Sunday, April 12, 2015

How Do You Determine Real Wealth?

My financial posts on this blog are becoming some of the most read posts of my entire blog and I love writing about financial things and seems like others like reading it, so before I start the series on Living On One Income, I wanted to talk about wealth.

Most people think of wealth as making a lot of income but that is not true wealth.  I know people that make large amounts of income that are poor and I know people that make low amounts of income that are wealthy.  What wealth really comes down to is what your net worth is.  What does net worth mean?

Net Worth = Assets - Debts

Your net worth is a true indicator of your financial situation.  That is how you can make $100K a year but the guy next to you that makes $30K could be wealthier than you because he has no debt.  As the saying goes, when the dirt hits the fan, you will find out what your financial situation is.  (That is the "Christianized" version of that saying)  What happens when the income stops - are you rich or poor?

If you have zero debt and $10 in your pocket, you have more wealth than 25% of Americans put together!  This is because 25% of Americans are in debt and  that gives them a negative net worth.  If the banks and lenders called for their payments in full today - how many Americans would be destitute?  That is why it is good to owe no one, pay your debts and be a lender, not a borrower.

You can use this website to calculate your net worth: http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/networth/networth.html You can see what your assets are (savings, retirement, possessions, stocks/bonds, etc.) and then subtract your debts (mortgage, credit, etc.) and you will see what your financial situation really is.

Most Americans do not even pay off their mortgages in their lifetime.  They refinance, they take out loans against their homes and by doing this, they spend their lives with a negative net worth.  In America, you can have a 3,000 square foot home and luxury cars in the driveway and be POOR!  In America, you can live in a trailer with a junker in the driveway and be wealthy!  Isn't that amazing?

Was Jesus for taking from the rich and giving to the poor, or wealth equality as they call it today?  Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven to a man that took from the one that had less and gave it to the one with more, who was more responsible with his money!  Matthew 25 

Real wealth is being wise with God's money, yes I said God's money because as a Christian you should understand that the money you receive is God's.  Once you acknowledge that, you will want to treat His money in a correct way and not squander it.  You will also pay tithe of 10% of all your increase - that is, if your heart is in the right place but that is another blog post.

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