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If you talk to the average American their top goal in life seems to be attaining wealth and riches. And may I add, quickly. Role models have become celebrities, CEO's, and the Trumps and Buffets of the world. However, monetary success isn't always the measuring stick for financial success. How is that possible?  Look, there are a lot of people making a lot of money that are not really a financial success. Some people know how to create or make a lot of money, but it goes right out the door to someone else.  So when you talk about financial success you have to ask yourself what and who am I measuring my success against? Or better yet, who am I comparing myself to.  If you continue to compare yourself to others financially, it may actually hold you back from attaining your own financial goals.

Everyone has a different financial vision for their lives, and everyone's financial situation is different. One person may be married, single, a single parent, retired, or nearing retirement. One person might have a high paying job while the other is barely making it. One person may have kids and a mortgage and the other has neither. So how do you measure up to what someone else has attained financially with what you have achieved? There is absolutely no comparison, because everyone's circumstance and situation is different. When we compare and compete, jealousy can set in.  Jealousy can bring feelings of dissatisfaction, unthankfulness, and sometimes despair. Jealousy will have us think that the grass-is-greener on the other side. It may be and it may not be.

One thing I know for sure, things are not always as they appear to be. Instead of comparing other's financial achievements with your own, create your own personal finance goals. Allow the measuring stick to be your own plan, timeline, and your ability to reach those goals. Do not let your age, race, gender or education be a roadblock to limit you. Look at your financial role models as people to learn from not to worship or be obsessed with.

Define what financial success means to you. Create a financial vision both short and long-term. Write your vision down with a strategy. And, connect with like-minded people to stay accountable to your vision. Then you will have financial success.

Sharman Lawson a columnist on Fabulously40, and a financial coach, speaker, and author of the book 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt Forever! Visit her website: [Link Removed]

Sharmanl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Oct 6, 2008
    • Hi Sharman. I bet you‘re watching this economy closely as many of us are. I’m curious to hear your take on all the hysteria.

      My husband keep close contact with some of his schools largest donors and also with the man who had the Smith Barney office in town. They are in a panic. These are not men who are prone to panic. Makes me nervous.

      I talked with my little Sicilian 80 year old mom this morning and she put everything in perspective. She says she’s not the least bit worried. Her investments are spread out and all very safe, no stock at her age. She owns her home, she has no credit card debt. Her philosophy is, don’t live beyond your means, don’t borrow money without knowing you can pay it back, really know the difference between need and want, And then of course she had to add, get to know an Italian, they know how to eat cheap; you’ll never starve!


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Oct 6, 2008
    • Forgot to mention, my idea of financial success: Money in reserve accounts and investments, little or no debt, money coming in.

      Plain and simple

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sharman G. Lawson wrote Oct 6, 2008
    • Hi Cynthia,

      Wow...Your mom sounds like my kind of gal—smart! Yes, I too feel like this too shall pass. And it will be less painful if people practiced preventative measures to sustain their lifestyle.

      Bottom line: live on a spending plan, track your expenses, eliminate “wasteful” spending, and find out the minimum amount it takes to operate your household. Jobs get lost, people get sick, anything can happen to change your current state of affairs. Live on the minimum amount, and everything else over that pay off the debt, save, invest, and be prepared in case of a famine.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Daphne wrote Oct 6, 2008
    • My father used to say that his definition of success was this:  “My money and my life run out on the same day.”

      God, i miss my Dad...

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dee Dee Shaw wrote Oct 6, 2008
    • I recently read a very good book -The Richest Man in Babylon. Similar principles. It is simple really - don’t live beyond your means... but simple doesn’t always equate to easy, does it? It is difficult not to live the American Way. I have tried to convince my husband to get on Dave Ramsey’s bandwagon, but he hasn’t bought into it yet.  

      Sharing Hope,

      Dee Dee

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