It’s true, maybe even obvious. It’s too easy to assume that doing the bare minimum when it comes to planning, budgeting, and saving is not only enough, but it is all we can do. We don’t know what we don’t know; we don’t know the little things that can make a big difference; we don’t know our areas of waste and superfluous spending. Hopefully this approach hasn’t presented any danger to your financial future, but I’m almost positive that it’s costing you.

Consider the story of “Fred” I related in my book, The Financial Briefing. A man of substantial resources who we’ll call Fred found himself at such a place several years back. He was forty-two and realized that while he’d been doing what he felt was enough, he wasn’t on track to reach his personal short-term or long-term goals. He tried mining his friends for advice, but eventually, he decided to call a financial advisor.

Not too long after, Fred and his wife, with the help of their advisor had developed and—most importantly—implemented a financial plan that put them on track to achieve their short and long term goals.

Fred was very successful in his business life. He was an executive in charge of overseeing several companies and he knew every minute financial and operational detail of each one. Where Fred hadn’t committed enough of his attention was to his own finances. With a shift of focus and applying some of those business skills to his personal life, he and his wife turned things around.

What is it that you don’t know about budgeting and saving? Well, for most, such information can fill a book… But, there are some benefits that can come with a sound budget plan that we can take for granted.

You could live longer and happier

Having a well-implemented plan that is yielding positive results helps you develop a feeling of financial peace of mind. That means decreased stress. It’s mostly medical consensus by now that stress can be harmful to our health, and financial stress can be among the most burdensome for us to carry. The more completely you can get rid of financial stress, the healthier and happier you can feel.

You could know exactly what’s important and what’s not

When you think deeply about your life, your future, your spending and how you want and need to allocate your money, it can be an assurance that you will have funds available for the things that really matter to you in the short- and long-term.

You could be a better human being

I’m sure you’re already a spectacular person. But, we shouldn’t ever give up on improving. When you don’t have to worry about money, when your saving becomes habit, your budget has created financial security, there’s so much less weighing you down and consuming your energy and attention. You can dedicate yourself more completely to the people in your life that you truly care about and the things you really enjoy doing.

Back to Fred…

Years later, he lamented that if he had this knowledge a decade sooner, he could have already achieved many of his dreams and goals. He said it was “bad enough not to know, but to not know what you don’t know is downright dangerous.”

We don’t know the time and energy we’re sacrificing by not developing and implementing a sound budget and saving plan. That’s the real cost, and if you ask me, the danger of not knowing what we don’t know. Life is too short to spend it spinning our financial wheels, to let stress consume our thoughts and actions, and to spend any more of our precious time without financial peace of mind.

If you want to get started learning what you don’t know and get on the road to financial peace of mind, my Retirement Quiz can help point you in the right direction. Don’t spend another moment unsure of your financial future.

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