PROVERBS 21:20 – “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man spendeth it up.”
I love the business advice in Proverbs! Proverbs 21:20 is one of my favorites and an understanding that I wish I had in my heart earlier in life.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying beautiful things. I always thought it was smarter to purchase antiques to use instead of modern furnishings. Many times, antiques were close to the same price and had superior resale value. The ingenuity and craftsmanship is unique from today’s mass-produced items. The calm tones from a grandfather’s clock or the glow from a stained glass, leaded shade give me a sense of tranquility from a slower time.
I also used to covet “things,” allowing them to become idols and getting in the way of my walk with Christ. Now, I laugh at the amount of time and money I spent on chasing symbols of wealth. They promised satisfaction but never delivered.
How does the successful real estate agent balance four major Biblical edicts – not spending it up, giving the first fruits, rendering to Caesar, and having treasure to be desired? Before you stock up on treasure and beautiful things, please follow this chronological list that I have found to also be a source of peace:
1. Provide 10% of your first fruits to God.
Your Lord gave it to you and this is the minimum to give back to Him. Do you provide 10% of gross or net? My pastor says, “Do you want blessings based on the larger or smaller amount?” Luke tells us “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
I had already committed heavily to a business and investments that took up most of my gross; however, it is important that I work toward the above goal so I work every day to free up more liquid net. Additionally, I have directed my trust to disperse investment assets to my church when I meet the Lord.
For now, this works for me. I could have done better with better planning, which is yet another reason for young REALTORS® to NOT repeat mistakes of those who have gone before them. Study your Bible.
2. Render unto Caesar.
Pay the tax man! Of all the problems that I have ever had in my life, having problems with the IRS was the worst! I do not like what the government does with my money, but in Romans, it is clear that not paying the government is not an option to express your discontent.
Therefore, like everything else in my business, I developed a system. I make sure that quarterly payments go out on time and in the correct amounts. I personally impound property taxes on my rental investments. With professionals, I explore how to make sure I am legally minimizing the pain. This is your second most important payment.
3. Invest in Savings.
There is a reason that old timers suggest having six months’ earnings in the bank. Things happen to you and your family so you need to be ready for them! I personally like to keep my six months’ savings in liquid assets such as gold and silver. It is my personal expression of discontent with a financial system represented by paper and backed by a negative cash flow government.
4. Buy minimum insurance.
Buy the minimum insurance to protect you and your assets. Disability insurance should be toward the top until you own enough cash flow real estate to take care of you and your family.
5. Fund government-sponsored retirement accounts.
Please do every legal activity you can to minimize your tax “bite.” The trick is to fund this account all year long rather than waiting until April.
6. Invest in the rental real estate.
As a real estate agent, you should know rental real estate better than any other investment medium. It is now time to start looking at cash flow rental real estate and have the tenants pay off the mortgage. The time comes sooner than you think when you want to do activities other than letting sellers know they need to drop their price!
7. Do what you want with the balance!
This fund for “luxury” items grows every year that you are in the business. You will find that some of those goals for the Rolex, Rolls, and retreats will lose their glow as the Holy Spirit works in your life to fund activities that are important to God.
Not only is this is an important order for your spending habits, but also, it works as a goal in pleasing God. Many of my coaching clients and I have found that goals which please God are easier to obtain. I just wonder where I would be today had I not been a foolish spender early in life but had instead allowed the Holy Spirit to work through me.
Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email email@example.com, or chat with us online at www.waltersanford.com.