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Rocks, Pebbles and Sand

photography of stones

Over the years, I have practiced a simple strategy that has helped me in my money management. I want to share this strategy with you.

Building wealth is a long-term process. It is all about making small positive changes over the long term. These strategies will not have overnight success but can help you build toward a fruitful financial future over time.

Put the Rocks in First:

Many years ago, while in primary school, I remember having to complete an experiment on soil.

I think the subject was called Environmental Studies and I had to present a project to show how soil worked.

We were told to get a jar, and to go into the garden and get sand, pebbles, stones, and small rocks. We then had to put all these ingredients into a jar.

At first, I tried to put the sand in first and then the pebbles, and then the stones. Unfortunately, I could not get the small rocks in. There just wasn’t any space. With my mother’s help, and after following the instructions I re-did the experiment, this time getting the order right.

I needed to get the big rocks in first, followed by the stones, then the pebbles, and finally the sand. By following this order, everything fitted in and the fine sand easily flowed between the pebbles and rocks. The experiment worked and I also learned a little about soil that day.

But this also illustrates an important money management principle. When we look at our budget, we often have it filled with a bunch of small items, and then when we try and fit the bigger more important items into our budget, it just doesn’t fit.

I think it is important to get our financial priorities into our budget first. We first need to put “the rocks” into our budget, important elements like 1st giving to God, followed by our savings and investments. The truth is if these “rocks” are not put in first, they just won’t fit in. We also need to include our other “rocks” like our bond or rent payments and living expenses. Only once these “rocks” are in our budget, should we start adding the “pebbles”, our nice-to-haves, and the “sand” items which are the luxuries.

You need to get your priorities in the right order. I want to encourage you to get the ROCKS into your budget first. These rocks will help you build towards a more secure future and will lead to a brighter tomorrow.

By the way, one thing I learned from the soil experiment is that by having the rocks in first, followed by the stones, then pebbles and sand, the soil composition leads to healthy fertile ground, with good drainage that really helps plants to flourish and thrive. If you get the rocks in your budget first, with your priorities in the right order, just maybe you will set your finances up to be fruitful and flourish over the next 10 years.

Tiny Choices Today Can Have a HUGE Impact Tomorrow:

Life is full of choices, and the decisions you make today have a huge impact on your future. If I make good choices, I usually see good results…

I want to ask you to take a hard, honest look at your money management, and get your priorities in sync. Make good choices. The small choices you make today can have a huge impact on your future.

Let me give you an example to prove this.

If you started saving R900 p.m. (R30 per day x 30 days), at 10% p.a., and if you increased your saving by 6% p.a., your capital would grow to around R198 000 after 10 years, to around R1 045 000 after 20 years, or to R3 476 000 over 30 years.

A small change today in the way you manage your money can seriously have a huge impact on your future.

Related post: The Cappuccino Challenge – The results of investing small amounts over the long term.

Make it EASY:

Lastly, I want to encourage you to make it easy. Why not review your budget? You can get your priorities in sync. You can make good choices. You could consider putting God first by setting up a debit order to go off your account to your Church or the ministry you support before your other debit orders kick in. Once this system is automated, you won’t be tempted to spend money that was set aside for God.

Similarly, if you want to build wealth over the next 10 years, you could decide on how much you want to invest, get some advice on where to invest, and then you could set up an automatic monthly debit order to go off before you spend any other money. Make it easy to get your financial priorities working.

Set up a good budget. Put the “rocks” in first, but also make allowance for the “pebbles and sand” (your entertainment and a few luxuries). But stick to your budget and only spend what Mr. Budget says is okay. You can make your financial management simple. You can make your money management easy.

Make wise choices.

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses” … “Now choose life!” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

“A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.” (Ecclesiastes 10:2)

Look to God for He is your source. Put God first.

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33-34)

Let Us Pray:

Father, I put my faith in you. Help me to get my priorities in the correct order and to make wise choices. I look to you as my God. Thank you that I can put my life in your hands. I thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Keep things simple. You can put a few simple strategies in place that can help you build toward financial independence.

Put your hand in God’s hand. Let Him lead and guide you. And remember that with God, all things are possible!

If you want to start or restart your walk with God, click here to pray a simple prayer we have set up for you.

God bless you.

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