One of the things I like to do is to get on the hold lists at our library for the latest books. I have a weird penchant for business books - I'm not sure why - but I often find that principles of successful business also apply to managing other areas of your life.
A couple of months ago my husband and I were in a Barnes and Noble and I came across Daymond John's The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Be Your Greatest Advantage. I quickly looked it up when I got home and found that our library had just ordered it, even before it had been released on Amazon, and a couple of weeks later it was in my hands.
What I loved about this book was that it challenged the notion that money will always improve your situation. I think we can all think of a few things we could do with extra money, but John's premise is that in some situations, money can only amplify or hide problems that you already have. If you don't watch that much television, he is one of the "sharks" on Shark Tank, a show about investors who hear entrepreneur's pitches for their businesses. He gets asked for money all the time, and talks in the book about why he's turned down some businesses requests because he feels like money would only make it worse for them.
Another thing I enjoyed was the many stories he shared of different entrepreneurs who had to go through the "broke" phase, and how critical it was to making them who they are today. It made me reflect on what lessons I need to learn as we are in our own "broke" stage, and how I want to be stronger and more efficient now so that when we do pay off our debt, we will be able to use our freed-up money more wisely.
For me, I can definitely think of some ways that having less money has made me a stronger person:
- I manage our food dollars much more efficiently.
- I have lowered our utilities usage to save money.
- I have improved my sewing, gardening, and building skills to make more things myself.
- Our kids are content with less because they've never had more.
- Our lives are slower because we can't afford all of the extra-curricular activities.
What about you? How has being broke or financially-strapped made you a stronger person? I'd love to hear the lessons you have learned below.