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Financial Success.  Isn’t There an APP For That?

Financial Success. Isn’t There an APP For That?

June 22, 2017
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Whenever I speak at a conference, during Q&A someone will ask me to recommend an app, website or a book that will help them become financially successful. Truthfully, I wish it were that simple, but odds are the website or book won’t get the job done.

There certainly are plenty of good apps, websites and books that can help you track your cash flow and help you manage money. Those are tactics that, if employed consistently and correctly over a long period of time, might lead someone to a path towards prosperity.

Financial success isn’t complicated. It isn’t easy either.

The reality is that the tactics of financial success are available FOR FREE pretty much everywhere. The financial success books, magazines, apps and websites are communicating a similar core message: Spend less and save more.

The tactics for success in the Health and Fitness industry are similarly available. There are countless books, magazines, apps and websites that are communicating a similar core message: Eat less and move more.

With the abundance of available information on both topics, a natural assumption could be that we are all physically fit and adequately prepared for retirement by age 65. Unfortunately, the abundance of available information has not translated into an abundance of positive results:

  • According to a 2015 Newsweek article, the majority of Americans (71% of all Americans) are either overweight or obese.(1)
  • The average net worth in the United States for ages 55-64 is $180,000.(2)  Assuming the entire $180,000 was used for retirement income generation, it might get you $5,400/year before taxes. $5,400/year is roughly 10% of the median income in the United States of America.(3)

It’s not that people don’t have access to the information. The problem is that people aren’t doing anything with it.

The solution is to install positive habits around money such that you’re engaged in positive money behavior automatically.

Financial success isn’t complicated. It isn’t easy either.

Here are three things that you can do to help develop positive money habits:

  • Accountability – Just like with Health and Fitness, you may want to either get a financial coach or an accountability partner. A financial coach isn’t just an advisor. A financial coach helps you with your money, but also helps you with money behavior.
  • Automate – Consider taking those moments of weakness out of your hands by automating your cash flows. Things like 401(k) tend to work for people because it comes out of their paycheck automatically.
  • Adjust – Few people can make a transition into a new set of habits without a single setback. Have a plan for when setbacks occur. Acknowledge the setback, adjust and then recommit to the new behavior.

Financial success isn’t complicated. It isn’t easy either.

Resolve today to take control of your money and commit to positive money behavior. People that engage in sustained money success habits didn’t start out that way. They built those habits into their lives with intention by committing to doing the little things right every day.

You can do it too.

Thank you for reading.

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(1) Douglas Main, “Seven in 10 American Adults Are Overweight or Obese,” Newsweek, June 22, 2015, http://www.newsweek.com/7-10-american-adults-are-overweight-or-obese-345723 

(2) Financial Samurai, “The Average Net Worth for the Above Average Person,” Financial Samurai, February 2016, http://www.financialsamurai.com/the-average-net-worth-for-the-above-average-person/

(3) Matthew Frankel, “Median Income in the United States of America,” USA Today, November 24, 2016, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/11/24/average-american-household-income/93002252/