Financial planning is not difficult.
You: Yes it is.
No, it isn’t.
Seriously. Want proof?
I once scored more points during a high school intramural basketball game than I received on a calculus test later that same week.
You: That only proves you’re a very good basketball player.
Some of my very best friends would be happy to tell you otherwise. I scored a 16 on the calc test.
That’s sort of like what I said at the time. But I’ve lived long enough to understand that my poor showing in calculus is now an advantage.
You: That’s some good spin.
Glad you noticed. I can assure everyone that you don’t need to know calculus, advanced math, or even like math at all to successfully manage your personal finances.
You: I guess that does make sense given your calculus experience.
Exactly. Now let’s talk about you. I know you can make it through Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck. Perhaps you already have. Was there anything in there you couldn’t learn?
You: No, not really. But there were certain parts that were more complicated.
Fair enough. Maybe you did need to read some sections more than once. Perhaps I didn’t explain those parts well enough, or maybe you were tired from a long day of work. But I’m not talking about the kind of confusion easily fixed with a re-read. Rather, where are the complicated formulas?
You: Subtraction was about as hard as it got.
The challenging graphs?
You: None, thank goodness.
There aren’t any, because financial planning isn’t difficult. It is not calculus.
You: It is not organic chemistry either.
Nope. Now admittedly there is plenty to understand, but use this blog and your copy of Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck as your ongoing reference guide. Also, use tools widely available on the Internet–at the web site of your 401(k) plan custodian, for example. Periodically visit totalcandor.com. Stay confident. You can do this.