Posts tagged: Focus

Financing Your Life: Just Watch!

“A fool can earn money, but it takes a wise man to save and dispose of it to his own advantage.” - Brigham Young

I spent the last couple years reading every finance book I could get my hands on. I listened to every financial advisor that sells a training program (Financial Peace University, Transforming Debt Into Wealth, etc.). I quickly realized that they weren’t saying anything new. I didn’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to learn their “systems.”

I believe that truly there is only one principle that should be at the heart of any budgeting “system”, and the rest is up to you.

You have to give your finances constant attention.

Attention

People who get out of debt quickly, or become wealthy, didn’t do it because their plan was better than yours, they did it because they never stopped looking at where their money was going.

The funny thing is, every one of the financial advisors emphisized having a weekly or monthly budget meeting. However, the reader must understand that the two or three pages spent on planning, and the budget help spreadsheet, are the foundation of the entire program. This principle along with others will make it you succesful, while any other principle without this one won’t.

The Other Stuff

You may have questions as to how to react to economic situations, how to make wise choices with your investments, or what to do about your loans. I understand that these financial professionals have a lot to offer in those areas of advice. But the truth is, the people I know who are barely treading water, and who are headed for financial ruin, don’t watch their finances.

There are countless tools to help you with this, one that I suggest to everyone I know (and will continue until Intuit ruins it) is mint.com. Which is a service that allows even the most lazy of budgeters to track their spending so they can make adjustments and accomplish goals.

The point is simple. It doesn’t really matter what your goals are, and how you’d like to end up. Everyone is different, and that’s okay. But it does matter if you are watching your finances, consistently and carefully. And you won’t accomplish your goals unless you do.