When we work with our clients, one of the first things we try to determine through a serious of questions is the answer to “Where are you stuck?” We try to determine what’s working and what’s not working. Most of the time (99.9% of the time), our clients can come up with a pretty extensive list as to what is not working, but have a really hard time even coming up with one or two things that are working. As in many things in our lives, it’s easy to focus on the bad, not the good. But for us to recognize where the client is and where they want to be (their goals), we need for them to answer both questions.
Bach is suggesting that a similar process be done in regards to your finances. He helps his clients create a “Values Ladder” when he works with them to try and determine what’s important about money to them in order to build their financial foundation. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not used to having to think about my values when I think about my financial matters. I usually don’t think that much about this type of stuff, but when I do, it’s not with that focus. It’s more on the lines of is there enough money for this, or that, not necessarily long-term visioning.
In the book, Bach tells a story about clients that have met with them in his office for financial advice, and have brought their financial documents in plastic grocery bags and dumped them onto his desk. He talks about the fact that many of these people have both spouses working full time and not having any time or energy in their life left to attend to their financial matters. They are fiscally responsible and are putting their money into some sort of savings/investment plans, but are just too darn busy to do the work that they need to do to maintain their investments routinely. They money just goes in, and then they get all of these statements and everything just gets dumped into the plastic grocery bags.
This story reminds me of many of our clients who are so busy with their jobs and life and there are no systems in place to deal with all of their incoming paper or clutter. We often hear “I just don’t have the time to get organized”. Daily planning and prioritizing takes very little time once some changes have been made and systems have been updated. Can you afford to be disorganized when it comes to your finances? Isn’t it time to make some small changes towards becoming more financially educated and responsible? It is for me.