Working With The Wrong Tools

IMG_8419One of my favorite things to do is gardening and farming. I grew up on a farm, and I loved everything about it. From raising crops and a huge garden to feeding out cows, chickens, and hogs, I learned a lot about the principles of sowing and reaping. A great joy of mine is to have the opportunity to jump on a tractor (John Deere, of course) and raise some grain on my own farm.

As I was tilling up the soil the other day, I thought, “I’m so glad we have the right type and size of equipment for this task.” I have the right size tractor and tilling equipment, and it made the work easy. How difficult would it have been to till up several acres by hand with a hoe and a rake? Virtually impossible!

My next thought was how this applies to our personal finances. How many people are attempting the equivalent of tilling up a huge field with a rake? Let me connect the principle a little better:

  1. They want to retire someday, but they are not investing and using the powerful tool known as Compound Interest
  2. They want to maximize their money, but they are not utilizing the amazing money tool called a Budget
  3. They want to pay for their child’s college, but they are not capturing the power of the awesome tool called a 529 College Savings Plan
  4. They are sick of living paycheck to paycheck, but they’ve chosen not to utilize the awesome tool called Automatic Saving.

Are you working with the wrong tools?

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1 Comment

  1. RobS on April 25, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Joe, you decided you wanted things done — so you put some time in the calendar to dedicate to achieving your goals. You got the right tools out & learned how to use them. And then you put the hands to action and got it done.

    Any stop along the way kills the process. I can “claim” I want to retire, but if I don’t set aside money regularly, or contribute to a savings plan, then it’s going to be pretty hard.

    I’m really convinced we live in the ‘Golden Age of Retirement’ where automatic big pensions pay well. In 25 to 40 years time, right now I expect we’ll have lots of older people working at age 70-85 years old –or– they will live in poverty with only a few social welfare benefits.

    It’s pretty sad, but that is how most of our culture is preparing.

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