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Fiscal Discipline Is For Grownups

July 31st, 2014 at 06:20 pm

Eliminating old debt. Staying out of new debt. Keeping living expenses well below income. Following guidelines on what is affordable. Choosing lower cost alternatives. Building up reserve funds. Growing an investment portfolio. Those are all parts of the strategy to reach financial independence. None of it is rocket science and theoretically anyone could do it.

So why do loads and loads of people do the exact opposites? And then bemoan and resent their financial situation and complain about it as if they were the victims of someone else's actions? Here is what I think.

Fiscal discipline is all about perspective and behavior. More specifically, it is about the difference between the perspective of an adult and that of a child.

Fiscal discipline starts with taking control of and assuming responsibility for one's financial destiny. It is up to you and no one else.

Fiscal discipline is about looking ahead. Because tomorrow does come.

Fiscal discipline has to have a purpose. A goal. A heavy-duty carrot.

It is that goal / carrot that facilitates fiscal discipline. It keeps you on course.

Fiscal grownups choose meaningful long-term satisfaction over transitory instant gratification. They keep their eyes and minds focused on the more valuable goal ahead.

The takeaway: Fiscal discipline doesn't just happen. It is the result of informed adult choices.

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