Proverbs 15:31-32 (ESV) – “The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.”

Some people are wise enough to ask for advice but then they don’t listen to it. Sometimes you are given advice when you don’t ask for it. Your doctor gives you advice about exercise and eating nutritious food. Your dental hygienist tells you to brush AND floss your teeth. Your mechanic says, “it is time for an oil change.” Dave Ramsey of Financial Peace University says things like: “don’t spend beyond your means” and “follow the baby steps for financial freedom.”

A good financial advisor tells you things you need to do. The problem is that many do not ask or listen. Oh, they can hear the advice, but they show a lack of wisdom by not following the advice. Be wise. Ask for advice and then carefully follow the advice.

If you are not on course, then you need humility to accept a rebuke to change course. If the financial destination you hope to reach (retirement?) is due north and you are going south, west or east, then you can bank on the fact that you will not reach your destination.

So here is my advice or “instruction”:

Determine where you want to go and what you want to be able to do in your “retirement” years. Then think about what your plan might cost in time and financial resources. This includes eliminating debt before you get to the goal. It means you will be building up resources by rejecting the idea that you need to spend every dollar you make. You need two documents that need to be reviewed by you (and your spouse, if you are married):

  1. A budget. A real working budget. This means it is not a maybe but a must.
  2. An investment plan. A real plan says, “here is my goal” and “here is the path to my goal.” The budget is the fuel for the plan.

If you need help, then find someone who can help you and rebuke you when you start to go in the wrong direction. If you are rebuked, change course. That is wise.