It’s time to get SOAPy

What’s your favorite kind of soap? Mine is Dove Cucumber and Green Tea. It is probably the most delicious smelling object on the face of this earth. But don’t be fooled, today’s blog title isn’t about hand soap, shampoo, body wash, or any other kind of personal hygiene product. Nope, I’m talking about the type of soap you need to obtain excellent financial hygiene.

Remember how I shared with you, on Friday, my weirdest job? It involved me working in a mental hospital. Part of my daily responsibilities involved documenting my interactions with my patients. The SOAP method is a way to do that. It stands for…

S ubjective information about patient (competence, stability, mood)

O bjective observations acquired by observations, tests, etc

A ssesment of patient’s current situation

P lan to ensure further stability

It’s pretty straightforward right? Every shift I used the SOAP method to write two or three paragraphs about each of my patients. Could you imagine how different our financial situations would be if we applied this simple little tool to our own lives. I’d like to introduce you to Sara. She is a shoe-a-holic that lives a frivolous lifestyle, but doesn’t have the income to back up her expenses. She is surely heading towards financial ruins. Let’s take a look…

Subjective info:

Sara struggled to maintain her composure as she walked in to the Nordstrom shoe section.

Objective info:

She began foaming at the mouth at the sight of Steve Madden boots. She was observed saying “Lay off my shoes woman or I’m gonna have to drop kick you” to another female customer standing near her.


Sara is financially psychotic and suffers from an intense addiction to “cute” shoes.


Slap Sara across the face. Teach her about the impact her shoe fetish is having on her overall financial health. Educate through counseling. Slap again if behavior repeats.

That probably wasn’t the best example, but I think you get the point. The SOAP method is a quick and efficient way to not only diagnose a patient, but also establish a game plan for improvement.

Could you imagine how different our financial lives would be if we knew our every move was being monitored? Being that my former patients were in an in-voluntary facility, they didn’t have the luxury of hiding behind their choices. They were observed and documented 24 hours a day/7days a week. Yes it may be a little “big brother-ish”, but it really did help the majority of the patients get better.

While I don’t think observation and regulation should be enforced (everyone has the right to ruin their life if they want) just think how different some people’s financial decisions would be if their financial status was public record. If they couldn’t hide behind the facade of credit cards/mortgages/and car loans. Perhaps then, and only then, we would transition from a society of credit, to a society of stability.

Do you know a “Sara” that needs to take a financial shower and is in some serious need of SOAP? I can think of a few people I’m close to that have stinky financial habits.

7 thoughts on “It’s time to get SOAPy”

  1. Hrmmm… I have skin allergies so I go with Dove Sensitive Skin Unscented… not very exciting. I like the illustration though. Particularly the part where you slap Sara across the face. Everyone acts a little bit differently when they know they are being watched. Take highway drivers for instance when they see a cop on the road with them. Even if he is going 10 miles under the speed limit they follow suit.

  2. I could have used big brother at the Coach store yesterday. I was gun hoe about buying at $278 purse until the sales lady asked what I was doing.. so I replied that I was texting a friend for willpower to leave without it. The sales rep said, "hows it working?" , I said "not really well" and she said "good to hear it!". At that point the excitement of buying a new purse drained from me as I realized that's all she is there to do (plus I could of sworn I saw horns poke out). All she wanted was for me spend my cash for an overpriced purse. So I put the purse down and walked out with my chin up high. I'm better than this. At least I'm striving to be…

  3. They sell Steve Madden at Nordstrom?

    Wait…that wasn't the point of this article. Anywhos. Erm, yea. I know a couple of financially DIRRRTAY people that need the SOAP method. But they are living within their means, so they can, in a sense, "afford" their shoe fetish. I, on the other hand, must tell myself that there is no reason for me to go into Nordstroms. Because its where souls go to die. LOL.

  4. I was at Macy's yesterday and got real sad because they had only one pair of the shoes I was looking for and they were not my size. =(

  5. Does Sara have the money to be buying these Steve Madden shoes? As long as she is not spending more than she makes, she is not being that ridiculous. She might not be saving a $1000 a month, but as long as she is not spending more than she makes, SARA has every right to buy those shoes. 🙂

  6. Two interesting points:
    – more discussion on soap & shoes than on the message
    – surprised no one's written a counter-argument

    ….let me be the first to disagree 😉

    First, that would be unbelievably intrusive and why wouldn't we take it a step further and just let the "regulators" manage our money for us?

    It more has to do with the CULTURAL implications of money. Right now, someone says, "I drive a Hummer" and the response is "Baller". Until that respect/adoration of what others materially own turns into disgust/judgment it won't matter how public our records are.

  7. I agree it would be incredibly intrusive and I would never advocate anything like a big brother type program. I'm all about small government, but I was just simply stating an observation. I think you are right, culture plays a huge part!

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