Benchmarking Successful Money Management

Benchmark (verb)
To measure something against a standard. (

In the course of owning a financial services business for 32 years, I learned a lot from my clients about managing money. I was most influenced by those who attained financial success though they only earned a middle-class income.

As long as a person or family earns enough to afford the basic necessities in life, the way every dollar over that is spent and managed determines financial success or failure.

I had high-income clients who lived paycheck to paycheck and buried in debt. Conversely, I had middle-class clients who had accumulated substantial sums of money in savings and investments. Some of the money management practices I learned from these middle-class clients follow:

  • These people realized that to become become financially secure they needed to spend less than they earned.
  • There are no shortcuts to financial success. It’s hard work and it takes time. These middle-class people faithfully and frequently saved and invested for their future needs.
  • Debt is a mortal enemy to financial success. These folks hated to borrow money. To most of them, a mortgage was the only acceptable debt.
  • These people did not buy toys like boats, ATVs, motorcycles or motor homes.
  • A Chevrolet met the transportation needs of these people. They didn’t believe in spending money on a depreciating asset beyond what was necessary.
  • These people took care of everything they owned. They maintained their homes, cars, clothes and everything else.
  • Many of these people clipped coupons and only bought big ticket items when they were on sale.
  • These people paid cash for what they purchased. They only used a credit card when it was necessary.
  • These folks were loyal to the businesses and service professionals they did business with.

I was fortunate that I had access to a group of people that actually lived money-smart lives. I was blessed.

Published by W. M. Brown

I am a retired U.S. expat living in Ecuador. I was a business owner for 32 years before retiring in 2012.

3 thoughts on “Benchmarking Successful Money Management

  1. I think debt is a real curse. I agree with all you say, though it does take a certain level of income to be able to save anything and if you can’t or don’t achieve that then saving is impossible


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