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October 20, 2009


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There is a saying that goes something like "Never let perfect be the enemy of good". You see people do this all the time however whether it is in personal finance, or dieting, or at the work place.

For example someone who is trying to save money may have a goal of saving 10% of their paycheck but an unexpected expense comes up. Since they can no longer save that 10% they blow through the rest of their paycheck instead of saving 5% or whatever they could that month. They do this because since they couldn't be perfect and reach their goal, they might as well scrap this month and start over again next month. Something seems to come up every month though and the person ends up never saving any money. Being good 5%, although not perfect 10%, is way better than 0%. Especially when you take into consideration compounded interest and time value of money, etc.

it seems to be a good book but the thing is that i have to be all the things that have been said one doesn't have to be. its different with me because this is what drives me to succeed

I do not seem to have a problem with this concept financially, but it is exactly what happens to me when I decide to lose weight.

First I'll count calories (like a budget). I'll do really well for a week or two, then I may go over my calories for a day. That's all the excuse I need to stop. Then I'll try a weekly exercise schedule. I'll keep to it great for a week or two, then I'll have to miss a day. Then I never seem to get out again until I decide to try this all over.

Even though I know why this happens, it still does every single time.

Great example. Thats what I was trying to convey but you worded it much better.

No doubt!in this world no one is hundred if any body thinks that he/she start work when he/she is hundred percent in that work. that's not good because practice makes man perfect and if he he/she started any work according to their abilities possibility he/she become a very well in that work and so close to hundred percent

Now this right here is precisely the sort of thing with which I disagree, and if I were feeling peculiarly Churchillian, up with which I shall not put:

"if you simply do the basics of personal finances and you do them "good enough" (you don't have to have an MBA to understand or implement the basics), you will not only be wealthier than what you would have been otherwise, but you'll be far wealthier than most people."

I don't think doing the basics of personal finance is good enough for a burger flipper to be far wealthier than most people.

Terry said:
"I don't think doing the basics of personal finance is good enough for a burger flipper to be far wealthier than most people."

but the post mentioned "maximizing your career" so I guess he had that covered. :)

I like this advice. My problem is really with my career. I find myself not putting myself forward for things because I know I'm not the best person for the job. But then really, I'm not the best person for any job so it leaves me a little bit dejected.

@Lucy, how do you "know" you're not the best person for any job?! My goodness, everyone has some kind of talent. Flip on over to Simple Dollar, Trent's roundup there included a link to a post about overcoming damaging beliefs. You CAN manage your life successfully and feel a sense of achievement ... I have faith.

"Good enough" is all most employers ask for, and many are grateful to get that much given that so many employees are doing the bare minimum (even now). Doing just as much as you set out to do, or are asked to do, will usually satisfy. Then if you CAN do more, that adds value.

Lucy -

Okay, I'm over the heck do I maximize my career NOW? (going back to school is financially not an option)

p.s. this post doesn 't indicate whether the book author writes of maximizing your career, only that FMF has written of it.

And for some people, flipping burgers IS maximizing their career, in which case simply applying the basics of personal finance won't create financial freedom.

Thanks, but I know people who are a lot smarter, energetic and everything good than me. Feeling that I need to be as good as them is the limiting belief that I can plausibly discard. I'm never going to be the best. I think that's okay. I can try to be my best, I suppose.

I don't really know you, so I can't really give you career advice. I don't know anything about your talents.

Personally I have no expectation of financial freedom either, but applying the basics of personal finance has helped me get enough savings that I can sleep well at night, without worrying about a surprise bill or a late paycheck completely derailing my finances.

This year for the first time, I saved when I was actually having trouble getting by - or at least felt like it. Usually I just do it when I feel like I have a bit extra. I gave up all the little things like chocolate and shopped around for the cheapest shampoos and it paid off (slowly).

Maybe that's the kind of "good enough" we can aim for? Also, have you ever thought of writing a novel? You can do that when you're over 50 - NaNoWriMo starts next week!

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