A story of two friends

By glblguy


Adam and Dave were the best of friends. They met sometime during middle school. They lived in the same neighborhood, road the same bus, and had the same interests. Both came from well off middle class families.   Their fathers even worked for the same company.

When they became of working age, they both obtained jobs and that is where one key difference emerged between the two of them. See, Adam was a spender and Dave was a saver. Turns out this small difference became a huge difference as they grew older.

Adam and Dave both worked hard, but Adam’s philosophy was: “I work hard for my money and I’m not going to watch it sit in some bank account. I’m going to spend it and enjoy it.”  Adam measured his success by the items he owned. Adam also enjoyed purchasing the very best. A few years later Adam discovered credit cards, then he began purchasing more than he could afford and more than he had. Adam had three different cars by the time he was 20, and purchased his first new car at the same age, a stripped Ford Escort. A frugal purchase one might say, but not really. See, by this time Adam was accumulating a large amount of debt, spending money on eating out, and on lots of things he really didn’t need. Even the car payment on a Ford Escort was more than he could afford.

Dave on the other hand seldom ever spent money, and measured his success by the balance in his bank account. Dave drove the same car all the way through to college until his senior year when he finally bought a new Honda Accord. Dave paid cash. Dave bought a really nice car, but one that would last and one that held its value. Not so much a frugal purchase, but a smart one. Dave drove that car for years.

Different Financial Blueprints

The Millionaire Mind discusses the concept of a financial blueprint. A financial blueprint is what defines a persons financial pattern such as spending, saving, investing, and level of frugality. This blueprint is often developed for you as a child through the influence of your parents, grandparents, and other adults. Later in life, it’s influenced by your friends, classmates and co-workers.

As you can clearly see, Adam and Dave had very different financial blueprints and Dave’s obviously far better than Adam’s.

Many financial experts, web sites, and personal finance blogs focus on strategies for saving money through financial tips, budgeting, software packages, and many other strategies for improving your financial situation. The fact is though, unless your financial blueprint is drafted well, you’re doomed for financial failure.

Think about it this way, if you were going to build a home and the blueprint for the home was incorrectly drafted or flawed in some major way, how would the house turn out? Most likely, not well. Your financial life is no different.

What is your financial blueprint?

While saving money, reducing debt, budgeting, being frugal, and increasing your income are all wonderful strategies for directing yourself towards financial prosperity, the fact remains that if you don’t change your blueprint you will never be fully financial successful.

A key step is to recognize your current financial blueprint:

  • Analyze your spending patterns – Look back over the past few months or years and look at purchases you’ve made and items you’ve bought. If you can, place dollar amount next to them and add them up. I think you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve spent.
  • Look at your role models – Think about the role models you had as a child and your current role models. What were their spending and financial habits like? How did their habits influence your current blueprint? How is their financial situation now?

Recognition of your current blueprint is a key step to changing your blueprint going forward. I might even suggest writing down what you want your financial blueprint to look like. Place it somewhere where you can review it often and remind yourself of how you want to be. Doing so will help keep you on course.

Back to Adam and Dave’s

As a result of their different financial blueprints, Adam and Dave’s financial situations turned out very differently as they became older, got married and had children. Adam was constantly getting in more and more debt. Dave continued to save money, live a frugal life, and pay cash for things. Adam seldom paid cash for anything and used debt like it was going out of style.

Dave’s financial life, and as a result personal life turned out well. Adam on the other hand was forced into have a major financial epiphany in his 30’s and is still digging himself out of his dumb financial situations and most likely will be for some time.

Who are you?

Are you Adam or Dave? If you’re Adam, have you had your financial epiphany yet? If not, now is the time. If you’re Dave, good for you. In either case, do you know what your financial blueprint is? Is your blueprint building a strong financial situation, or one that will blow over with the smallest storm?

Luke 6: 47-49Therefore, everyone who listens to these messages of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, but it did not collapse because its foundation was on the rock. Everyone who keeps on hearing these messages f mine and never puts them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and battered that house, and it collapsed, and its collapse was total.

What is your financial blueprint? How is your financial house built and on what foundation? Don’t let the “rain, floods, and wind” blow and matter your financial house. What are your thoughts? Add a comment!

Photo by: hermzz

8 Responses (including trackbacks) to “A story of two friends”

  1. DDFD at DivorcedDadFrugalDad.com Says:

    Great post! I am certain anyone reading this post has to see some of themselves in both Adam and Dave . . .

    Free will and the choices we make have a very big impact on our lives . . .

  2. The Hoss Says:

    You have hit the nail on the head. Many people wonder how I was able to retire at age 49. It was because of my financial blueprint or some may say life style.

  3. rocketc Says:

    Except, when Adam went bankrupt, the government taxed Dave at a higher rate and gave it to Adam.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. ;)

    Good lesson. I wish I had read this post when I was 23.

  4. Jesse @ PFFirewall.com Says:

    Excellent post! I have had friends and have been myself like both of the friends in some point of my life. I like to think I am a saver now, or at least I am setting my financial blueprint now.

  5. Ken Says:

    I have behaved like Adam too much for sure. I’m currently acting like David and I hope to keep it that way. Good post!

  6. Kim Says:

    Good post. Though the role model bit doesn’t ring true for me. I grew up around Dave’s but through my own desire to learn good saving habits I’m an Adam. Thank goodness for the internet and blogs such as this one, or I would have had a harder time learning how to get where I am. I guess you could say I went out and found my own role models once I became an adult and I suggest everyone looks for great ones too.

  7. Jonathan@Friends and Money Says:

    Love the story! I think one of the most striking aspects of your article and there were many excellent points) was about role models. I’ve never really thought about financial role models before, but it’s a very very good point. I think my financial role model is my dad who has to manage on a limited income but he is amazing at spoting bargains and saving money!