Your Financial Starting Lineup

Outside of my blogging world, one of my favorite things to do is sit down and watch my beloved New York Mets. Of course, I’m not watching them on cable anymore, but I have my ways of making sure I can watch them as much as possible. 

It got me thinking, what if our financial moves were a baseball team? What positions would each play? Below are my thoughts on what that might look like:

Your Starting Financial Defense

P – Money Mindset – In baseball, everything starts with good starting pitching. When you have your ace on the mound, everyone goes into the game expecting to win. A good money mindset is your ace starting pitcher, without it, you can’t expect to win the financial game. 

C – Budget – A catcher is the only player of the game with a hand in every pitch thrown. Once the starting pitcher is gone, he’s still in there calling the pitches and being the commander on the field. He might have to throw a runner out at any base or make a great tag at the plate with great defense. That’s precisely what your budget is. Your budget helps command all the other aspects of your financial game. It can help play defense against bad spending habits and other financial ruiners.

1B – Get Out of Debt – Normally seen as a slugger’s position, your 1B baseman needs to be able to play the field too. Most plays in baseball end up with a play at first base, so it’s an extremely important defensive position. Getting out of debt is a heavy hitter in the game of finance and needs to be a part of every financial play you make until you’ve achieved that goal. 

2B – Emergency Fund – Of all the infield positions, second base probably sees the least action. Still, it is a crucial part of a solid defense. Similarly, your emergency fund should rarely see any action but can prove invaluable when it does need to make a play. 

3B – Investing – Third base is typically known as “The Hot Corner” because most hitters tend to hit it to the ball there. An excellent third baseman can steal a win during any game with great defense and is a foundational piece of any team’s infield. Investing should be your financial player making the most plays and needs to be a cornerstone piece in your financial foundation.

SS – Living Within Your Means – Another position that sees a lot of action on the field, a shortstop needs to react quickly and be ready on every play. Being able to have a wide range to either side makes a great shortstop. Living within your means being prepared for an ever-changing financial situation and being able to range on either side of the financial play. 

LF – Spending Wisely – Another position that needs a solid defensive player is left field. As with third base, more fly balls will go to left field than any other field. Not as hard as “The Hot Corner” but still important, a left fielder must be solid. Spending wisely should be in left field for your financial lineup. Making sure you get the most value for your money, it doesn’t quite make it to the infield, but it certainly needs to be a strong point.

CF – Setting Goals – The center fielder is the leader of the outfield. He needs to have speed, good instincts, and a cannon for an arm. Instead of a few runs for the other team, a good center fielder can turn a double into the gap or a ball over the fence into an out. Without setting financial goals, your other players won’t have much direction. As your financial center fielder, setting goals is there to lead the way for the rest of the team and save yourself a few financial runs.

RF – Boost Income – Right field is jokingly known to be where you stick your worst defensive player. They need to be on the field but typically see the least amount of action. Although boosting income is great to do, it doesn’t replace a good financial defense. Stick it out in right field and if it happens to make a play, consider it a bonus.

Your Financial Batting Order

Ok, maybe you’re more interested in the offensive side of the ball…

Mindset – Again, it all starts with your money mindset. Batting leadoff sets the stage for all the other hitters.

Budget – Backing up your mindset, it’s important that your budget takes the next spot in the lineup, doing everything it can to get on base.

Getting Out of Debt – In baseball, the three, four, and five hitters are seen as the heart of the lineup. Driving in runs and doing the big damage is their job. Getting out of debt should be the first heavy hitter up to the plate in your financial batting order.

Investing – Hitting in the “clean up” spot is investing. This is typically your best hitter and one that can knock it out of the park. If you really want to gain financial independence, investing is the best way to hit a home run

Living Within Your Means – You still need a great hitter in the five hole to “protect” your fourth hitter. Without a big hitter here, teams would pitch around the previous batter. If you’re not living within your means, you’ll have no money to invest. Consider this financial aspect as “protecting” your ability to invest.

Setting Goals – Moving down the order, the 6-9 hitters aren’t typically your best, but they can make or break your lineup. The heavy hitters can’t do all the work. Setting goals is vital to any financial lineup, no matter where it hits.

Spending Wisely – Hitting seventh in the lineup simply means you won’t get as many at bats as those that come up before you. Still important that they can hit, though. You shouldn’t be putting yourself in the position of spending as often as you save or invest, but when you do, it needs to be done well. Laying down a bunt to move runners over or slapping a single to left field, spending wisely will shine when it does get a hit. 

Emergency Fund – Most teams aren’t relying on their eighth hitter to do much. Maybe go up there, see a few pitches, get the starting pitcher’s pitch count up, and if they come through in the clutch, it’s an added bonus. Hopefully, you’ll never need to rely on your emergency fund, but it’s good to know that every now and then, it will come through for you if you need it to.

Boost income – Like being in right field, boosting income just isn’t the solution to any financial problems. Anytime a hitter batting ninth gets a hit, it’s a welcome surprise but shouldn’t be expected. When they do, the top of the lineup needs to take advantage and get that runner home. Boosting your income should be considered a pleasant surprise too, with the other players in your financial batting order doing what’s right with that extra money helping you win the game.

These are just my thoughts on what a financial baseball team would look like. What do you think? Is this a winning lineup?

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