Control What You Can for Financial Success

When I played with the Ottawa Senators, my coach often told us to stay focused on what we could control. In hockey, a lot can go wrong—the team could suffer through a string of bad luck with injuries, we could be bothered by the ice condition, etc..

Many people get frustrated and angry when such situations arise. But with experience, we came to understand our success depends on powering through adversity by preparing for the worst and planning for the best. Here are three ways you can apply this advice to your financial planning so you are prepared for those factors beyond your control:

1. Live Within Your Means

Many people complain that they can’t seem to save. They often point their finger at the fact they haven’t received a raise in a while. It can be frustrating to dedicate a lot of time to an employer who doesn’t seem to appreciate the value you bring to the table, but that’s for another discussion. When it comes to creating a budget and having enough money to save for future goals, focus less on the income you are making and pay attention to your expenses instead.

Many financially successful people are able to accumulate a nice nest egg with lower salaries. You can’t really control the income you make, but you can control the way you spend it. (For more from this author, see: To Save More, Focus on Your Needs, Not Your Wants.)

2. Spend One Hour of Your Day Learning

Getting a promotion often comes with a raise, which is great. However, there are a lot of factors affecting your chances of getting a promotion. Most of these factors are beyond your control, so you shouldn’t worry about them. Stay focused on what you can control, which is your dedication to the quality of your work and your education. Take an hour a day to continue learning about your craft and become an expert in your field. If you are able to accomplish that, the work opportunities and raises will come.

3. Invest in a Strategy That Makes Sense to You and Stick With It

Many people stress about the markets. They watch financial news and check their accounts every day. However, the biggest investment mistake comes when investors change their asset allocation at the wrong time, taking more risk at the top of the market and reducing risk after a large sell-off. Focus on what you can control. It is nearly impossible to know what the markets are going to do, however if you invest in a strategy that makes sense to you and stick with it, you will be able to avoid the biggest investor mistakes.

Control What You Can for Financial Success

A lot of things can affect our financial success. However, many of these factors are well beyond our control. The key is to put your time and effort into the things that will make you successful in your career, your finances and your life.

(For more from this author, see: How to Build Your Financial Foundation.)


Disclosure: MoneyCoach LLC and/or Patrick Traverse offer Investment advisory and financial planning services through Belpointe Asset Management, LLC, 125 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830 (“Belpointe), an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Registration with the SEC should not be construed to imply that the SEC has approved or endorsed qualifications or the services Belpointe Asset Management offers, or that or its personnel possess a particular level of skill, expertise or training. Insurance products are offered through Belpointe Insurance, LLC and Belpointe Specialty Insurance, LLC. MoneyCoach LLC is not affiliated with Belpointe Asset Management, LLC. Additional information about Belpointe Asset Management is available on the SEC’s website at