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?
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”
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All posts by Ben Edwards