Your Role In Succeeding With Money

In reading the title of this post, you may already be thinking “I don’t have a role, and I don’t know anything about money.  I’ll hire someone to do it!”  Understand there are three observations to make, if that is what you’re thinking:

  • The bit about role – you couldn’t be more wrong;  you are the key
  • About knowing – sure, maybe you don’t know much about money now, but nothing prevents you from learning except maybe you
  • On hiring someone – a good idea if you choose carefully, and don’t try to make your success totally their responsibility

If you’ll keep reading, this will be explained and will become clear.  If you won’t keep reading, you’re still wrong about your role.





The fact is, you do have a role in your money success.  The leading role, and if you don’t fill it diligently and consistently, success becomes rather unlikely.  And this leading role is that of ownership of the success building process.  And your ownership is demonstrated by your own initiative in getting started, and your leadership in keeping the process going.  A summarizing word for all this is your behavior!

In his (excellent!) book, Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide To Money (Ramsey Press, The Limpo Group Inc.), Dave wastes no time in pointing out that “The concepts are simple, but that doesn’t mean the process is easy.  It’s not.  That’s because money is not just about math; it’s about behavior.  Personal finance is only 20 percent head knowledge.  The other 80 percent – the bulk of the issue – is behavior.  And it’s our behaviors with money that can get us into the biggest trouble or lead us into the biggest successes.  Behavior is the key to the whole deal…”.  Of course, it’s our own behavior he is talking about.  Who else is part of your success process for life?  So get your head around this notion.

So, if behavior is the key, what specific things should you do?  There are start-up things to do immediately, and there are ongoing things that will never stop, and we’ll cover those in a few moments.  Here’s a bucket-list of the immediate stuff:

  • Realize you have work to do before involving any financial professional and start working
  • Collect up all your financial information and write it all down, along with any stuff you carry “in your head”
  • Do your very best to identify your monthly spending as a basis for planning
  • Think about the future – try to identify and write down the future decisions you plan to make and the upcoming events that are likely to happen
  • Set a target retirement age, and (gulp!) guess the age at which you feel this life will end
  • (Warning – commercial!)  Know that our 7 step MINT method helps tremendously in completing the above steps,and you can get started for free!  See our home page.
  • Now, and only now, think about whether you might use a financial professional for help – this blog post offers some discussion about this topic

With the immediate stuff listed, let’s now look at the ongoing (read life-impacting) actions you must take:

  • If you have elected to use a financial professional, make contact and get started on a financial plan
  • If you won’t use a financial professional, you need to make a financial plan by some other means, but you need a plan
  • Insist that any financial plan be tested out to assure that you don’t run out of money
  • Stay with a test-revise-test again cycle of modifying the plan until your plan actually works
  • Live according to the successful plan today, next month, next year, for life – see how behavior fits in?
  • Periodically (annually?) review your plan and adjust it to fit your current circumstances
  • Really live according to the successful plan today, next month, next year, for life
  • Really, really live according to the successful plan today, next month, next year, for life


Much of this second list may sound like glib, “all you’ve got to do is…” nonsense.





It’s not.  It is how you will succeed financially in life!  There are two practical approaches to how you convert these principles into specific actions:

  • Join at-the-hip with your financial professional for as long as your faith in, and ability to pay for, him or her lasts – and this implies that a means of clearly measuring your financial status over time exists and that your status can be clearly shown to your professional – and further implied is that you will accept any behavior modifications on your part that he or she determines is necessary – oh, did I mention that not all financial professionals view all of this as part of the scope of his or her services?
  • Find and adopt defined processes and tools that prescribe distinct actions performed in a repeatable set of steps to follow – these processes and tools must be usable not only for building a successful plan, but also for reporting your periodic status against the plan and for testing alternative future actions

In terms of the second of these two bullet points, there are tons of books, methods and ongoing financial advice sources out there.  And many (most?) are of value.  The challenge with relying on them is that of fitting it all together in a way that reflects your individual situation.  And keep in mind that your situation will never be static; it will always be changing over time.

By checking out our 7 step MINT Method, you will find everything you need to help yourself, and your financial professional, put you into success mode.  Check it out!

Like the man said, “Behavior is the key to the whole deal…”!


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