FIND YOUR FINANCIAL GRIT: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Winning with money is not an easy path to walk. The experience can definitely feel like a walk through the mud. If financial success had a mascot, it would definitely be the iconic tortoise from “The Tortoise and the Hare.” How does the Tortoise win with a clear disadvantage and the odds stacked against him? I bet if we had a chance to ask him, we would find that he’s got a lot of grit. In her popular Ted Talk, University of Pennsylvania Professor and Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth defines “grit” as “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.” She continues to explain that “grit is stamina, and sticking with your future – not just for the day, not just for the month, but for years.” Check out her full talk here. Duckworth’s research has even shown that “grittier” kids are significantly more likely to graduate! If it is true that grit determines success more than IQ, what makes up grit? Is there a way to harness the power of grit to achieve financial independence? How would you define “financial grit?” Here’s my suggestion: Goal-driven… Responses to daily situations that… Incrementally increase our likelihood to win over… Time Every piece of this gritty puzzle is just as important as the next. Without all elements, our ability to build and harness true financial grit falters, and we may fall short of our goals. Let’s take a look at what makes up our financial toughness. It’s time to channel our inner-amphibians and officially …

Paying Off Debt: Why, Ultimately, It’s All About “Me”

Should I focus on paying off debt by paying extra on my student loan and mortgage debts, or should I just pay the monthly amount due and put extra into my investments? I’ve been asked “Should I be focused on paying off debt or investing?” more times than I can now specifically recall. My old answer was: “Are you nuts?! Pay off the debt as fast as possible!” Where I come from, debt is bad. The entire thought of it gives me the heebie-jeebies. My soul hurts when I remember the days of living under my debtor over-lords. I took a staunch, all-or-nothing, debt-free or bust mentality. The problem with that solution? Everybody’s not me, and for some people “bust” might be a more likely outcome of focusing solely on debt elimination. So what’s my answer now? “It depends.” When faced with paying off debt or not, there are some factors to consider. We’ll get to what it depends on in a minute, but just like everything else – what’s right for someone else may not be right for another. A personalized financial game plan will include a written debt elimination strategy, but that strategy will be largely dictated by where we fall on the Math-Emotion (ME) Spectrum. The Math-Emotion Spectrum I call this the Math-Emotion Spectrum because, well – most people don’t live 100% at either end. Although we may feel like we’re absolutely at one end or the other, some soul-searching would probably result in us finding that we …