Putting the “Personal” in Personal Finance
When it comes to personal finance, is there a right or wrong way? Can solutions to life’s most complicated problems possibly be black and white?
Sure, there are basic financial tenets that Ramsey and Kiyosaki would agree on, like avoiding credit debt balances, getting your money to work for you, protecting against emergencies, etc…
But what about questions that are affected by individual discipline, knowledge, confidence, or risk-tolerance? Is every aspect of personal finance truly “one size fits all?”
- If you are knowledgeable about credit, and have the income to support paying off your credit balance each month to establish or maintain a score, should you still avoid using credit cards altogether because someone else told you so?
- If you have a very low risk-tolerance and experience emotional or physical anxiety about debt, does that mean that you are destined to be “poor” the rest of your life because you are unwilling to leverage yourself to purchase real estate?
The answer in both cases may be no, but ultimately it’s your personal decision to make. That’s why they call it “personal” finance.
The Rich Dad Poor Dad vs Dave Ramsey debate summed up:
- Dave Ramsey’s plan is going to give the “Average Joe” a little more peace of mind.
- Robert Kiyosaki’s plan will make you more wealthy (if you’re able to follow it.)
- Be aggressive in business: do as much as you can to drive the revenue, work with a good CFP™ and a CPA that can help you minimize your taxes because they’re gonna pay more money out taxes than anything else.
- Use debt wisely. Use debt to generate cash flow.
- Create multiple streams of income. To me, it makes sense to build net worth in multiple ways.
Consider the following questions describing financial security from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:
- Am I in control of my day-to-day, month-to-month finances?
- Could I absorb an unexpected financial shock?
- Am I on track to meet my financial goals?
- Do I have the freedom to make choices that allow me to enjoy life?
Now- wouldn’t it be fair to say that one could follow Dave Ramsey or Robert Kiyosaki, or any number of proven financial programs out there and still be able to answer YES to any of these questions if they stick to the plan?
Do your homework, then use a financial program that works for you-give it your all. You can find success in almost any proven methodology. Celebrate with those that are using the same program, and do not judge others that are finding success with a program that’s not for you.
Is one of them right or wrong? Look, choose for yourself. I think most everyone falls between both of them and should not blindly follow one or the other because of buzz on the internet or all their friends/family have certain financial principles/practices. I think there are potential dangers with both extremes. Remember, what’s right for one is not right for all. Still do your own research, be honest with yourself and make a plan to follow through on!