I’ve been enrolled in a family finance class for the past few months at Brigham Young University. I can’t begin to say how important this experience has been for me; I know it’s vital to live within our means & to be wise in all things over which we are stewards, especially money.
Here are a few of the most important things I’ve learned:
The Richest Man in Babylon has become one of my favorite books. My dad traditionally gives it to each member of our family as we graduate high school, and I can see why: it’s exceptionally inspiring and teaches well many important financial principles. Its use of parables to teach these principles is something I find particularly helpful; it makes the advice the book contains very relatable and interesting to read.
My biggest regret regarding the book is that I waited four-and-a-half years after graduation to finally read it.
The majority of the book is set in ancient Babylon, which is said to be a capitol city of temporal wealth. Here, the scene is set for many characters in its stories to tell of their success, how they came to be wealthy and happy in the face of adversities. Nearly every chapter is a new parable, telling the stories of some men so deep in debt they found themselves sold into slavery and others who simply decided to live on a little less and save ten percent of their earnings.
Please excuse my likely cliché pick for a favorite thought, but President Monson said it best when he said (and has now frequently repeated) that “Decisions determine destiny.” So often we feel that we are being blown about by the winds of chance and tribulation, like we’re but objects in some weird cosmic toy box being chewed on by the relentless forces of time and nature. But it’s not true! Next to our Father and our Savior, we are the most powerful influences upon this universe of ours. The world was made for us. Life was given to us.