From wearing green to spending greenbacks on green beer, with St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching you’ve likely got lots of green on your mind. But beyond the fun, there is some age-old wisdom to be learned from Irish culture.
These Irish proverbs about money
“If you buy what you don’t need, you might have to sell what you do need.”
We all confuse needs with wants some time. I need to eat food to live, but I want to most expensive surf and turf on the menu (since it tastes better ;). But that can lead us to make some unnecessary, and not to mention costly, purchases.
Too many of these, and we’ll find ourselves having to sell things to make ends meet. When it comes to making a purchase, we have to ask ourselves, if this item is worth our financial security. If not, then it’s time to reevaluate the purchase.
“A penny gets another penny.”
The wealthy know that wealth begets wealth. And when it comes to savings, nothing rings truer than this Irish saying. You don’t have to start big, you just have to start. And just as every journey begins with one step, one good choice helps give you the momentum to keep making other good choices.
Keep making one good choice at a time and before you know it, all those “pennies” add up to a big chunk of change.
“Forgetting a debt doesn’t mean it’s paid”
No one likes dumping money into the black hole called debt, but ignoring it and pretending like it doesn’t exist isn’t a solution either. Actually, it’s probably the worst thing you can do.
Sure it can feel like a chore, but don’t forget that you have many tools available to help you track and pay your debts regularly. Text messages, calendar reminders, apps, bank account bill pays … the options are endless to help you automate your debt payments.
“Need teaches a plan.”
You never know how much you need a plan until you’re in a situation. And it’s the same goes with your finances. Whether you are in debt, building wealth, or trying to reach the six-figure club in savings, once you realize you need to make a change then you start seeing the need to carve out a way to success.
Find out what are your trouble areas in your finances and create a plan to get on track with them.
“Do not take the thatch from your own roof to buy slates for another man’s house”.
It’s great to help people when they’re in need, but giving away your rent money and ending up on the street isn’t very smart. Not only does it put you and your family in jeopardy, but it also means you won’t be able to help anyone either if they really need your help later.
So before you think about helping anyone, make sure you have all your ducks in a row to help yourself as well. There is no guilt in making sure your own family is taken care of while helping others along the way.
“You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind”
There’s so much talk these days about visualizing what you want. But this proverb reminds us that taking action is even more important than visualization. No amount of seeing the wealth in your mind
After all, the action comes before results in the dictionary.
“He that is of the opinion that money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.”
This proverb speaks to our money mindset. When we don’t have a lot of money it’s easy to believe that everything would be better with just a little more. We would be happier. Be well respected. And have deeper relationships once more money is flowing. And have brought even more trouble on themselves than they wanted, by doing whatever is necessary to get that ‘miracle’ cure.
Jim Carey said ” I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer. ” And he’s right. Money is a tool, to be used to achieve your goals. It can’t do everything – it can’t buy you love, respect, a way to escape death, or a seat in heaven.
“Money swore an oath that nobody that did not love it should ever have it.”
This is another great money mindset proverb. Money won’t come to you if you think that it’s evil to be wealthy. And it definitely won’t stay with you for
“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.”
I love this proverb because it carries so much wisdom for all areas of your life. But it’s especially important for personal finance.
It’s important to never forget where you’ve been – i.e. the debts, financial mistakes we’ve made in the past are all lessons to learn from and teach others about. And it’s also important to have a plan for your financial future – how you plan to get out of debt, and what you want your future and retirement to look like.
Not only that, but you also need check marks or financial milestones – like reaching an emergency fund goal, debt payoff schedule, etc. – to ensure you stay on the right path.
Three parts of a good financial future checklist.
“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at who He gives it to!”
God doesn’t hate money. While the Bible mentions that many people have caused themselves a lot of grief because of the methods/lengths that they will go to get money 1 Timothy 6:10, it doesn’t condemn money.
Think about it. If money was a curse and anyone with it was destined to be evil, then why would God bless His followers with it? Again God doesn’t hate money. And wanting money to take care of your needs and your family doesn’t make you a bad person.
Here it’s important to remember that money itself is neither evil or good, it can be either dependent on whose hands it’s in.
Find your own pot of gold
The wisdom of these and many other Irish proverbs can teach you a lot about money, how to manage it, and even how to create your own pot of gold.
It’s more than just folklore, they ring true with meaning, so take time to reflect on them, and gather (and use) the
I wish you a safe – and prosperous – St. Patrick’s Day.