You may be wondering what sort of perfect money management system we’re trying to build with all this personal finance advice. What does it look like in its final incarnation? What will all that beauty and elegance look like combined into one perfectly engineered system?
Your wait is at an end. In its final form, your perfect, personal financial system will look like this:
Maybe you were hoping for something elegant, like a picture of a humming factory floor. Or maybe your spirit animal would have looked more like a soaring, free flying eagle. Sorry. This is what you’re really going for.
Let me explain.
A Model For Financial “Perfection”
Corgis were originally bred to herd cattle. While they look incredibly funny, everything about their physical shape was actually evolved to better suit their job of herding.
Their low-rider status helped them avoid being kicked by cattle, and their tails were docked so that they would not get stepped on in the fields. Sure, they’re pretty funny looking, but strong adaptation to a specific task makes everything look a little funny. Your job is to embrace that funniness.
The perfect financial system for you is going to get you to financial independence in a way that minimizes your exposure to things that are most bothersome and painful to you and most leverages your natural strengths.
That is naturally going to look a little weird to other people, who don’t have your particular quirks. Maybe you pinch pennies when it comes to groceries, rent, and drive old cars, but then you spend $1000 a year on your whiskey collection. Or you’re terrible at clipping coupons and saving pennies but turn out to be a savant when it comes to felting pandas and run a $50k a year side business on Etsy selling them to panda lovers? Or maybe you don’t want to invest in trying to double your salary but you’re a shopping ninja who is happy to live on under $30k a year. Any of this can fit into a humming, successful financial plan.
If you were a perfect robot, with no human interests, desires, or foibles, your financial system would look like a beautiful piece of elegant machinery and everyone’s system would look the same. Since you are not, the perfect system for you will be one that molds to your foibles, passions, and strengths. We focus on automating processes so things don’t rely on your endless discipline. We build fail-safes because we know that sometimes temptations get the better of us. And most importantly, we figure out how to maximize what we are really good at: there are four steps to early retirement and while you will have to be proficient at all of them, you can leverage your natural strength whether that be deal hunting, investing, or income-earning side hustles to really get that nest egg growing.
So plan to have folks look askance at your system as you proceed further on your journey. Know that every person who has made it to extreme early retirement has endured this kind of external judgment.
And Are You Having Fun?
Finally, this little guy is the perfect mascot for your money management system for yet one more reason: he reminds you not to take yourself too seriously. At the end of the day, your efforts on the financial side are meant to serve the other areas of your life, not the other way around. Stop worrying what other people will say about your money decisions. Focus on what is going to get you closer to your goals in a way that plays to your strengths.