The Importance of Financial Mentoring

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Recently, while reading and commenting on an EarlyRetirementExtreme post entitled Which blogs do you read? I strongly realized that the more I focus on securing my personal finances, the more I understand that I cannot, should not, and will not go it alone!

“Give a Man a Fish, Feed Him For a Day. Teach a Man to Fish, Feed Him For a Lifetime”

- Lao Tzu

To get to where I want to be I need to surround myself with the experience and tutaledge of others, but also need to be ready and willing to reciprocate the favor when & where the need arises.  Though I mainly submit myself to the financial principles & wisdom of the bible, today I would like to specifically address the important role others play in my journey to become financially free.

My role as both mentee and mentor

While charting my course of financial responsibility toward freedom from debt, two specific things have become crystal clear:

  1. I will seek the counsel of men & women who reside where I desire to be. Not residing in a physical sense, but a financial one.  I need to find these like minded people, cultivate a relationship with them, study their experience, and apply it to the benefit of my own situation.  These people are my financial mentors.
  2. This Debt Free Adventure is as much yours as it is mine. While I have caught some flak for being too transparent with my identity and my finances, both in the real world and in the virtual realm, I stand firm in my resolve to compile this information for both my benefit and for yours.  I faithfully believe these pages exist for the greater good of serving God and my fellow man.  Helping me to become a better steward of the money God has trusted me with, and providing guidance for others who find themselves with a similar desire to live the debt free life.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give”

- Winston Churchill

As a mentee we need to:

  • Define our goals
  • Find others who have succeeded in reaching those goals
  • Work to secure those individuals as our mentors

As a mentor we need to:

  • Be faithful to guide others according to the wisdom and principles of scripture
  • Be willing to help others when they are in need
  • Be patient with others as they are coming along

yoda

My Financial Mentors…

Though they may not officially know it – yet – I have inadvertently adopted several personal finance gurus as my “financial mentors”; so far they include:

  • FMF at FreeMoneyFinance – FMF has put together such a well-rounded site that has a ton of information on every portion of personal finance and is written from a strong Christian perspective.  FMF has been very helpful and patient in answering all the ignorant questions I throw at him.  He also lives only an hour away and has offered to buy me lunch if I ever get off my duff and schedule it with him!
  • Nickel at FiveCentNickel – I read Nickel’s blog and take his advice because he has such a vast amount of experience. As I mentioned before, I am a strong believer in establishing mentors who have already achieved what I am setting out to accomplish, and Nickel has been at the personal finance game for longer than most, so make sure you check out his material.  He has also personally answered every email I have ever sent him.  Did I mention the fact that he publishes an article by *yours truly* every Thursday morning on his website??!!
  • Matt Pryor at SoundMindInvesting – Matt has always made himself very available, and has been utterly generous in answering any financial question I may pose.  I, in turn have been able to help Matt with technical questions he may have about anything ranging from blogging to Tip’d to Twitter.  We seem to have a very useful and symbiotic relationship that is a help to both of us.
  • Pete at BibleMoneyMatters – Pete was probably the first PF blogger to present  himself as a ready source of help to me.  Though Pete is married, works full-time, runs a number of other blogs, has a successful side business, and has a hefty Twitter following and RSS subscriber count, he always seems to treat you as if he has all the time in the world.  Pete was also the first PF blogger to let me write a guest post on his website.
  • Bob at ChristianPersonalFinance – Bob has an excellent Christian finance website and has been a great help to me to date.  When I first began writing Debt Free Adventure, it seemed like every time I did a search for anything realted to Christian finances, his blog was returned at the top of all the search results.  Despite Bob’s success he too has always made time for my questions.

Some other blogs that I read that are jam-packed with great advice, but I do not necessarily have a personal relationship with the author are:

  • Jacob at EarlyRetirementExtreme – The newest addition to my frequent reads is your blog. The reason I read it now is because you think outside the box greater than 95% of any other personal finance blogger I have read to date, and I appreciate that SO MUCH! I am also a nontraditional thinker and am moving toward a highly sacrificial lifestyle to pay down my debt as soon as possible. Just the other day my wife agreed to put the house up for sale & move into a $500/month condo, saving us $900/month!
  • JD at GetRichSlowly – I read this site because JD Roth has such a large amount of resources available to him because of his popularity, yet still manages to keep his focus on helping people financially. “Don’t be fooled by the rock that he got!” ;-)
  • Trent at TheSimpleDollar – For many of the same reasons as JD, Trent has a great blog that is packed full of great articles and is very popular.  In the beginning I could draw more traffic to DFA by a simple comment on TSD than by any other source.  Most recently I used Trent’s site to learn how to make my own laundry detergent!
  • Frugal Dad at FrugalDad – FD seems to be very down to earth, and I hope to get to know him better soon.  I always see him leaving comments that echo my exact thoughts on posts that reek of obvious common sense, yet that common sense is not commonly practiced.  The content of FD is also superb & equivilent to the great content of the other sites mentioned above.

In Conclusion…

Looking back over the list, I see that each of the writers indeed have already achieved things I am currently working to accomplish so I am happy to surround myself with their successful advice, and you should be too.

Remember to both seek out a mentor who encourages you and to give back to others who you can help!

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

- Mother Teresa

DFA is passionately dedicated to helping others break the bondage of debt using biblical principles.



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