Many of you know that I am a runner. Most of you don’t know that I pick up things along my run: money and lottery tickets. Over the years I have picked up hundreds of dollars and invested them.
I was running in Dallas. I picked up many lottery tickets that people had thrown on the ground. While I am running I never look at them. I got back to my hotel and started going through the lottery tickets. As usual, most of them were no good. However, I had to look at one a second time – after doing that double take, I saw that no one had scratched anything off the ticket. I was surprised. The next lottery ticket was the same way – no one had scratched anything off. Someone (or two people) had spent $4 and never even checked to see whether they had won. I scratched off the tickets and won $2!
Some of you may be thinking: $2 isn’t much money for picking up lottery tickets. That’s not the point. The unscratched off lottery tickets laying on the ground are a symptom of how you value money. If you let it “blow away in the wind” like the person or persons did who didn’t even bother to scratch off the tickets, then either one of two situations is likely: you have so much money that you don’t care that you threw away $4 or you just don’t value it enough so it will slip through your hands, and you’ll never have enough money.
Little ways that you deal with money are magnified as you get more and more money. Frederic Lehrman recorded an awesome series called Prosperity Consciousness.
Following Mr. Lehrman’s suggestion to save, here’s what I did with the unexpected income:
I saved 60 cents: 15 cents went into each of the financial independence, annual income, investment, and large purchases accounts. And yes, I have jars in my bedroom where I put the money until there is the minimum amount in the jar that the bank requires for each savings account. The jars appeared at the end of 2009 and are a daily reminder.
Again, it’s not the amount. It’s the pattern. It takes no time to do this and the amounts, large and small, do add up.
It’s the same discipline and good results that you get when you put your 1% of every dollar that comes in the door in your savings account.” It’s the discipline (and procedure) to put the money aside the first time and every time. You will reap the rewards over time. This also gives you choices which you would not have had if you didn’t put the dollars away.
Try it. It works. You’ll be dealing with money in a responsible and wealthy way.