4 Simple Examples of The Eighth Wonder of the World: Compounding
Albert Einstein coined the phrase, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.”
So many people today seem to have a misunderstanding or ignorance of the power of compounding.
Studies have shown that 85% of Americans don’t know how much money they need for a month of expenses. That lack of care and awareness for finances will compound and that’s DANGEROUS.
Here are 4 simple examples of compounding in my life:
4. Bible reading
Finances — have tracked my spending since I was 16 years old. As soon as I got my first job, or even a little before, I was tracking where every dollar went.
Today, I have a great awareness of where every single dollar goes. Every. Single. One.
I have a spending plan that I create for each month and monitor weekly. Beyond that, I keep it manual. I take time when swiping my card to update my spending in two spots:
1. Money Lover, a mobile app which I love. I started using this when I was 16 and have been updating my spending with various accounts. As a result, I can see not only how much I’m spending and earning but also exactly HOW I’m spending and earning which I believe is just as important.
2. Google Sheets where I have my spending plans (they have great templates available that you can search for). I also linked the template that I used here. Go to “file” and “make a copy” to add it to your Google Drive. Also be sure to input your starting balance, and edit the projected amounts for each category (which you can also rename) before you begin. For me, this is an easy way to categorize all my spending. I don’t leave that up to my credit card to do for me, I categorize it because I am PART of the spending. It needs to be ACTIVE so that I can hold myself accountable.
Over time, I have become more disciplined and more aware of all that I’m doing and the corresponding positive impacts. It’s not enough to simply review your bank statements — that’s too late.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Reading — have been reading since as long as I can remember. I used to read every single night with my Mom. There were those reading competitions in middle school or elementary school.
The class was all called to record and report how many books they were reading over a period of time. I remember that it would consistently be myself and someone named Izzy Mraz at the top. When high school rolled around, my Mom and I were no longer reading side by side at night. Because of that, I allowed myself to fall out of habit.
The next time I picked up a book by choice was the summer of 2017. I decided that I’d seen enough reports stating that CEOs read 60 books a year that I should become part of that group. If I’m aspiring to be a CEO in the future, I had better start adopting some of their habits and actions.
Initially, it was a little difficult to sit down and focus on a book and get through it. Now almost 3 years later, I’ve finished over 200 books. I’ve physically read over 80 print books. Each book I read, I’m more efficient. I read quicker and faster. I absorb more of the book as I continue.
And now, I look forward to reading!
“Good as it is to inherit a library, it is better to collect one.” — Augustine Birrell
Teeth — used to have braces for a few years and then the retainer stopped fitting. I would wear my retainer every night. And it stopped fitting.
I thought to myself, wait I’m doing everything right… I floss, I brush my teeth, and I wear my retainer each night!
The orthodontist essentially told me that I need braces again… I found that incredibly absurd.
Now, I’m having my dentist monitor for any resulting issues or negative impacts of not having a retainer and I’m just living as it is.
Yet, over the past 5 years or so since I haven’t been able to wear a retainer, I have noticed slight shifts in my teeth. I realized that there are a few spots where my teeth are no longer straight and are reverting back to crookedness.
I can never tell differences day by day but month by month and year by year I’m able to see shifts and changes. Wow. Talk about compounding. A small shift in teeth. A fraction of a millimeter each day becomes a millimeter over time.
But that’s okay.
“Every time I look in the mirror I remind myself that a small action today and tomorrow and the next day becomes a MAJOR action in the future.” — Harrison Wendland
4. Bible reading
Bible reading — since Father’s Day 2019 I have read my Bible every single morning. Each day I wake up and I do my morning routine and get into the word. I’ve read Proverbs from beginning to end 9 times now and I’m midway through my tenth time.
Every single time that I read the same verses and highlight new ones, I see things differently. There is a different level of wisdom that is added to what I believe and what I see as truth.
Every person who reads through the Bible will initially be impacted differently. If you’re a single mother and have been one for your entire child’s life, you will be impacted completely differently than a grandmother who’s been married 60 years — different things are important to each of you and different things are part of your life.
But reading the same thing over and over and praying over the verse and the verses and the passages and the parables time and time and time again will create a greater change in your life than you could ever have imagined. I’m a living testament to that.
I did not expect when I first started reading my Bible in the mornings before my day began that I could experience such incredible joy on a regular basis.
I did not know that God had so much more for me. I did not know that I was missing out on so much. Now, I cannot get enough. I read my Bible in the morning but I also read a devotional in the morning, I review passages throughout the day, I commit verses to memory, and I close my evening with a chapter from the book of Psalms.
I am hungry for more.
“The more you read the Bible; and the more you meditate on it, the more you will be astonished with it.” — Charles Spurgeon
Here are 4 simple parts of my life that I have seen the power of compounding at work and alive:
4. Bible reading
It’s not always easy to see compounding in action while it’s happening — often only in hindsight.
But keep your eyes open, remain aware, and continue to seek small actions day in and day out that will contribute to the positive goals you have for the future.
“You are never more successful than when you make your plans, advance your cause, and overcome your obstacles on your knees in prayer. The leader who advances on his knees need never retreat.” — Charles Swindoll