During my accounting career, I have been very fortunate to have shared many experiences with others that have had a lasting impression on me. I thought it might be of value to share some of this information.

As a 23 year old, my first experience with a successful business person taught me a very simple yet very valuable lesson. And it is one that has been critical to any personal financial success that I might have experienced. When I asked him the key to his success, he quickly responded that financial success is very simple, “You spend less than you make.” This being done over many years results in the accumulation of wealth.

I further realized how often we as consumers make unnecessary purchases. It is necessary to differentiate needs from wants. This became evident to me when we moved about 10 years ago, and many of the items we moved still included the price tags. The necessity to save is even more important today because many of us are responsible for our own retirement savings as pension plans provided by companies are not as prevalent.

Although this mindset has served me well, I also share the downside to becoming too focused on savings and the pay down of debt. You cannot forget that there must be a balance between achieving financial success and enjoying your life.

Scott Whetstone is a partner with 415 Group. In Snippets from Scott, he shares financial tips through his experiences as an accountant. Scott welcomes your comments or suggestions for current or future blogs.