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Debt Reduction: Solve the Right Problem Financially

A while back I read a book called “Creative Whack In the Head” by Roger Van Oech (Amazon Link), and in it he has a very good section about Solving the Right Problem. The section had a very entertaining story, which I think is topical to Financial Problem Solving as well:

“I’m not returning until you fix it”, bandleader Count Basie told a club owner whose piano was always out of tune. A month later Basie got a call that everything was fine. When he returned, the piano was still out of tune. “You said you fixed it!”, an irate Basie exclaimed. “I did”, came the reply, “I painted it.”

Creative Whack in the Head by Roger Von Oech

Now, the important thing in financial planning is to make sure you are solving the RIGHT problem, not just a perceived problem.


Right problem with the wrong solution:

  • I can’t afford anything these days, so I should get a payday loan
    • No, you should figure out where you are spending your money and curtail that
  • Everyone is making money on Bitcoin, I should get into that
  • I find investing confusing, so I invest in bank mutual funds
    • Good idea, but the solution isn’t the best. Maybe learn a little about Index Funds or safe ETFs and use them

Borrow the book from the library, it’s a light read, and may cause you to think in a different way, and sometimes that is what you need for your Debt Reduction thinking.

Another good book about problem-solving is John Cleese’s “Creativity a Short and Cheerful Guide” (Amazon Link).

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