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.

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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


    1. Absolutely! The problem is that too many people who have adequate income never develop the habit of saving… even if it is just a couple dollars. Developing the habit is so important. Thank you for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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