 50%, of the nation's wealth. Ok, so? Is that so bad? I have nothing to compare this statement to so I don't know. But the article tells us this is "alarming". Then it brings out even more doom and gloom by claiming that the top 0.1% controlled 10% of the economy. What does this even mean? How do you "control the economy?" Is that the same as owning half of the nation's wealth? Do the top 0.1% own 10% of the nation's wealth?

But THEN, the article really brings in the reaper by declaring that this is a "far cry from the 1950s, when. . . the bottom 90% of Americans controlled about 68% of the economy."

So let me get this straight. In 2009, the top 0.1% of Americans controlled/owned 10% of the economy. Which would then imply that the bottom 99.9% controlled/owned 90% of the economy. But this is a horrible thing because back in the 1950s the bottom 90% controlled about 68% of the economy.

How is this a horrible thing? The bottom 90% now control 1/3 more of the economy than they used to! Does this make any sense to anyone? Because it didn't to me.

For me, this article raised the question, "how do you become rich?" The headline seems to imply that "the rich" only got that way because the government helped them through its policies.

Oh, boy. Where to start....

Jim and I are currently leading Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class for the 3rd time. Dave Ramsey became a millionaire in his 20s and then lost it all. He filed bankruptcy. After that, he met some of these uber rich. He took them to lunch. He asked them how they did it. This class, Financial Peace University, is the result of those meetings.

FPU teaches that the pathway to "financial peace" is to follow these 7 "Baby Steps." They are:

1. Get $1000 in savings in the bank.

2. Pay off all debt except the house.

3. Save up 3-6 months of expenses for an emergency fund.

4. Save for retirement.

5. Save for kids' college.

6. Pay off home early.

7. Build wealth and give!

Nowhere in there does it say "Wait for the government to give you money." Or "take advantage of government programs and policies for maximum wealth."

So how did these uber rich get rich? They worked. They produced. They saved. They built better mousetraps. They did things faster, better, cheaper. They didn't spend money they didn't have by using credit cards. They didn't buy the latest and greatest car for $0 down and no interest for 84 months! (7 years????? really????)

They are Bill Gates. Warren Buffet. Donald Trump. Steve Jobs. Not only are (were...RIP Steve) all of those guys uber rich, they DID things. You can put a name to the things they've accomplished. (Microsoft, Berkshire Hathaway, Trump Plaza, ipod, ipad, iphone, ieverything.) They probably took advantage of some government policies along the way, but for the most part, I'm pretty sure "the government" didn't make them "rich."

So when are people going to start understanding that it's up to YOU to make yourself rich? No, you might not get uber rich, but you've got to start somewhere. Start by getting yourself out of debt. No more credit cards. No more car loans. Save up and pay for things! Spend less! No, don't bury your money in the backyard or under your mattress. Austerity won't help the economy either. But spending only within your means is a good first step.

And certainly don't try to get rich by reading articles on CNN!!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Birthday, Beta!

I have been remiss. Saturday a week ago was Beta's 8th birthday. And I didn't post about it!!! So I guess it's time for some pictures.

But first.....a look back.
Baby Beta with her motorcycle blanket. :)

First Halloween - she was a pumpkin.

This is at the Old Mill in North Little Rock. I think she was 1. This is one of my all time FAVORITE pictures of the girls!

Dance Recital age 4.


Presents at home on her real birth day this year.

Her party at Fun City Pizza. Yes, she loves Justin Bieber. She claims to want to be "Mrs. Bieber." We've tried explaining that he's 10 years older than her, but she'll hear nothing of it. LOL!

The cool thing about being the birthday girl at Fun City. You get extra tickets which allow you to "win" an inflatable pink guitar! Ah well. She was happy and had a GREAT time. So it was worth it. Happy Birthday, Beta!