Role models have a very powerful function. They shape values and behaviors in all facets of life, including our relationship with our finances. Knowing the influence they have, it’s obviously important to select the right financial role model. However, many are selected with very little consideration, if any at all. When it comes to something as important as your financial independence, you need to be confident that you’re following the right example to ensure that you and your money work together for your greater good.
There are those who are fortunate to have great people in their lives to provide an example of what to value and how to live. If this good example extends to finances, you are very fortunate indeed. However, good behavior or strong values doesn’t always guarantee a good financial role model. A generous nature doesn’t guarantee a good budgeter. Support in your youth doesn’t mean they planned well for their future. When selecting a financial role model, you need to make sure you’re selecting them based on sound financial behaviors and a relationship to their financial independence that you would like to emulate.
Oftentimes, though, many haven’t realized they have already unconsciously selected a financial role model. They may assume that they are simply reacting to circumstances happening to them. However, their response may be a direct duplication of mom’s ardent saving, dad’s faith in the stock market, or Aunt Flo’s blatant disregard for a budget. When we really stop and study our financial patterns, we realize that we have adopted many financial behaviors that may or may not be aiding us in our path to financial freedom. Without any scrutiny of these behaviors, we may be in for a rude and unfortunate awakening in the future.
Rather than unconsciously mimicking behaviors, we should be consciously selecting a financial role model. As with all decisions, be aware of whose lead you are following and what you want that to mean for your finances. Selecting the right example of financial behavior will pave the way to our goals. Don’t forget that your money and your road to financial freedom is under your control – choose wisely.