Financial Advice for All Ages
How to approach money from all stages of life

Financial success is a lot more than how big your pile of money is

by Scott Mautz / © 2019, Mansueto Ventures, LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


There’s so much advice on managing your money that it can be difficult to know where you really stand financially.

  I got reacquainted with finances when I left my corporate job for the life of an entrepreneur. Living off of variable income (versus a steady “guaranteed” monthly paycheck) will do that to you. So I’ve learned a lot in the past several years about what really constitutes financial success.

  Here are six signs that you’re doing better financially than you think you are:


1. You have clear and commensurate financial goals.

  You won’t know where you’re going financially and how well you’re doing without clear financial goals. A survey by Charles Schwab found that only one in four people have sound financial goals and a plan to back it up. I admit that when I was in corporate, I didn’t have a plan. My wife and I would basically spend what we made without worrying about it because we knew next month would bring another paycheck.

  No longer. We have a crystal clear financial goal now, tied to exactly how much our entrepreneurial ventures need to make relative to the lifestyle we want to live. Which brings us to the commensurate point.

  My wife and I set a financial goal assuming we’d be trading down our lifestyle and shedding all those expenses that didn’t bring us joy. We set goals commensurate with what was really required to make us happy. You can too.


2. You believe it’s not about net worth but net worthiness.

  An increasing net worth—your assets (what you own) minus your liabilities (what you owe)—is a good, basic measure of how you’re doing financially year to year. [But] I’m suggesting that freeing yourself from net worth goals and comparisons is a sign of financial maturity and perspective.

  I propose a different measure. Net worthiness. Do you live a life structured around adding value to something bigger than yourself? That’s what drives my wife and [me] now.



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