By Charles White

Webster’s dictionary defines Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) as the ability to know things (such as what another person is thinking or  what will happen in the future) that cannot be known by normal use of  the senses.  This is a good definition for someone who is trying to perceive the unknown or trying to find information outside of seeing, hearing or feeling. To that end, I’d like to present a similar definition for financial ESP – Education, Savings and Planning – because employing these three will not only provide a financial bulwark against the future, but they will also prepare you to be able to stand against circumstances not yet known.

Education. Financial education is an education that never ends. It’s never too soon to start learning about instruments like Mutual Funds, 401ks, Roth IRAs, IPOs, Taxes, Money Market Funds, and Bonds, ad infinitum. Being well-educated about financial matters will ensure that you will never be under thumb of another man and you will find that you will usually be miles ahead of the next man. By having a continual thirst for learning and education, you’ll learn just how little you truly know. If you cannot afford to take classes to learn more about finance, you can find many helpful free resources at Yale University at Open Yale Courses.

Saving. The key to saving is more about cultivating a habit than it is about actually trying to set aside money. By making saving an automatic, you’ll find yourself becoming subconsciously more cautious about your overall approach to money. For instance, you may find yourself suddenly proactively thinking about how you spend your money and where you will spend your money. Your mind will begin setting goals and envisioning dreams of how to protect yourself for the future. Saving money is a discipline whose benefits will last a lifetime.

Planning. No great thing happens without a plan. Planning requires deep thought and actual effort. Planning actually begins with a goal so your first step is to determine what you want to achieve. Let’s say you want a new car. The first question to ask is “How will you pay for it? Will it be financed or will you pay in cash?  How much will that particular car cost?

A wise person thinks and plans for their future. The fool believes that things will always remain the same and that education, saving and planning is unnecessary.


About the Author: Charles White is the president of AAA Data Information, located in Portland, Oregon. He can be contacted at

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