Being frugal is held as a hallmark of fiscal responsibility. Everyone thinks that seeking ways to save money makes you inherently good with money.
Those people are wrong and frugality is most often stupid.
Being frugal is the equivalent of someone shopping sales and thinking they’re saving a ton of money.
All you did was spend money. Sure, the money you spent is less than what you would have spent on those items regularly but since when has spending money made you financially savvy?
THE TWO MOST COMMON FRUGALITY ILLUSIONS
Investing is the best offensive maneuver you can make this side of inventing the next Amazon. Conveniently, I am writing this right after one of the worst market drops we have seen in about a decade. Guess how much this market correction has changed my offensive picture?
Not a single iota.
Down turns, corrections, and recessions are all part of the game when it comes to offense. Not every punch lands and not every shot goes in. Does this mean we stop punching or shooting? Not if you still want to win.
YOU MISS 100% OF THE SHOTS YOU DON’T TAKE- Wayne Gretsky
Offense is not about always scoring and neither is investing. We succeed because we continue putting our money into our chosen investment system until the facts, not emotions, tell us it is time to make a change.
HOWS MY OFFENSE? Continue reading
Americans are notoriously bad with debt. One of the side effects of living in a country built around consumerism I suppose. The only thing Americans may love more than buying things and debt are celebrities.
Celebrities are such a part of our culture that their opinion on matters are treated as actual news. Dave Chappelle once hilariously described an encounter with this phenomenon he witnessed.
“I remember right around September 11th Ja Rule was on MTV. They said “We got Ja Rule on the phone. Let’s see what Ja’s thoughts are on this tragic….
WHO GIVES A F$%^ WHAT JA RULE THINKS AT A TIME LIKE THIS. This is ridiculous”
Given the intersection of these three American culture staples is it any wonder that our celebrities may be even worse than we are with debt?
Johnny Depp, Nicholas Cage, Mike Tyson, and basically every sports star have all amassed fortunes that were still outpaced by their debt. We admire these people and let their poor choices influence our behavior.
Debt and the interest associated with it are incredibly detrimental to our financial pictures. Today let’s look at where you’re bleeding and figure out how to patch the wound.
WHERE AM I BLEEDING?
Offense sells tickets but Defense wins championships.– Bear Bryant
Defense is the most underrated factor for success in any arena. Every team, business organization, and financially successful person has to have defense to succeed. Your offense is what helps push you forward but the defense keeps you from falling back!
If you’re climbing the treacherous mountain towards your success vision it is important to be able to focus on making progress. Your defense allows you to maintain that singular focus. Without it for every inch you climb forward there is a shift in the gravel that causes you to slip down a few inches or even a whole foot. Once you slip on that climb two things happen:
- The ground you were holding on to is now weaker. This makes slipping again more likely. Every time you slip it becomes more likely that you will slip again and fall further each time.
- You begin to doubt your ability to pull through. Once you begin slipping you overly focus on slipping again. This derails your ability to make progress and leaves you exposed to making another mistake and slipping again.
If you’re not careful these two factors will build upon one another and your feet will be back on the ground in no time.
When you see climbers they give a great deal of thought to their defense. The goal isn’t solely to not fall off the mountain. It’s to maintain the progress they have already earned! This is where your financial defense comes in.
How’s My Defense?
30 and 0.
For the fight fans among you this may seem like an impressive record. The record of a champion. The footnote of a conquering hero’s career rife with awards, fanfare and the adulation of women and men alike.
I believe this situation qualifies for what they call a double entendre.
I won’t insult your intelligence this early in our relationship and explain what a double entendre is. Mostly, because I’m sure I’m using it wrong in an attempt to impress you. I’ve heard Jay-Z use it so maybe check with him. That said I will explain myself.
In this instance 30 and 0 speaks to a sudden realization of how poor some of the choices you have made really turned out to be. In this case 30 and 0 means I arrived at the age of 30 with $0 saved.
Goose Egg. Zilch. Zero. Nada.
How did this happen? Wasn’t I supposed to be married with children, a six figure income, and a full head of hair at 30? For those keeping track none of those things panned out. I’m single, balding, and fairly penniless. Come to think of it I think my lack of savings is likely what caused my balding but I digress.
Don’t get me wrong my life is pretty great. I am not writing to add to the whining that the internet has become filled with these days. Rather, I am sharing my situation in the hopes that I can show how you can rebuild your finances or convince someone younger to make better choices.
So How Did I Get Here?