Learn How to Juggle Your Finances

Mormon missionary

Learning how to deal with your finances is a lot like juggling. To show you just how difficult and frustrating it is, enjoy this little gem of me learning how to juggle five or so years ago (while listening to German Christmas music):


I know. I’m a goober. Anyway, if you’re just learning how to do all this stuff, it’s hard. There are a lot of different things you have to keep in the air when it would be easier to just let the balls drop and stop trying to figure it out. If you do that, though, there are going to be some serious repercussions in the future. So here are some juggling tips for all of you beginners, and even for some of you more advanced folk who sometimes get tired of keeping it up.

Anyone can learn

Juggling isn’t rocket science. It’s just a matter of learning the coordination necessary to keep it going. No one was born with juggling skillz, although some were born with a little better handle on coordination. But coordination does not a master juggler make. With practice, anyone could be a master juggler if they really wanted to and put in the hard work to do it. The same goes for your personal finances. Some people were born with a saving personality, but that doesn’t necessarily make them good money managers. You could be a great saver a lot on some things only to waste it on others. So no matter where you’re at or what your financial behaviors are, you can learn how to be a financial rockstar.

Try not to focus on the balls in the air

In juggling, you would think that in order to keep the balls in the air, you have to concentrate on the balls themselves. But if you do that, you’ll never become good at it because you physically can’t focus on all three balls at the same time. The only way you can do it is by looking straight ahead. When you do this, you can see the big picture as you keep all three balls in your periphery vision.

As far as your finances go, it’s easy to get so focused on doing one thing that you forget about the rest. There are hundreds of different financial tools you can use and even more ways to use them. So the easiest way to keep it going is to keep the big picture in mind. If you focus too much on budgeting for the sake of budgeting, it’s not going to contribute to your financial security the way you want it to. Setting goals so that budgeting fits into your holistic plan helps you keep everything in your periphery and you’re less likely to drop something.

Practice, practice, practice

I can’t remember how long it took me to become comfortable with juggling, but it was a long time. And about 99.9% of the time, I was frustrated because a) things weren’t going the way I wanted to, b) I was somehow unable to be consistent, and c) juggling was stupid. Of course, it’s not really stupid. I whip out my skillz every now and then and amaze the people around me who never knew I was so cool. But while I was learning, it was stupid because it was hard. I sometimes wondered if it was even worth it to learn.

Of course, you may feel the same way about things like budgeting, insurance and saving. There are a lot of times I wish I could spend all my money now and have what I need in the future. But it just doesn’t work that way. Just like the consequence of not knowing how to juggle is being less cool, the consequence of not being on top of your financial plan means no security. And being financially secure is up there on the same coolness level as juggling. If you don’t believe me, just watch this guy go.

Any of you have experiences with juggling? Or frustrations with trying to keep making the right financial decisions?


14 thoughts on “Learn How to Juggle Your Finances

  1. Juggling finances is definitely a lot easier than juggling for someone like me who has absolutely no hand-eye coordination (my head is a magnet for balls). I find that having a clear goal makes managing the finances easier; in moments where I want something NOW, I take a moment and ask myself will it help me achieve my financial goals. If the answer is no, it's a lot easier for me to say no.
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  2. Very good advice. (And I full out laughed at your video while at work.) I have to say that we have been good with our finances but I hate having debt like education loans, even though I am paying extra on them.

    What's your advice for adding on additional costs (like $500+ a month extra I will be paying a month for ObamaCare). Or if someone was looking to purchase a new car?

    1. Do you guys have no option to do your health insurance through work? Or is that $500+ with the employer plan? As far as new cars go, I go with 10 year old Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas. Combined, we spent less than $10k on both of them, they get 35+ mpg and we've probably spent less than $500 on repairs over the past three years. People think they need a newer car to have reliability and good gas mileage, but there are a lot of older reliable cars out there. And my $99/mo. payment sounds a lot better than the $300+/mo. payments I hear about all the time.

      What it boils down to with extra costs is to determine what you can and can't control, then put all your energy into what you can to get it as low as possible.

      1. My work has decided to not offer heath insurance, because if they do and employees would do better to go on a subsidies plan they no longer have access to the subsidies, but all insurance plans are also going up. We just have one car and haven't had to pay a car payment for close to three years now, and honestly I will only buy a car if A) I can pay for it outright or B) it fits well in our budget and it is absolutely necessary.

        I have to say that I like to be in super control of my money, and I have a hard time parting with it for something I see as frivolous.

        1. That sucks! It's really hard when you know you can't do much about the health insurance expenses. If your family doesn't go to the doctor a lot, I would recommend doing a high-deductible plan and start putting money into a Health Savings Account (HSA). That will give you some tax savings and keep your premiums lower. But if you feel like you'll be using the insurance often, I wouldn't recommend a high-deductible plan.

  3. I have been trying that ball juggling act at home, as much as its not rocket science its tough 🙂 And I guess its the same with finances, at least for me…keeping an eye on the bigger picture ain't always possible…its easier to get lost in the pressing needs of the day and forget about the longer term things like savings and retirement. All in all though, I guess am learning, albeit slowly.
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    1. Haha yeah it's definitely not easy. But it's also not complicated 🙂 Just a few simple concepts you have to master and you're good to go. And go Cougars! The football team's looking better and better every week 🙂

  4. So true – in personal finance, practice makes perfect. It’s precisely because I got taken for a ride on the interest rate on my first car loan that I got my 2nd vehicle with 0% interest and at a great price. It took the first mistake to prevent the second (which would have been more costly).

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