The 2012 Major League Baseball season has almost concluded. Several teams are still battling it out to see who will be crowned World Series Champion. Most of the MLB fan base has moved on to be entertained by the NFL or college football or whatever as their team has officially been eliminated. The two teams I follow both exited the playoffs early, one to a blown infield fly rule call and the other to a blown 2-0 playoff series lead. (Seriously Cincy…how can you lose three in a row at home!?)
Each season ends in disappointment for 97% of all the teams and their fan bases. And in locker rooms, office buildings, bars, message boards and anywhere else across America people discuss what went wrong with this season, one phrase will be heard that gives hope to all who utter it — “Wait until next year.”
Sports fans like to think things will get better – that the front office management will build a better team. They will get that one power hitter the team needs. Or move the young stud pitcher into the rotation. Or the speed guy to play center field, hit .300 from the leadoff spot and run the bases. Or get rid of the middle reliever who couldn’t hold the lead to save his life. That somehow, the manager will learn from this year’s mistakes and not make the same decisions when those situations occur again next year. (Are you listening to any of this Reds front office?)
Unfortunately, most of the time – for most of the teams – things don’t get better. The moves to improve the team don’t pan out. There are injuries. Players under-perform. High-priced free agent signings get put off. Rebuilding efforts fail. Managers get fired. Enthusiasm and effort dwindle. The next thing you know, teams are repeating 162-game season after 162-game season with the same poor results. And, yet they still say at the end of each season, “Wait until next year.”
Do you have the “wait until next year” approach when it comes to your personal finances? People with the “wait until next year” approach to personal finance:
1. Do not have a sense of urgency (“It will get better tomorrow”).
2. Turn a blind eye to the obvious holes in their financial lineup (overspending, going into debt, no savings).
3. Look for get-rich-quick schemes (the lottery, day-trading, risky business deals).
4. Refuse to seek advice from someone with experience in this area.
5. Let discouragement about their situation squelch their desire and enthusiasm to move forward.
6. Repeat the same mistakes over and over (and get the same results over and over).
All great dreams start with a vision and it’s no different for your finances. After you envision your goals, you have to understand what the problems are and how to fix them. Once you have this knowledge, developing a championship winning financial picture becomes a matter of discipline – consistently applied over time – making only slight adjustments along the way as life throws you a few curve balls. When you apply this formula, I believe you will reap the outcome that is described in Proverbs 24:3-4,
“Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
How devastating can it be for you to “wait until next year” to start improving your finances? I’ll cover that in Part II of this post.
Prior Post: God Is Not a Cosmic Killjoy