YNAB BLOG

Money Management: an Event vs. a Process

I attended a business seminar on Friday, put on by Dave Ramsey (it was called Business Coach Live; I think it will be named EntreLeadership One Day in the future). His point was that leadership is a process — not an event.

This morning, I was reading the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (a book recommended by Ramsey) and noticed that the Third Law of leadership is the Law of Process. In a few words: this whole leadership thing doesn’t happen overnight.

According to the author, John Maxwell, the difference between an event and a process can be outlined as follows:

    An Event:

  • Encourages decisions
  • Motivates people
  • Is a calendar issue
  • Challenges people
  • Is easy
    A Process:

  • Encourages development
  • Matures people
  • Is a culture issue
  • Changes people
  • Is difficult

So what about this whole money management thing? Is this an event, or a process?

Money Management as an Event

There may have been a few events that happened to encourage your examination of your own money management process. For some, it’s the realization that debt has become an ever-larger part of your (non-existent?) budget. For others, it’s the loss of a job, or perhaps . Whatever the case may be, you (hopefully) ended up somewhere on YouNeedABudget.com. And hopefully I was successful in motivating and encouraging you to change.

The point is to challenge you to change the way things have been–the status quo. Landing on this site, perusing the pages, pondering the possibilities…that’s all very easy. But once you take the plunge and actually begin? Well, it gets a bit tougher.

True Money Management is a Process

As you begin to look at what you’re trying to accomplish with your money, you quickly realize that if you’re going to win, you’ll have to be in it for the long haul. Yes, you’ll get some quick wins that will continually motivate you, but the nitty-gritty, down-in-the-trenches work is–well–work. There are no free lunches!

You’ll find that the process does mature you. What is maturity if not the ability to put off the child inside each of us that wants instant gratification and wants it now? A mature person recognizes what they truly value and can work toward that–even if gratification is still months, or even years, away.

When you begin breaking away from the packs of people spending aimlessly, gaining no traction, and wondering where all their money is going, you’ll see our current culture in a different light. You’ll see people continually doing things the wrong way and then complaining why everything’s not all right. 2+2=4. Every time.

Yes. As you begin this money management process, it will change you. You will recognize the value of your work much more because you’ll appreciate the value of the money it brings. Your money will begin doing what you want it to do and you’ll find that your contentment is a result of what your money is doing, not the amount of money you have.

Money management is a process and, according to Maxwell, that means it will be difficult. Perhaps you’ve already seen that!

My hope is for you to recognize that the path, although difficult, will be well-worth the trip.

3 Responses to “Money Management: an Event vs. a Process”

  1. Brenda Shaffer

    This is an excellent lesson. I have been living by YNAB since January 2008 and I didn’t realize how much money we wasted every month. We have been able to handle some unexpected expenses, pay off 1 credit card and will have another paid off next month. It seems like the rewards are slow in coming but having been able to pay for the unexpected expenses and pay for all our budgeted expenses has been gratifying. It wasn’t instant but it didn’t make us have to suffer for several months while we caught up. I needed to hear this today. Thank you.

  2. Delwyn King

    I agree, when starting out there seemed some impossible tasks ahead: Having money aside for the unexpected! What – are you crazy?! At first money management meant having the confidence that we had enough money in the account to pay for the groceries at the checkout (“Please go through, Please go through” ever had that panic, the horrible sick feeling? Working with YNAB will get rid of that FOREVER and that alone makes it worthwhile). As time has gone on household money management has evolved, matured. Now, money management has a much longer time horizon – our whole life. Now some of those seemingly impossible tasks are getting a look-in (debt snowballing, savings – yippee). The critic who said it could never be done (darling husband)is now quietly saying “yeah, that’ll work”. Gradually more ideas are taken up. Have we matured? I hope so! Thanks for the education :-)

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