“Hitch your wagon to a star” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
This kind of a mentality can apply to nearly any area of life, even personal finance. On occasion we are blessed to have an article mentioned on Rockstar Finance, the brilliant brainchild of our dear friend, J. Money. Every time we get an article mentioned on Rockstar, our page views go through the roof because we hitched our wagon (Fruclassity) to a star (Rockstar Finance in this case).
“Hitching your wagon” in personal finances
With money management and debt repayment, it’s often the same way. If you’re mainly associating with people who have little regard for their money, chances are higher that your own money situation will be less than ideal and that your spending mentality will at least in part mimic theirs.
However if you’re mostly surrounded by people who have goals and plans for healthy money management and debt avoidance, you’re more likely to have a more secure financial situation. (If you don’t have those types of people in real life, you can accomplish this by listening to Dave Ramsey and reading awesome PF blogs like this one 😉 )
In the same vein, if you hitch your real-life wagon to a team of Clydesdales, you’ll be traveling at near warp speed to your destination. However, if you hitch your wagon to a couple of mini horses, which average a mere thirty-six inches in height, you’ll likely take awhile to reach your destination – never mind the fact that mini horses aren’t generally used in that capacity as it’s just too much weight for them to bear.
The same theory applies to whom you compare yourself and your financial situation.
If you’re comparing yourself and your finances to the people in your life who have made a high holy mess of their money, you’ll likely not achieve as much as you could with your cash:
“Well, yes, we overspent again this month. But at least we’re not as bad as so-and-so. They have WAY more debt than we do.”
This kind of comparison is what kept us in debt for so long. We kept coddling ourselves about our situation by looking for people who were doing worse than we were.
Personal finance blogs – a new and better crowd of influence
Then we found the world of personal finance blogs. Suddenly we were surrounded by people who had made and were making rock star achievements with their money. They were paying off $25,000, $50,000 and even over $100,000 in consumer debt. Suddenly we didn’t look so good with our money anymore and we – as painful as it was – chose to face the truth about our debt situation.
Since then we’ve learned to focus on, study under, and hang out with people who have made good financial stewardship and debt payoff a priority. And that decision blesses us every day as we now spend money only when we’re certain it is in line with our values and goals. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve changed friends or avoid family members who are living a financial mess. Instead, we’ve added to our social circles people who are wise with their money, and we work to emulate them.
So hitch your wagon to a star and watch as financial independence grows closer every day.
Who are your financial mentors/friends? How do they impact the way you manage your money?
*Photo courtesy of duggar11