I have been reviewing the 10 Money Mastery Principles and today’s post covers one of the most significant principles of them all (although they are all VERY important), Principle 7:
Always Look at the Big Picture. In the absence of long-term goals you will make financial decisions you cannot afford. With specific goals clearly in mind, you will make spending decisions today that will not only bring happiness to you now, but that will build a happy life for the future. We cannot become wealthy without first “Master Planning” our lives by looking at where we are now, where we want to go in the future, and figuring out a plan to get there.
This principle is unique because there are so many ways to get up high and look down on your financial decisions. A simple analogy is to watch a football game on TV and ask, “Who on the field can see the most?” Let’s start with the right tackle, who is playing on the field. His job is to protect the quarterback. When the ball is hiked, the huge tackle, loaded with muscles, stands firm and tries not to let the opponent get past him and tackle the quarterback. They function on about five square feet of grass. They don’t go out for a pass and they don’t return punts.
Next, let’s examine the quarterback and how much ground he can see when the ball is put into play. He has to see the entire field in order to pass the football to a tight end. So the quarterback usually moves around trying to stay away from the opponents, but looking for another player on his team. The quarterback’s problem is there are 11 defensive players trying to kill him. While he sees more of the field than the right tackle, he still has to keep from being taken down.
What about the coach, how much do think he can see of the field? He is on the sidelines and can see the level field. He doesn’t have 11 opponents trying to kill him, so he can see a lot more play action than the quarterback. Plus the coach has been looking at films, and has an idea what to watch for and makes play-calls to the quarterback.
But ultimately, the guys sitting in the blimp high above the game have the best view of all. They have instant replay and they can see everything that transpires on the field because they are not level with the field, like the coach.
For you to be successful with your personal finances, it is important for you get high above your personal day-to-day money drama and make good decisions while looking at everything all at once. Even better is to record your income and spending so you can have “instant replay” available. Imagine if you could be up high, record all your financial plays, then rewind and watch them over and over again to improve your choices. How much better could you be with the money that goes through your fingers?
It is not difficult to get up in the “financial blimp.” You do this by building a Spending, Debt, Tax and Retirement plan. This allows you to get a big picture view of how each of these areas of your finances (spending, debt, taxes and savings) are affecting each other. Big picture planning helps you make the very best money decisions. I invite you to get up into your own financial blimp and make better decisions. You can do this sitting on the ground. Contact me to discuss how to better plan your future with a big picture view: firstname.lastname@example.org.