The PIE Effect: Three Simple Pillars to Help You Achieve Financial Success

Looking back at my financial transformation, there were three things that were keys to my success. These are items that continue to be the backbone of my process to creating a better financial future. 

And after reviewing my process from the past five years, I noticed it made a simple acronym that is pretty easy to remember and I think can be helpful to you. 

Usually, I have a bit more to the introduction, but I want to jump right into this one. As always, feel free to use the table of contents to jump to different sections, but hopefully, you’ll read this from top to bottom. 

The PIE Effect

There are plenty of acronyms out in the world, especially in finance. You know like PF, DINKS, FIRE, FatFIRE, etc. If you aren’t too familiar, a quick Google search will help define those for you.

I also previously introduce EWYD, but mostly because I did not want to fully spell it out. 

So here comes The PIE Effect, which are three pillars to helping you reach financial success. There is more to your personal finances than these three items, but it’s a simple way to get you started. 

And I call it The PIE Effect, because who doesn’t love some pie? Chocolate pie? Pumpkin Pie? Custard Pie? Pizza Pie? 3.14? Okay okay, enough of that! Ready to explore PIE with me? 

The Acronym

Corny jokes aside about pie, let’s get to the nitty gritty of what this stands for so we can get to the good stuff. 

P = Prioritizing Money

I = Investing Often

E = Earning More

Each piece of the pie (Har Har Har, okay last one..but probably not) was and continues to be a vital component to my financial endeavors. 

And the more I thought about it and read other’s stories, these items pretty much fit in everywhere! As I mentioned earlier, personal finances can vary and be more complicated than this but these are the stepping stones you need. 

Below are each pillar and how it applies to better your personal finances. I’d also like to add, these items are not groundbreaking, many writers talk about these pillars in different ways. However, this is my take on these processes and the ways I think can be helpful to you (Hopefully!). 

Financial Plan

P = Prioritizing Money

Original when I was thinking about this I had it as paying down debt. That is certainly important, but I think there is a bigger piece to the pie (thank you, thank you — I should be a comedian as a side hustle).

As I thought about it more, I realized that the concept of prioritization played a much bigger role. 

You can define this term a few different ways, but the definition I like goes along the lines of: determining the order of dealing with a series of items or tasks based on their importance.

This concept is massively important for your finances (and most of your life too). Think about it. In your finances you’ll need to be prioritizing your debt payments, prioritizing your spending, prioritizing time spent learning about money and investing, prioritizing your needs and wants, etc. 

The financial success I’ve had to this point and others in similar positions or better is because we’ve all value prioritization with our personal finances. 

Before 2014, my financial health was not important and the results showed. Very little saved, over $50k in debt, living beyond my means, not investing, nor having a clue how to deal with money. 

Yet, adjusting my priorities about money and learning to prioritize my wants and needs, things began to change pretty quickly. 

This is probably the broader aspect of The Pie Effect because it encumbers a wide-net area of personal finances. It’s also a pretty big no-brainer that prioritization plays a key in all aspects of your life.  But the most common things can also be the most overlooked parts. 

If you want to succeed or make changes, you have to start making it your number one priority over other things. Without that, success will be challenging and maybe near impossible. 

I = Investing Often

One of the core areas of personal finances that gets me stoked is investing. It’s probably my favorite part and what fuels my interest in money the most. Huge nerd alert! 

But, investing often is the second essential pillar of PIE and is key in helping your money grow to the next level. 

Why investing? Well it does a few things for you:

  • Helps your net worth grow over time
  • Can expedite your financial goals via compound interest
  • Your money makes money while you sleep
  • Teaches you really great investing fundamentals (Math, business, prospectus, etc.)

We all have our own unique financial goals, although there certainly can be some overlap. 

Yet, sitting on cash on the sidelines or overspending is doing yourself a disservice. Look, cash is good to have and you’ve heard the phrase, “Cash is King.” There is a time and place to have cash that is not invested and keep a portion on the sidelines.

But, you should be investing often and consistently. It keeps you focused, in a financial rhythm, grows your money, and if you practice paying yourself first (you should be, wink), it all becomes second nature.  

The cautionary part here is that you do need to learn about investing first though because investing incorrectly does little good for your money and wealth.

You don’t need to be a stockbroker whiz, but understand the types of accounts, basic funds, etc. You also don’t need to overcomplicate or dive into heavy investing but you can if you want. 

And your investing strategies will change pending where you are in life. 

But, if you are prioritizing financial learning, then investing will be a breeze. So how do I currently invest my money? Currently in only three simple areas:

  • Roth IRA
  • Money Market
  • In my blog business

Eventually, I will like to add in real estate and maybe some other business ventures. There is always a risk involved with investing your money, but the risks of not investing often and consistently I think, are more detrimental to your financial health. 

E = Earning More

You’d notice that cutting expenses is not part of this series, although it can be a part of your prioritization options (it probably should be in some way).

To me, you can only cut back so much and then you end up removing things that bring you joy in your daily life. 

I’m not an overly frugal person and I don’t think you should avoid spending money. This is why “earning more” is a major aspect to financial success. 

Once you have your financial priorities straight (which can improve your financial mentality), earning more will get you to the next level.

This can greatly impact how much you save, increasing your savings rate, helping you invest more, and helping you to reach financial independence faster. 

But earning more money means nothing if you do not have your priorities and financial habits in-check.

How often do you read about athletes losing everything from lifestyle inflation or learning your neighbor is in massive debt but makes high six figures? It happens too often. 

However,  if you have everything in order and resist instant gratification and lifestyle inflation, earning more can be a massive financial game changer.

If I made what I do now (just over 6-figures) before 2014, I would have blown through the money. I did not have the right mentality or the financial know-how to truly be successful.

Of course, if you are making great money before your mind is ready, it’s okay as you can correct that mindset and fix bad financial habits

Earning more money is not always an easy process and there are a lot of factors. But here are three quick ways too look into that can help put more cash in your pockets and investments: 

Final Thoughts

There you have it, The PIE Effect when it comes to personal finances.

I don’t think there is anything revolutionary in these ideas, but I think these three pillars set an incredible foundation. And others have certainly written about similar things and in different ways, so by no means am I super original here either. 

But, I wanted to put my spin on this and how I’ve looked at it over the years. 

Plus, personal finances can get overwhelming and there can be a lot to look at. But, if you break it down into these three items and remember PIE, it can make getting started much more manageable. 

And these are still three items I value every day with my finances and I know were the reasons I’ve escaped the financial traps of my life.

As I got more involved in finances, it certainly expands more than this but I find myself always falling back into prioritizing, investing, and earning more.