Money, cricket and me
Cricket has given me my single favourite money principle: ‘‘Put runs on the board’’.
I find it helpful to have neat phrases encapsulating money philosophies.
And none have I repeated to myself more often than this cricket-inspired one.
My awakening to the joys of leather on willow came at the same time as I had my financial awakening when I landed a job on an investment newspaper in London.
Within a year, I had put down a deposit on my first house, and had been to see my first one-day cricket international.
I found having a mortgage frightening, so I went hell for leather paying down that loan as I set about getting myself a money education.
I was thoroughly enjoying my cricket education too.
I started thinking about money paid off the loan as runs on the board.
I was only in the crowd at
Lords, but I was at the crease of my own money life, knocking off singles here and there, and taking the boundaries as the opportunities presented themselves.
There are four things I would say about my ‘‘put runs on the board’’ philosophy.
First, if cricketing language doesn’t work for you, use your own idiom.
Latin scholars could go for ‘‘Carpe Diem’’.
The poetic could ‘‘Seize the Day!’’
The agriculturally-minded could ‘‘Make hay while the sun shines’’.
Second, having money philosophies helps you keep your eye on the ball.
Thinking about putting runs on the board helps me keep my wallet in my pocket, and my saving rate respectable.
Do I want more runs on the board, or do I want Rimu bookshelves?
One of the saddest conversations I have is with people who failed to join
‘‘My awakening to the joys of leather on willow came at the same time as I had my financial awakening.’’
workplace super schemes in which their employers made matching contributions.
They missed the opportunity to put runs on the board, and to have someone else scoring runs for them!
Third, it is amazing how fast the ‘‘singles’’ start adding up to a decent innings.
This is especially true if you put your runs on the board early in life.
The payback is huge for those who go hard when young.
Take it from me, having low levels of debt, money in the bank, and a jump on retirement saving is a wonderful thing when your first child is on the way.
Finally, I would urge you to take the scoring opportunities you get, because you never know when they are going to end.
You never know when you’re going to be pitched that unplayable Googly, or whether rain will end play.
My chance landing of that investment newspaper job meant I learnt to put runs on the board just before house and share prices went berserk.
The fortunes of my generation have been split between the property-owners and those who never got started, or started late. Learn from that. Focus on putting runs on the board today, not tomorrow, not next year.
Brendon McCullum putting runs on the board early in the Cricket World Cup semi final.