In Gary Keller’s best-selling book, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, financial posture talks about how small decisions mold our habits — and our unconscious habits shape who we are. That’s a compelling argument to mind seemingly inconsequential everyday decisions.
The best fitness trainers emphasize body posture first before anything. Good body posture means standing straight and tall, shoulders back, and stomach in. Do you slouch or sit up straight? (Did you change your posture after reading this part?)
The point is our body posture influences health as much as, or even more than, any specific exercise. Body posture is our 24/7 disposition and has long-term effects. Exercises like bench presses, crunches, or squats are important — as are major buying decisions such as a house — but body posture is essentially a predictor of how you’ll be years from now — as are our daily financial decisions at the grocery or mall.
Financial posture is minding your daily financial decisions. Every spending is scrutinized — is it the best use of your money?
Do you upsize your side dishes and drinks at the local drive-thru because you truly need them, or is it because the add-on price is enticing? How about justifying things as “needs” because they’re sold at a discount?
Everyone has finite resources that are allocated between capital purchases and consumerism. Capital brings money in, while consumption brings money out. Capital includes buying land, stocks, and other assets.
But not all assets are created equal either. A car is technically an asset in the accounting sense, though it is a depreciable asset that may or may not be justified, depending on your circumstances.
And although there is a spectrum of assets, consumption’s one and done. You spend it and it’s gone.
Now, I’m certainly not implying we should never consume. It is, after all, a driver of growth. The more we consume, the more businesses boom. More booming businesses mean more jobs, and more jobs mean more income for a vast majority. The idea is to strike the best balance for you between capital and consumption. You do this by minding your financial posture and being disciplined with money.
All financial decisions should be for good reasons, big or small. Because small decisions mold our habits, and our unconscious habits shape who we are. Small financial decisions are predictors of how you’ll be years from now. So stand tall, put your shoulders back, keep that stomach in, and save the credit card for the true necessities.
Bio: Dan Dima-ala is a 2-time real estate board exam top-notcher, real estate investor, entrepreneur, and former corporate finance professional. He has a degree in economics & finance and is a certified Accounting & Finance Mentor for GoNegosyo. As a financial freedom advocate, Dan shares his unique insights at freedom locker PH.