I Am Just the Cliffs Notes for Your Journey to Financial Prosperity

by David Ning · 8 comments

I read these articles all the time and by now, most of the ideas sound familiar. Why am I still starving a few days before my next paycheck is due?

As I sit here pondering about a personal finance topic to write about, I started wondering what will happen if I covered every possible personal finance subject. By then, I would have found the perfect get out of debt plan and shared it with all of you, the key to ensure financial prosperity and the three step (or at the very least, the four step) approach to comfortable retirement.

That’s when it dawned on me. Whether I have yet to write about it or not, these ideas already exists. In fact, I’m pretty sure that responsible personal finance theories have been written, debated, and followed ever since the middle class started being literate.

Most of you already know the majority of the principles that I talk about, because the core of building wealth is incredibly simple – earn more, and save more.

The reason why regular readers of personal finance sites are more likely to succeed is not only because of the constant reminder of the importance and enjoyment of financial success we try to ingrain in you. The reason why you will succeed is because you care about your financial future a heck of a lot more than the average person.

  • Everyone knows they shouldn’t eat out, but it is you who will take the time to cook at home.
  • Everyone has heard about emergency funds, but it is you who actually created one and didn’t have to withdraw your 401k when you were laid off.
  • Everyone knows that emotions push us to buy high and sell low, but it is you who could take control and smack that little devil in you who wanted to sell everything in March.

It takes guts, energy and will power to be in healthy personal finance shape. The good news is that like everything else, it’s hard at first but gets increasingly easier.

For those who are succeeding, congratulations because you are already doing this. For others who are struggling, promising yourself to act on the advice that you already know is perhaps the most important step.

Reading personal finance articles is just like buying cliff notes for an upcoming test. You need to read it, understand it, know how to apply the knowledge but more importantly, mix in your own ideas at the moment the test question is staring right in your face.

Knowledge is great, but action is what ultimately leads to results.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Michelle says:

    I completely agree that you can read and read and read, but if you do not put what you learn into action, you’re not going to totally grasp anything and nothing will come of it – it’s just like learning a foreign language. You’ve got to practice it everyday, even immerse yourself in it to become somewhat fluent.

    I dont think that being frugal or cutting back on your spending will ultimately get you to a successful financial future. I am not an avid reader of self-help or motivational books, but I think that Loral Langemeier has placed some great ideas out there about not saving your money but instead making it work for you. I recently joined a webinar series that she taught which went over her new book Put More Cash In Your Pocket, and she actually took the ideas she wrote in her book and assigned us homework to actually put those ideas into action.

    Not very many adults, especially those not in school, have the opportunity to have someone there to make you accountable for your actions. Again, I dont think anyone can really learn anything without actually getting out there in the world and applying it.

  • I’m just wondering, I think a lot of people care about their finances, just not enough people know there is a big PF community out there for people to get to know.

    I have been obsessed with my personal finances since I first started working for $3.30 at McDonald’s. That was a while ago.

  • Moneymonk says:

    “Everyone knows they shouldn’t eat out, but it is you who will take the time to cook at home”

    Sometimes I find eating out is cheaper than buying groceries

    just my two cents

    • MoneyNing says:

      You’re right, but you generally can’t consume the same quality of food at equal or lesser prices.

      Buying bulk does cut down the prices somewhat for restaurants, but it’s the markup that ultimately allows them to stay in business.

  • Jimmy says:

    Thanks for the motivation. I totally agree that it does get easier after you get pass the initial resentment of being frugal.

    I’m happy to be on my way to financial freedom.

  • Nick says:

    The majority do nothing because it’s easier to be lazy, and the majority complain because that’s easy too. Make the uncomfortable choices that no one else is willing to make and you will have a much higher rate of success.

  • kenyantykoon says:

    This is a nice post. That is why I read very few motivational books and other forms of self help, so that I don’t get overloaded with information and end up doing none of what I read. Read one book and then do what it says. The only stuff that I feed my reading addictions to are other genres that don’t really require much action afterwards.

  • Jim Bauer says:

    You touch on something I’ve been writing in my own short series of blogs entitled, “How to bring home the bacon without slaughtering the pig,” where my focus is on mainly efficient spending habits. It matters little if you earn a lot of money if you spend it unwisely. Many people miss this very important point. In addition, if you only buy bigger toys when you earn more, you also miss out. You just get bigger bills. A guy who earns $30,000 a year can actually live better than a guy who makes $90,000 a year depending on spending habits. People focus far too much on what they earn.

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