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Financial Planning Lessons from “A Christmas Carol”

19 Jan 2005 --- Row of Old Books --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisThere is only a week between Christmas and New Years and during that time many people consider financial missteps and resolve to do better in the following year.

If you are familiar with the classic story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, then you know that in this tale a wealthy, but not at all generous, man named Ebenezer Scrooge has a change of heart after he is visited by three spirits the night before Christmas. Even though Scrooge changes by the end of the story, he is still considered a miser and his name is associated with being cheap—instead of being associated with his transformation from tightwad to benefactor.

It is not easy to see things in a new light. As the New Year approaches, do you find that are you still stuck in old modes of financial mismanagement?

Consider these financial lessons from A Christmas Carol in light of the visitors that Scrooge entertained:

Christmas Past: Perhaps you are stuck in how things used to be—whether you had a lot, a little, or just enough, you are not facing the realities of your current financial situation. Or maybe you have completely blocked out the past, which means you can’t apply any lessons learned.

Christmas Present: Scrooge is completely unaware of how his tightfisted ways contribute to the dire poverty experienced his only employee, Bob Cratchit, and his family. Are you paying attention to what is happening around you or how your financial planning (or lack of it) affects your life?

Christmas Future: The most fearsome spirit that visits Scrooge shows him possible visions of an unhappy future. Scrooge’s lack of social graces and neglect of estate planning result in his resources being plundered after his death.

A Fee-Only financial planner can help you reconcile your financial past and present to guide you towards the future you deserve.