The Richest Man in Babylon
Admittedly someone writing ‘thy’ constantly is a little annoying, and then there is a horse-ton of me that reviews the entire text with scepticism – were these really the teachings of Babylon, or were they simply some chap in the 1930’s just trying to sound like it was ancient proverbs and texts? An lo, God diduth sayeth, the dython vacuumuth pretty gooduth. That side, it's actually very good!
The Richest Man in Babylon’s power is that it is simple: stash at least 10% of your earnings away for savings, find some high-interest compound interest savings, minimise your expenses, and you’ll be a wealthy man. It never mentions women saving anything: very much a pre-equality book. It also doesn’t mention much around the paying of taxes either which is primarily my struggle point – you can earn a lot more for your purse if you don’t pay any taxes, just ask Google and Amazon! I read a fantastic article recently that a footballer in the UK paid as much tax as the two mega-rich giants combined.
And there lie the teachings of The Richest Man in Babylon. Is that it, you cry? What about earning money? You work for it. As the saying goes, every overnight success is ten years in the making, so work your ass off. Then work some more.
I have taken Tim Ferriss’ advice on reading two books simultaneously, one a fictional something-or-other before bed time purely for enjoyment, and the other to increase the learns. I have tried my third Hemingway book (For Whom the Bell Tolls & Old Man and The Sea previously), and for the love of God Green Hills of Africa is a chore. I’ve given it a hundred pages and it’s an absolute labour, so it’s resigned to be in the same bucket as Gulliver’s Travels – left on the shelf unloved. . . which I’m getting more comfortable with doing. Time, like money, is worth investing wisely.
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