The Rules of Improvisation That Will Change Your Financial Life


Part of my 2012 goals is to read more. I started the year off with Bossypants written by Tina Fey. Oh, how I love Tina Fey. I'm pretty sure she's my separated-at-birth, decade older twin sister. I don't have any of the evidence to back that up,  except for the fact that I feel like she can read my mind.

Besides our long shot of a familial connection, Ms. Fey has a solid head on her shoulders and is a wonderful voice of reason.

With that said, the rules of improvisation can change your life, especially if you put a financial spin on them.
"The first rule of improvisation is to AGREE. Always agree and SAY YES. Start with a YES and see where that takes you." 
A lot of getting out of debt is about saying no. No, to impulse buying. No, to buying a brand new car. I even wrote a letter to No, thanking him, it? But what if we started saying yes to finance instead of just saying no to spending.

Frugality might be right up my alley, but I need to push myself to say yes to savings, investing and earning more. There is a whole other side of the coin in wealth building I am ignoring if I focus solely on frugality. It's not just about spending less than you make. It's about making more than you spend too.
"The second rule of improvisation is SAY YES, AND. You are suppose to agree and then add something of your own."
While it is important to say yes to saving or investing, you have to do it your own way. Or at least I do. When I was getting myself out of debt I didn't follow any one plan. I personalized my plan for what worked for me. I couldn't even tell someone to do what I did, because that is not how it works. It's a process that can only be learned not told.

It's more likely that I will have better luck customizing my own way to earn and save more rather than listen to any one else's plan. I suppose I am stubborn that way, but I think most people are, or else everyone would be out of debt and investing all the same way and we'd all be millionaires.
"The next rule is to MAKE STATEMENTS. In other words: whatever the problem is, be part of the solution."
Take responsibility. Be part of your own financial solution. No one else is going to do it for you. What you spend money on is one of the few things you can actually control in life. Yes, emergencies can pop up, but there is always an emergency bound to happen, so do the next best thing and prepare. You are not at the mercy of the financial gods. You make your own statement about what happens in your financial life.
"That leads us to the best rule: THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, only opportunities." 
Okay, there are mistakes in finance, but while there are mistakes to be made, there are also opportunities to learn from them. I've made plenty of mistakes opportunities to become more educated.

Some of us were born with an uncanny, Buffet-like ability to manage our finances. When I say us, I specifically mean not me. The only way I have come so far, and by far I only mean by getting out of debt, is that I took a long hard look at what I wasn't doing right. It was only when I was completely honest about my mistakes that I could learn from it.

So not only is Tina Fey a comedic genius she's also a financial one too. Who knew.