Who Are You Hitching Your Wagon To?

“Hitch your wagon to a star” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rockstar Finance

This kind of a mentality can apply to nearly any area of life, even personal finance. On occasion we are blessed to have an article mentioned on Rockstar Finance, the brilliant brainchild of our dear friend, J. Money. Every time we get an article mentioned on Rockstar, our page views go through the roof because we hitched our wagon (Fruclassity) to a star (Rockstar Finance in this case). 

“Hitching your wagon” in personal finances

With money management and debt repayment, it’s often the same way. If you’re mainly associating with people who have little regard for their money, chances are higher that your own money situation will be less than ideal and that your spending mentality will at least in part mimic theirs.

However if you’re mostly surrounded by people who have goals and plans for healthy money management and debt avoidance, you’re more likely to have a more secure financial situation. (If you don’t have those types of people in real life, you can accomplish this by listening to Dave Ramsey and reading awesome PF blogs like this one 😉 )

In the same vein, if you hitch your real-life wagon to a team of Clydesdales, you’ll be traveling at near warp speed to your destination. However, if you hitch your wagon to a couple of mini horses, which average a mere thirty-six inches in height, you’ll likely take awhile to reach your destination – never mind the fact that mini horses aren’t generally used in that capacity as it’s just too much weight for them to bear.

The same theory applies to whom you compare yourself and your financial situation.

If you’re comparing yourself and your finances to the people in your life who have made a high holy mess of their money, you’ll likely not achieve as much as you could with your cash:

“Well, yes, we overspent again this month. But at least we’re not as bad as so-and-so. They have WAY more debt than we do.” 

This kind of comparison is what kept us in debt for so long. We kept coddling ourselves about our situation by looking for people who were doing worse than we were.

Personal finance blogs – a new and better crowd of influence

Then we found the world of personal finance blogs. Suddenly we were surrounded by people who had made and were making rock star achievements with their money. They were paying off $25,000, $50,000 and even over $100,000 in consumer debt. Suddenly we didn’t look so good with our money anymore and we – as painful as it was – chose to face the truth about our debt situation.

Since then we’ve learned to focus on, study under, and hang out with people who have made good financial stewardship and debt payoff a priority. And that decision blesses us every day as we now spend money only when we’re certain it is in line with our values and goals.  That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve changed friends or avoid family members who are living a financial mess. Instead, we’ve added to our social circles people who are wise with their money, and we work to emulate them.

So hitch your wagon to a star and watch as financial independence grows closer every day.

Who are your financial mentors/friends? How do they impact the way you manage your money? 

 

*Photo courtesy of duggar11

 

12 comments on “Who Are You Hitching Your Wagon To?

  1. For me, there was so much confusion in even recognizing that there WERE “stars” in the area of personal finance, and in discerning who they were. I always thought people who saved a lot seemed greedy, controlling, and arrogant – and of course, some were. I wanted to emulate people who seemed care-free, generous, and spontaneous. “Seemed” was the operative word though. Dig through the layers a bit, and more often than not, the generous ones are the good savers, and the care-free ones are the planners. This confusion had to be blasted (by a loooong period of financial distress) before I was able to recognize who the stars were and to realize that I could do what they were doing – and hitch my wagon to them : ) Great concept here, Laurie!

    1. Yes!!! Powerful comment, Ruth. Same way for us. We just had always known people who were poor money managers. The rich seemed “lucky” and financial wellness seemed to be a luck of the draw kind of a thing.

  2. We really enjoy the PF sphere for this very reason–it is an informative, motivating, and encouraging community. We have some real-life friends who share similar financial practices and goals but most have some major differences. It definitely helps to have like-minded people around. We also enjoy the opportunity to be worth hitching up to, trying to help others see the possibility of financial progress when they’re ready.

    1. Yes, Kalie!!! Great comment. I think it’s so cool that you guys are working to be stars too. Good job. 🙂

  3. I started out with the Personal Finance blogisphere of influence. Then when I combined it with the Christian one, the combination was extra powerful. I love the way Fruclassity, Prudence Debt Free, and The Frugal Farmer mix both influences in their blogs. That is why you ladies rock.

    1. Thanks, Kay. 🙂 Yes, I know we wouldn’t have made the progress we have made without Christ – that is for sure!

  4. Thankfully, my mom and dad have always been very fiscally responsible and passed much of that on to me. But I still took on a bit too much debt when I went out into the “real” world.

    Though I have a couple of real life friends that are great to talk to because we share the same financial goals and live very “rich”, yet pretty frugal lives, it’s the pf blogging community that continues to inspire me day in and day out. I’m grateful for the connections and wealth of information I’ve gained in the online pf community.

  5. I’ve found the same thing to be true of the PF community, although I’m not a big DR fan. (I find him a little too arrogant and a little too religious for my taste.) J. Money is particularly motivating to me, and as a result of his (too brief!) collaboration with Paula Pant on their podcast, I’ve become a big fan of her style, too. I also find Brian’s (Debt Discipline) story very inspiring. And, of course, Fruclassity is where it’s at! 😉

    1. I think what I love best about DR is the guests that call into his show. It helps me realize we’re not alone in this debt fight, you know? That we’re all kind of working together to become more fiscally responsible.

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