The Following is a guest post.

In baseball, a five-tool player is one who excels in some of the game’s major skills: fielding, base running, hitting for power, hitting for contact, and throwing ability.  As we move to your budget, there are five areas where you must excel to find financial success.  Follow along for some skills and items that should be in your sights.

1.      Debt

Of course, this is not something you want.  However, having an eye towards your debt situation, or hopefully lack thereof, is one skill that you should ever lose.

Not many of us will have a budget that is free from debt of any kind.  High-interest credit card debt is one thing, but what about your car and home loans?  Treat these with the priority that they require, which is only met in the specifics of your situation.  Being aware of these dynamics is the first step towards success in the department of debt.

2.      Goals

Financial goals are essential to success.  And no, we’re not just talking about those that are extremely large, such as retirement, nor are we speaking of smaller goals like your summer vacation.  Your goals can be based in financial freedom and the opportunity to work less, even.

Goals can also keep you focused and motivated.  Those two qualities can translate into financial success.  Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the bigger picture to truly get anywhere.

3.      Cash Flow

Never ignore your cash flow.  It can be a great indicator of a negative item in your household budget.  Of course, it can also be a positive indicator as well; even to the point where you realize that some of it should be transferred to savings/investments.

4.      Safety

The importance of financial safety is hard to overemphasize.  After all, feel free to ask someone who didn’t carry enough home insurance, or someone who had to pay for costly unexpected car repairs without the benefit of an emergency savings fund.

From savings to insurances and even warranties, you can help protect your family’s best interests.  Who knows, a car insurance comparison could help you save money as well.  Don’t overlook such items that can make a big impact on not only your finances, but your peace of mind.

5.      Intangibles

Even with four somewhat “general” predecessors, it’s hard to summarize everything you need to do with your budget in five items.  That’s why we finish off with the intangibles, which bring about some interesting ideas that can help your budget.

How are intangibles relevant to your budget?  Here are some ideas that you should execute for maximum impact:

  • Motivational Qualities: You can devise the best budget in the world, but without the necessary motivation, it is doomed to fail.  Cutting out unnecessary expenses requires commitment, just like a dietary change requires these items.  Otherwise, you’ll cheat and go for the cake – the equivocation being financial endangerment, here.
  • Insight: Can you research your options?  Do you know “when to quit?”
  • Efficiency: Having a good system and the right tools will help you stay on task.  It doesn’t matter how you do it, for the most part, but you’ll need something that works for you.

Overall, there are several others that we can add to the picture, but we’ll leave it at these important five qualities.  And remember, baseball players don’t need all five tools to succeed.  However, you likely will.