Action Plan

A recent post of mine (Are You Crazy???) was written in frustration. There is a lot of good financial advice out there but it doesn’t seem like anyone is listening. Maybe they are listening but they aren’t taking action, they’re not asking What Next and doing anything to improve their future. So I decided to write this action plan for success. Will you follow it?

The past

The past is over. The best you can do is learn from it because you can’t change it. You’re in debt? Ok, just don’t continue doing the same thing that got you there. You haven’t progressed in your career as quickly as you would have liked? Ok, but change what you’re doing. You haven’t saved enough for retirement? Ok, start now.

The Present

This is your moment. The present is here to bring about the future so get to work.


                If finances are a problem you first have to understand the cause of those problems and that means having a clear idea of where your money is going. This means you have to track every penny you spend. It’s not as hard or time consuming as it sounds. I talked about one way to do that in this post. Another thing you have to do is stop spending, for a short period of time. Change your habits. I wrote about that topic in this post, and encourage you to take the three week challenge. Make the commitment now and stick with it.


                This isn’t a pleasant word but success requires sacrifice. At the very least success requires restraint. My car is nearly ten years old and I would love a new one, a rather expensive Audi R8 to be exact and I could probably figure out a way to afford it but I’d have to sacrifice a lot to do it. I’d rather sacrifice the Audi for a secure future. That’s the kind of sacrifice, restraint, I’m talking about. So if you already have the fancy car with an expensive monthly payment, sacrifice may mean giving it up for a far less expensive car. You’ll be trading status for security. Make this decision now and follow through with it.


                Maybe you feel you deserve a raise, then ask for it. Don’t just ask for it, pitch it, explain exactly why you deserve a raise. If you can’t come up with a strong enough case then make yourself indispensable, become the best employee ever and create the strong case. If that doesn’t work look for another job, if nothing else you will learn that maybe your salary is pretty good after all.

                Even if you are satisfied with your job, you should have a resume ready to go at a moment’s notice, that’s being prepared for the unexpected, or go on interviews just to stay fresh. This is What Next thinking and those who master that will be more flexible, more successful.

                Can’t get the raise? Can’t find a new job at a higher salary? Then sell things on ebay, turn a hobby into extra money, pick up side jobs in something you’re good at. Have a goal you want to reach, like paying off a particular credit card and figure out how to make the extra money to achieve it. Without a goal, a clear objective, you’ll delay taking action.

The Future

On a tv show I watch called Till Debt Do Us Part, the host, Gail Vaz-Oxlade shows the financially struggling couple that if they continue on their current path they will be in serious debt. In one typical episode the couple would have $500,000 of debt in five years if they didn’t change their habits. By the end of the program, if they follow Gail’s new plan, they would have $1,000,000 saved by the time they retire. Gail’s advice emphasizes the word action in “action plan.”

Such a transformation is the power of making the right decisions in the present for a better future. It is the benefit of being proactive.

My angry post borne out of frustration was about the many people who aren’t willing to plan for the future but you’re not one of them, are you?

Posted in General, Success, Taking Action and tagged , , , , by with 2 comments.


  • Never ever gave much thought about retirement, but put money away because you were supposed to do it. It was simply drilled into me again and again. And I am very glad that it was! Now realizing that retirement “age” is getting closer and closer (boy oh boy, did that go by fast)…. am I glad that I put away that money, month after month. It was just set up automatically and I simply got use to it. i didn’t question it….just let it take place. Our “nest egg” is nicely lined now.

    And as a result of that I will make sure that my children will follow our steps too. Since actions do speak louder than words!

    Good post A.J.!

    • AJ says:

      Hello Eileen! Thanks so much for your comment. You really get at the heart of the matter when you say “It was just set up automatically and I simply got used to it.” That’s what a lot of people miss. Once it becomes a habit it takes care of itself. Thanks again for the support and comment. I appreciate it.

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