Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
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Posts Tagged ‘changing habits’

Aircraft carriers and personal finance management

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

What does an aircraft carrier got to do with personal finance?

For me, everything. Hear me out, please.

Habits are built up by repeatedly doing something over a period of time. The more often we do something, the stronger the habit becomes. Until it become second nature.

Same with personal finance.

The more often we are careful, the more often we are careless, the more often we spend wisely, the more often we spend unwisely, thus shall our habits be. We become a creature of habit of good personal finance or a creature of habit of bad personal finance.

The good thing is that habits, since they are made, can be unmade.  Subject to the general rule that stronger the habit the more difficult it would be for it to be broken and new habits formed in its place. (The exception is the switch.)

Some people, (like me, for instance) have operated for years without budgets and without clear and SMART goals for savings / investments etc. Somehow we have survived. Once it dawns upon us that this is not the right thing to do, we then work on correcting and changing our behaviour and habits. Try to put a stop to current practices and change direction.

And this can be compared with an aircraft carrier traveling at full speed and the captain then deciding to make a “U” turn or a left or right turn.

Well, the aircraft carrier does not stop on a dime. I have no idea how long it would continue traveling before the instructions to change direction actually start showing results. I would suspect that the lumbering giant would go on chugging away for quite a distance, though the slowing effect would be felt not too long after.

(If you want some laughs, you can read how Yahoo answers this tricky question.)

My family and I have only recently started to instill better personal financial management practices. Like most current day people, I have been expecting immediate results  and have not found any that I can trumpet about today. 

Then I remembered the story of the aircraft carrier and its turning circle.

Now I feel better.

Our family’s financial aircraft carrier which has been moving happily into the wrong direction for years and years is now beginning to make its “U” turn. This turning circle may take a while.

I am now happy that the right instructions have been given to our family’s aircraft carrier of personal finance and am confident that, God Willing, it is now moving along the right course. 

Now I hope you see the connection between aircraft carriers and personal finance.

To those of us who have made consious efforts to change and have not felt the results yet, take heed of this parable.

Stay stout in your resolve and by God, the ship will turn!

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