Personal Finance, Canine-Style

No matter how many excellent books you read, or how many experts you consult, sometimes the best advice comes from beast out fertilizing my yard.  My dog is pretty smart.  At middle-age, she’s got no debt, no stress, and no possibility of being fired.    I asked her what her secrets are, and she gave me 5 rules for managing her finances.

  1. Sniff around. You never know when or where an opportunity will present itself.  Keep your eyes open and look in some unusual places and you may just find the golden opportunity you’ve been waiting for.   Jacob and Susan D’Aniello have a multi-million dollar franchise called DoodyCall.   They have turned themselves into millionaires, starting with a shovel, a leash, and a plastic bag.   Never be afraid to look your future in the eye.
  2. Don’t be afraid to sniff a butt. It’s important to know who you are dealing with, especially when your are making life-changing or expensive decisions.  If it doesn’t smell right, bare your teeth and back off.   Seriously, in most situations, you can trust your gut instinct.  Especially if that instinct is telling you to run away.  Read everything you sign.  If you don’t understand it, find someone who does.  Know what you are getting into at all times.   Get referrals.  Call the Better Business Bureau.   You are in charge of protecting your own interests.
  3. Lick your own butt. Watching your emergency fund grow is nice, but not everything is.   There are some aspects of personal finance that are downright unpleasant, but ignoring them is worse.  You can’t ignore an upside-down budget forever, or it will never get fixed.   Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and do what needs to be done, no matter how distasteful.  But keep the mouthwash handy.
  4. Bury a bone. Minds out of the gutter, please.   Save for the lean times.   You may have two bones today, but what about tomorrow, or next week?  What if the bone-fairy never comes to visit again?    Make your surplus last, because you never know when life will whack you with a newspaper.  If you don’t have an emergency fund, start one.   Today.   Now.   Go set up an automatic transfer of $10 per week.  Now.   If you don’t have an emergency fund, everything is an emergency.
  5. Wag your tail. Don’t be afraid to enjoy the good things.   When you make progress on your debt, congratulate yourself.  Take credit and take pride in what you’ve accomplished.  It’s more important to be happy than rich, so don’t obsess over the little things, or the material things.   Enjoy your family, enjoy your job(or find a job you can enjoy), enjoy your life.

Maybe I shouldn’t write while watching my dog poop at 5AM.

Update:  This post has been included in Festival of Frugality.

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    1. That’s great…this is totally going in my Weekly Favorites for the title alone…not to mention that dogs do give great advice. 🙂


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