What’s Your Financial Compass?

Financial CompassMy wife Stacey and I just returned from a great 10 day vacation. It was our third straight year of going on a baseball tour road trip.

You see, we are huge baseball fans and we have a goal of attending a game in each of the 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) stadiums.

This year we hit numbers 14 (Chase Field, AZ) and 15 (Coors Field, CO).

I usually do all the driving and because I don’t have a great sense of direction, I leave all the navigation to my very bright wife.

All I need to do is follow her directions because she has planned the trip and is constantly looking at the map. She is my compass.

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Because I have a sense of peace and direction, I can focus on my driving which requires my full attention especially if I am going to places I have never been.

A compass will always tell you which direction you are headed, but most importantly what is the true north.

When it comes to your money, what’s your financial compass? How do you know you are headed in the right direction with your finances?

Your financial compass is defined by your view of money, who is influencing you on money, and your priorities and goals.

What’s Your View of Money?

This is a most fundamental question to answer. Do you see money as something good or something evil?

Do you see money as a tool to help you achieve your goals or do you see money as the goal to achieve?

Do you believe you can win with money are you convinced that the game is rigged and only the rich get richer?

Do you tend to be generous with money or are you more of a hoarder of money, the more you have, the more you want? In other words are you a river or a pond?

Your attitude, your philosophy about money will frame your financial compass and your actions.

Who is Influencing You on Money?

Your first influencers are your family of origin. What did your parents teach you about money? More importantly, what did they show you about money?

Were they spenders or savers? Did they rely on debt for anything and everything or were they patient and saved for what they wanted to buy?

Did they work together on money or fought about it constantly? Or did they simply not talk about money at all?

However your parents dealt with money, it will have an influence on what you do with money, so you need to understand that and adjust as needed.

And what about today? Your friends and immediately family are your influencers. They probably have their opinions on money and are not shy about expressing them.

Is that driving your decisions and views? More importantly, are they winning with money? Is their advice worth something?

And then you have what the world says about money. There are lots of people (including me!) offering advice and counsel on what do about money.

Are you going with the majority opinion on money matters?

Just let me say one thing: conventional wisdom is not the same as common sense.

Whose advice are you following?

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What are Your Priorities and Goals?

Do you know what you want to do with money? What is it that you want to achieve?

Is your end goal merely living for yourself and for the moment? Get what you want, when you want it, regardless of the cost. Just because you deserve it.

Or is one of your goals to love your family well and take care of them first? To leave a legacy of wise financial management for generations to come.

Do you want to work at that job forever just because you need it to pay bills? Or do you want to have options and do things on your own terms?

Is your goal simply to look inward and take care of you? Or do you want to extend your influence with generous, extravagant giving?

The answers to these questions put the final frame on your financial compass.

Your view of money, your influencers, and your priorities and goals will define your beliefs and will drive your actions.

Give yourself honest answers and you will know what your financial compass is and where you are headed with money.

Question: Is your financial compass pointing to the true north?

10 Reasons for Getting You Finances in Order

10 Reasons for Getting Your Finances in OrderEvery New Year, one of the most popular resolutions people make is to finally work on getting their finances in order.

Unfortunately like many other good resolutions we make, lots of people fail to follow through on their good intentions.

But I believe that when we have the right motivation for completing a task, we will be more successful.

What’s Driving You?

Any great endeavor has to be begin with answering a short but profound question: why?

Let me give you an example. As you may have read on the blog, I set some goals for weight loss this year.

That has involved eating healthier and exercising more. Now, I know of course making better choices with food and moving more is good for you.

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But that’s not enough of a “why” for me. Just having an intellectual grasp of the facts, did not cause me to do anything about it.

What got me going? What was my reason for taking action earlier this year?

Simple: I got a little scared about my health. As I get older, I know if I don’t deal with my weight issues it could mean a lot of health problems sooner than later.

That was the reason that caused me to take action because I have many things I want to do. I want to serve the Lord for as long as I can.

I want to be there for my wife for as long as I can. I want to be around my family for a long time.

What About Your Money?

When you think about your money, most people know that spending less and saving more is good for you.

Most people know that is better to live debt-free is better than being burdened by all kinds of debt.

But intellectual agreement is not enough. You need to find your “why” for getting your finances in order.

You need to find the motivation, the right reasons for you.

When you have the “why”, you will be willing to deal with the “what” and the “how”.

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10 Reasons for Getting Your Finances in Order

So let me give you something to think about. You may want to work on getting your finances in order because:

  1. You are sick and tired of living paycheck to paycheck.
  2. You don’t want to keep use credit cards or other borrowed money to cover emergencies any longer.
  3. You are stressed out about the amount of money you owe and you want to be free of the shackles of debt.
  4. You and your spouse constantly fight about of money and you are afraid your marriage won’t survive much longer.
  5. You want your kids to learn to handle money better than you and have a legacy of sound financial management.
  6. You want to go into your golden years with a home that is free and clear of any debt.
  7. You love your job but you want to have the option of leaving on your terms when you are ready for your next stage in life.
  8. You want to retire with dignity, without having to depend on the government or anyone else to take care of you.
  9. You want to be an extravagant giver to your church and/or to cause that matters to you. You want to be in a position to help others.
  10. You want to take care of your family now and even after you are no longer here.

Some of the reasons on this list may resonate with you. But I am sure you can find others.

Whatever, your reasons may be find them today.

Once you do, I can help you with the “what” and the “how” for getting your finances in order.

Question: What’s your main reason for wanting to get your finances in order?