Don’t Die Rich & Lonely. Learn from Ebenezer Scrooge.

February 23, 2007

Ebenezer Scrooge was rich and lonely. He needed ghosts to help him realize his sorry plight. You don’t need a supernatural encounter to change your life. You can do it yourself in three easy steps.

Money & Time
Time and money have an intimate bond. You participate in this relationship as three different people, your past, present, and future self. If you enable these three “people” to communicate about money, across time, you can change your personal finance future.

Step 1. Personal Finance Past
What did you do with money in your past that got you where you are today? Write a letter from your present self to your past self, praising or cursing the decisions you made years ago. Hindsight is 20/20 so this should be the easiest letter to write.

Step 2. Personal Finance Present
You think you know what the future holds for you? Well, you’re probably wrong but at least put it on paper. Write a letter from your present self to your future self. You may have to explain to your older, wiser self why you’re not contributing to your 401k or why you’re running up credit card debt. Or you may brag about how you’re setting future self up for a plush retirement. Whichever it is, don’t hold back. Let future self know what to expect.

Step 3. Personal Finance Future
Pretend you’re Marty McFly, coming back in your Delorean to give your present self an earful. Write a letter from your future self to your present self. Where did you go wrong? What did you do right? Are you scrubbing floors in McDonald’s or resting in the penthouse suite, and why? What does present self need to know to make future self a happier, healthier person?

Christmas Morning
When Scrooge awoke from his close encounter on Christmas morning he was a changed man. Now that you’ve had a 360 degree view of personal finance across the years of your life what will do? Will you change assumptions and make adjustments or will you continue down the path you’re on? It’s your life, it’s up to you. Just never say Ebenezer Scrooge didn’t give you the chance to change your life.

This article is an entry in the “Win $100 from Dumb Little Man: Personal Finance Tip Contest


Will this article help you save or earn more money? Get others like it simply by entering your email address below. Your email is used only for delivering daily money tips and you can opt out of delivery at any time. Click here to see all your free subscription options.


Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

All posts by


2 Responses to Don’t Die Rich & Lonely. Learn from Ebenezer Scrooge.

  • Dr. Brad Klontz

    Ebenezer Scrooge IS the ultimate model of financial health transformation. In our book, “The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge: 5 Principles to Transform Your Relationship with Money”, we use his story and the story of his poor clerk Bob Cratchit to illustrate modern day methods people can use to transform their own relationships with money.


  • Carnival Of Personal Finance Number 89: The Celebrity Edition