Today I am sharing ten (10) books which helped me escape the broke trap! First, I have a few questions, please take a pause and brood on them.
1. Are you tired of being tired of being broke?
What do I mean by that? I used to have one income coming in every month. Even before the money would be credited to my account on the 28th of every month, it was all already budgeted for and finished. January used to be the longest payment month since December salaries always came early. I had been going through this routine for so long I was just tired of being broke all the time.
2. Are you tired of denying that you desire something because you can’t afford it?
I remember being at a restaurant one time with my kids and some friends. We ordered some Chinese food and I declined to order sauce. When our food was served, my friend asked if we didn’t want sauce and I just said, “oh no, we are OK. It’s not really necessary”. I just didn’t have the money for it (LOL) so I pretended not to care much for the sauce.
3. Are you tired of looking at the life someone else is having and thinking “I can never have that kind of life?”
Many years ago, I remember visiting a very dear friend of mine who had recently moved to her new home. I admired her house and she told me about how she prayed and sowed a seed and God blessed her family with it. I remember thinking to myself, “That can never happen to me. I can never be that kind of person who would ask God for something this big and He will give it to me”. What a shame!
4. Are you tired of asking people to give you things because you don’t have them yourself?
That was so me. I went into a friend’s kid’s room once. The room had just been painted blue. It was so beautiful with some amazing decor and I wished for something like that for my children. I asked her for the leftover paint to use because I thought I could not afford paint for my children’s room. Is this something you can identify with?
5. Are you tired of shopping based on price and not per your desire?
I would go to the counter of a shop where I usually buy, ask for the prices of products and then pick the cheapest one. It didn’t matter if it was of low quality or from which country, I would just go for the cheapest.
6. Are you tired of always stressing yourself to find ways to cut down on cost?
When I discovered how budgeting was good and helpful I would make my budget for the month and calculate the cost and when the total was too much, I would go like “Oh gosh!” and I would cross out some things in the list that I could ‘afford to do away with’ For instance, ‘why not give Ma half of what I actually desire to?’ It never occurred to me to maximize my revenue instead of cutting down on cost.
While remembering these stories break my heart, the purpose of this particular episode is not to make anyone sad. I aim to share with you where I was, where I am now and what is helping me go to where it is that I want to be. Let me go on to talk a bit about my childhood.
I was born to a farmer, my Dad who’s passed on now and my mum who was a nurse but is now lecturing. They were a very lovely couple (when things were great, LOL). I was born in Secondi and we later moved to Komenda. Komenda then was a small town where everybody knew each other. I remember thinking of us as poor so I would fantasize about how my real dad was Michael Jackson and he would soon come and take me away. Or how Princess Diana’s son would come and marry me (Hehe).
For quite a long time, up until about the age of ten, we had no electricity. We later moved close to the college where they had electricity at specific hours in the day so it was between those hours we used to get to watch TV. By then, all that I wanted to be as a child at that time was what I saw on TV, like Fun World. Now I know of course, that my parents were doing the very best they could for us then. My mother in particular sent us to some of the best schools in Ghana. But as a child, I didn’t appreciate the effort; here I was thinking we’re poor and when will someone come and take me from this “village” already?.
That thought of being poor, coupled with being not beautiful enough, not smart enough, not “everything” enough, always comparing myself to other people and thinking I was not good enough transcended to many other aspects of how I saw myself. Thankfully, I was quite good in academics and that helped elevate me. Aside that, I always thought I was not good enough. I didn’t particularly know what I wanted to be when I grew up (although somewhere in my heart I desired to be an author). Look, I just wanted to survive. In University, I would make friends, go places and tried my best to finish school and make money. My perception of making money was that you get a job and then at the end of every month they pay you and that’s the only way to make money.
By God’s grace I know how to do hard work. I remember when I lived in the UK, I used to work 3 jobs at one point in time. For me, hard work was THE ONLY WAY to make money. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I worked my money was never enough. Sometimes, it was not even about my money not being enough, but I was so afraid of spending lest my money got finished. I was always trying to protect the little I had because I didn’t know how to make more. Some of my friends even used to call me “pepei” (LOL, that’s a Ghanaian jargon for stingy).
My brokeass got married and was blessed with two adorable children. I was living in a big house, driving a big car but my pockets were mostly dry and this had gone on for too long. I didn’t know how to address this situation. I was tired of being tired of being broke!
One day (there is always a one day, hehe) when my daughter was six and my son was four, they were playing and making noise around the house. So I told her to pick a book and read. She picked a particular book and I told her, “Paris, this book is not appropriate for your age. Why don’t you take another one you can read?” But she said no, that was exactly what she wanted to read. (Very headstrong just like her Mama, hehe).
Later, while I was driving with them I remembered and casually asked her what she learnt from the book she read. She responded, “Oh, the book said poor people work for money and rich people let their money work for them.” I was like “What did you say!?” And she reiterated those same words again. That statement she made jolted me out of certain state I can hardly explain. A light bulb suddenly went off in my head! When we came back home I went looking for that book.
The book was Rich Dad, Poor Dad. This book was my eye opener to the broke mindset that I had. I read, studied and marked very important points in it. I believe it was God that led me to this book. Between then and now I’ve read so many books about money and I’ve even been laughed at and teased about it quite a few times. Now, when I sit back to recollect when I started reading these books, I realize there’s been a major transformation in my life, I wouldn’t lie to you.
If any of the questions asked initially apply to you, then I’m sharing some of the books which led to the biggest steps I have taken to turn my life around. Out of these books below, please commit to read at least one of them.
- Rich Dad Poor Dad https://amzn.to/3hVgrgC
- The Richest Man In Babylon https://amzn.to/3bSLKoC
- Think and Grow Rich https://amzn.to/3vpudvW
- The Secret https://amzn.to/3oOQGQL
- Why You Not Rich As You Should Be, call +233 244 65 00 55
- The 10X Rule https://amzn.to/2MZN2Ey
- Thou Shall Prosper https://amzn.to/3fG9M7u
- You Are A Badass https://amzn.to/2Sr4PHq
- You Are A Badass At Making Money https://amzn.to/3aRu9go
- We Should All Be Millionaires https://amzn.to/3fkpeXM
Reading has really helped me. And I know sometimes for the paperbacks, you may have to allocate time to sit down and read but what works for me now is the Audible app I have on my phone which helps me read my books. There are other libraries and bookstores online where you can get some of these audio books. There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever to say ‘I don’t have time to read’.
If any of the questions I asked above are applicable to you, then my sister or brother reading this, please being broke ain’t good. We are children of God and He wants us to prosper. As fabulous children of God we’ve got to seek knowledge and apply its wisdom. Commit to reading at least one, start small with at least a page or even a paragraph a day. Someday soon, not only will you be able to read a book a day; your financial life will turn around as well.
I’m on my journey of discovering abundance and I’m really loving it. And it’s not only about money with these books. You would realize that other things in your life would also change, like spirituality, health, etc. I don’t know who this message is for but I pray one of these books works for you and helps you start your journey of escaping the broke trap.
If this has blessed you, please let me know in the comment and share to others who may need it. Until the next blog, keep being fabulous!
Photo by: Vera Obeng Photography