So far, we have discussed why you should embrace Global Net Worth as your guiding star for your financial management and your Savings Rate as the gas pedal to move you towards that star. We have talked about when you can start using Net Worth and your Savings Rate as the keys to your financial success—the answer is now, no matter what circumstance you are in. We have discussed specifically what you should measure – your ratios and indicators—and how to measure them – with the rich set of tools that CalcuTrackTM is built to provide. And, we have discussed who needs to take charge of this work—you!
So, the only question that remains is:
Why not begin your journey today?
From my own experience, I believe the journey to financial security and success is one that will bring you peace of mind. So, I encourage you to start right away.
A Story from Chris: Running All the Red Lights on a Mexican Food Tour
Recently, my partner Suzanne, two dear friends of ours, and I went to Mexico for a relaxing week of vacation. As we always do on these occasions, we signed up for a local and traditional food tour the first night of our stay. We thought the tour would give us insights on the local restaurants and we would have a nice dinner made up of various dishes along the tour.
I was quite euphoric about the upcoming experience since I love food. I created high expectations as I visualized the fresh-caught seafood paired with fresh vegetables and other local ingredients awaiting me.
The tour started with variety of delicious juices and then continued with the first of our quite interesting dishes: crickets, nicely grilled and well spiced! The next stop was soft cheese tacos with “corn smut”—swollen pieces of corn covered in a charcoal-colored fungus. I had never eaten anything like this, but I thought “I am tough dude. I can handle it.” And, of course, I had to prove myself to my friends!
Next on the menu was tripe tacos. For those who don’t know, tripe is cow stomach. That was when my own stomach decided it had had enough food for the entire week. It just shut down and decided that I was not to be hungry anymore for the rest of my stay in Mexico!
As I reflected on the experience, I asked myself why would I eat, and continue to eat, food that I knew very well I could not digest properly? I knew the tripe alone, with its high fat content, would not be received well by my stomach. But, oh no! I just continued to make a fool of myself. As I like to say I ran so many red lights that late afternoon that crashing was inevitable. And, wow, did I crash! I did not listen to common sense or to my instincts–that would have been too easy.
I tell you this story to warn you—please do not do with your finances what I did with my stomach. Don’t run red lights when it comes to your finances and wealth. Create realistic expectations by making a smart plan that is aligned with your goals and abilities. Also, please do not forget to enjoy the ride, and please stay away from food you cannot digest!
Always remember you cannot be delusional and successful at the same time!
Let’s Review What You Need to Do
No matter what your situation is—whether you are just starting out by creating a rainy fund, or if you are growing your nest egg, or if you are managing your complicated net worth to increase its return—the process described here will bear fruit in giving you a better understanding and actionable insights, if you are just willing to follow the steps.
No matter what your financial goals are you need a baseline from which to start. So, step one is calculating, analyzing and scoring your financial numbers. Remember: your financial situation is as unique as you are, so understanding it through facts and figures is the truly important first step. CalcuTrackTM helps by calculating the various wealth numbers you need to perform an in-depth analysis of your financial situation that will give you a deeper understanding of your financial situation.
With this newfound understanding of your situation, CalcuTrackTM creates a scorecard of your financial situation and then enables you to compare your own financial score with that of other CalcuTrackTM users of a similar age or with a similar occupation, or with publicly available data about people similar to you. This process will let you know where you are currently standing with your wealth.
Next, it is time to digest and study the numbers to get comfortable with the results. One possibility is that you will feel stressed. You may discover that you are in a difficult financial situation. If that is the case, realize first that understanding the specifics of your situation was a great first step. With that understanding, you can now seek professional help from a non-profit agency or an independent financial advisor with fiduciary responsibility to help you get through your issues.
And, if you discover you are not in a difficult situation, then congratulations! You can start moving forward depending on your unique situation. You will begin to track your numbers over time to determine which direction they are moving–are they going up or down? If they are improving, can you do something to speed up the process? To make them grow faster or larger? And, if they are declining, what can you do to reverse that trend
Time for Action
I like to say,
If you don’t know where you are going how will you know when you have arrived?
Therefore, make a plan and prioritize your goals to help you achieve them. The plan, alone, will give you peace of mind as you gain a personal sense of being accountable to yourself and of “doing the right thing.” Having digested your financial numbers, it is time to make data-based, not emotional goals, about how to improve your financial situation. The process of calculating, analyzing, and scoring will lead you to the most important item: doing something proactively about it that will improve your financial situation. It is time to start your SMART Goal process, as discussed in Chapter 5.
For me, if I am not moving forward, learning new things, meeting new people, uncovering new ideas, then I am standing still. And yet the world around me is moving forward, one day, one week, one month at a time. Eventually we can fall behind.
But, having goals—and SMART goals at that–helps us to keep pace with changing times. Goals are even more powerful when we prioritize them and focus on the most important ones, being patient taking small steps with laser attention. You must determine what is the most important goal for you and what actions will move your wealth needle.
Your SMART goals are like a frame around your situation. They will help you to achieve your financial security and success!
Chris’s Take Away
It is time to begin your journey. With just the first step, you will find peace of mind, not because you have arrived at your destination but because you have chosen to start the trip towards financial security and success. CalcuTrackTM is there to help you along your way, securely helping you develop the habits for success: spending less than you earn, investing wisely, tracking your progress, having a plan, and never giving up.