Be Different

In 2008, one of my jobs was to drive out to remote customer sites and replace computers that had gone off of their lease. Now, as fun as this may seem, the drive from headquarters to the site was 45 minute to an hour long. Since I had given up music some time back, I would frequently listen to talk radio to help kill time. One day, I tuned into the Dave Ramsey show and heard this caller (yes, hit play):

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Shocked at what I had heard, I pulled over on the side of the road and just stared at the empty road. Was this guy really a multimillionaire in his late 40s? To this day, I still have yet to forget about that call.

Here are a couple of my reflections:

1. Don’t be something you’re not. The caller is a multimillionaire but drove a 2000 Ford pickup truck. Could he have afforded more car? Of course, however it doesn’t mean that he had to do it.

It frustrates me when I hear people who are up to their ears in debt but have just purchased a new car (or do one of the many stupid things you can do while you’re in debt). Even if you’re paying for it without interest, you have NO business purchasing a new car until all of their debt is paid.

2. Once you’ve reached your savings goals, it’s OK to spend it. This is an aspect that we really don’t focus one, partly becasue we’re still dealing with debt. Throughout the course of Islamic history, the companions and scholars (who were wealthy) were not afraid of spending money (given that they were out of debt). Not only would they wear expensive clothes, but they would also fully pay for their students to study with them. You can have a savings and spend it on good. Wealth is not evil. It’s how we spend it.

Adam Taufique

Adam Taufique is a founding member of Qur'an Weekly and Debt Free Muslims. He is a regular khateeb in his community and has served in Masjids from being a weekend school teacher to youth coordinator. You can follow him on Google+ or on Twitter @adamtaufique.

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