When Money Falls from Trees, Don’t Let the Runoff Stream into the Gutter

Money doesn’t only fall from trees; sometimes it pours from the leaves themselves.  There are so many stories of sports figures, politicians, and IPO victors who went from barely getting by to amassing fortunes. I think of Roger Federer, the winner of 17 Grand Slams in tennis, who renewed his contract with Nike for life and former President Clinton, who purportedly made $35,000 a year while governor of Arkansas and has made over $100,000,000 since he left the White House and Steve Jobs who amassed his fortune with Apple. None of these people came from homes that were accustomed to having a lot of money. Suddenly they had money…a lot of it.

But just because money falls from the trees and sometimes even more so from its leaves and falls at your feet, does not mean that you know how to tend to it.

What happens to money? For the most part it is spent Mint. Com reports that 25% of MLB, 60% of NBA and 78% of NFL players file bankruptcy within five years of retiring.  These are people with professional advisors and handlers who still go through their money like it will never stop pouring on them.  Research tells us that 70% of families lose their wealth by the end of the second (your children) and 90% lose their wealth by the end of the third generation (your grandchildren). There are those who inherited fortunes and lost them; people like Barbara Hutton, heir to not one but two fortunes, her father’s investment house and her mother’s claim to the Pillsbury estate or Anthony Marshall who went to jail at age 89 for stealing millions from him other, Brooke Astor.

Is this to be expected: money falling from trees and then money falling out of your hands?  Yes, when money is an entitlement. No when money is a responsibility.  How can you support responsibility and restrict entitlement? I have found three elements to consider. The first is: Begin early. Learn the 5 S.I.D.E.S. © of money (spend, invest, donate, earn and save) and self-direct that money to those 5 S.I.D.E.S. © while young so you can forge strong and personally supported habits early. The second is: Conscientiously rewire your brain so that it incorporates these five “sides” into your daily life. This will take time. It may even include some missteps. That’s okay. Just doing it will reap great rewards.   Third: you have to prioritize these 5 “sides” for the purpose of limiting yourself in “sides” you know you may want to over indulge.

If money can pour from the trees, you don’t want to see it streaming into the gutter, that gutter where your uncontrolled habits with money run away from you.

Tell me how money works for you in your life. Do you use the 5 S.I.D.E.S. © of money blueprint to guide you? If so, how? If not, why not. Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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