3 Reasons Why Finance is Like Jazz

3 Reasons Why Finance is Like Jazz December 10, 2010

__I love jazz. I’ve been playing the saxophone for over 12 years now and just love to jam every time I get the chance. Finance and jazz have a lot more in common than you might think – ok, ok…you’ve probably never thought to compare the two, but you can.

Just like playing an instrument, don’t expect to become an expert in finance if you don’t make a concentrated effort to improve your skills. You may not ever become the best in jazz (I’m certainly not) or create the best financial plan, but if you follow these shared values, you’ll be on your way.

1. Practice is Vital

So you’ve tried to make a budget and it failed miserably. Does that mean you stop altogether? Of course it doesn’t. Learn from your mistakes and adjust accordingly. Building the perfect budget doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice to track and adjust your categories until the budget works. There was no way that I could play jazz when I first picked up the saxophone. It took a while for me to get used to the way it worked. The same is true about your finances.

2. Creativity is Crucial

Improvisation is a big part of jazz. Musicians don’t simply play any note they want. Instead, they understand where the music is going and find creative ways to play the notes that fit appropriately.

Financial emergencies come up and force you to be creative in finding ways to make the budget work. You can’t resolve every financial issue the same exact way, so your ability to be creative and make the situation work is crucial for financial stability.

3. Commitment is Essential

Phew! You’ve finally balanced your family’s budget! That’s great, but you’re not done. Financial freedom comes with the responsibility to stay committed to your plan. If you don’t repeat #1 (Practice) and #2 (Creativity), you’ll fall back into the same financial situation you just dug yourself out of.

Just because I’ve been playing the sax for 12 years doesn’t mean I don’t need to practice. The truth is, if I don’t play for 2-3 weeks, I get out of shape and it’s even more difficult to do the simple things.

You can be successful with your finances if you understand these values. It takes time and you need to be able to identify when to make a change – but if you’re committed, you’ll be on track for financial freedom.

Do you enjoy jazz? Who’s your favorite musician or jazz instrument?

“The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen.”

-Duke Ellington

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  • Juan

    I love how you talked about the need for finances to be creative. I mean creativity is necessary not only when it comes to looking at how to solve emergencies but also in how to make a strong financial future. With future real returns in portfolios expected to be 4-6% at most that are many people that absolutely need to be creative to decide how they are going to make their future income and expenditure come more inline.