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Financial Basic Training

I distinctly remember attending my brother’s graduation from basic training in the Army.  After a long car ride, we finally pulled up at the wonderful Army establishment known as Fort Leonard Wood.  My father got out of the car and went to find out information about where and how we were to meet up with our brother.  After quite a while, my father walked out with a mean looking man dressed up in Army fatigues.  This man looked like he could personally kill a tiger and an elephant at the same time with his bare hands.  He was squared away, and built like a brick house.  Muscles rippled on his arms, he had huge shoulders, and his uniform was immaculate.

Then he spoke to me.  It was my brother!  I had absolutely no idea that it was him.  You see, my brother was always chubby.  He left for basic training with some flab and really long curly blonde hair.  Just a couple of months later, here he was – a fine-tuned, fit, and ripped member of the US Army.  The change was so dramatic that I literally did not recognize my own brother!

If you feel like your financial situation is out of shape, maybe it is time to send your money to basic training!  My brother told me that the first thing that happened was that they took all of his possessions and handed him the clothes and equipment he would need.  It was very basic.  The nice things like his cassette player (they were awesome in the 80’s) and candy were taken away.  Applying this to your finances, this means it might make sense to look at everything you have and consider what is really necessary.  It is incredibly freeing for many people to sell unused and unwanted items and “de-clutter” their lives.  This allows you to focus on what is most important.

As soon as my brother arrived at basic training, he was being instructed in a new way of thinking.  Everything was focused on training him and his fellow troops to be the absolute best soldiers they could possibly be.  This required a lot of training.  This training required intense focus and expert teachers.   When was the last time you took a class or read a book on the subject of personal finances?  Seek out financial experts.  Buy their books.  Attend their training.  Listen to their radio shows.  Read their blogs.  Find financial mentors in your life that can help you learn how to become incredibly personal financially fit!  Becoming great at money management won’t usually “just happen” – it requires attention.

Eight weeks of intense training converted my slob brother into a disciplined, fit, and forever changed leader.  If you choose to put your finances through basic training with the same intensity, eight weeks could forever change your financial future.