Your Cinderella Finance Story

by Kevin on March 28, 2014

The Dayton Flyers have pulled it off. They entered the NCAA tournament as an 11 seed and facing large statistical odds to advance.

They beat the team that refuses to play them — #6 Ohio State. For that win they were given the privilege of playing  #3 seed Syracuse. The same team that earlier in the year were 25 and 0, not having lost a single game. But Dayton beat them, too.

The Cinderella title was firmly in place. They were overcoming odds, continuing down the tournament, and now faced #10 seed Stanford. From a pure seeding perspective it wasn’t so much an upset as just a quality game.

Dayton is now in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1984. Thirty years have gone by.

Are You Cinderella?

What’s your financial story?

Are you the top seed coming into the tournament? Doing everything right, saving for retirement, and sitting on a massive emergency fund?

Or are you struggling to get by, making mistakes, and looking to turn things around?

Here’s the good news: you can choose to be the Cinderella finance story. Today. Now. 

You don’t need to wait for a tournament to come out. There’s no bracket, no seeding required.

You have the capability to say enough is enough, I’m ready to defy the odds and turn this “team” around.

How to Become a Financial Cinderella

Alright coach, how do we defy the odds like Dayton? Start here:

Realize Your Situation

Being aware of your financial situation is the first step in making changes. If you are driving blind you won’t have much success. 

Basketball teams track stats and work to improve them. But they can’t improve what isn’t tracked, so your starting point is gathering all of your financial information to figure out what is going on first.

Grab the Coach’s Whiteboard

Then you grab the coach’s whiteboard and sketch out a plan. 

Cut spending here. Work a little more over there. Get creative with meals here.

Whatever it takes, whatever play we need to come up with in order to win the game.

Successful planning in this stage is based on the data we have. You know your opponent likes to drive to the left to the basket so you set your defender up to block his path and force him to go right. 

You know what your gaps are and you plan to close those gaps.

Execute on the Play

The play is drawn up. The referee signals it is time to break the huddle.

It’s time to execute on the play.

The thing is… not every play works. Turnovers happen. Shots go up and badly miss. 

That doesn’t stop the players from coming back down the court to execute on the next possession. It doesn’t stop them from playing tough defense when the opponent has the ball.

It shouldn’t stop you either.

You’re going to make mistakes along the way with your finances. Get back up, dust yourself off, and execute on the play you have drawn up. Continually call timeout to assess the situation, grab the whiteboard again, and draw up a new play if needed.

This is the path to financial success. You could be Cinderella this year. Don’t wait, the big dance is waiting for you.

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