It Is All in the Details!

by Krantcents · 32 comments

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Do details matter? Have you ever taken something apart and when you put it back together you have a part left over?  It may or may not affect the overall operation, but it might!  Details are important, but they are not all equal!  I think it is the accountant in me that makes me pay attention to details. In accounting, everything has to balance just like in life.  Do details matter to you?


A good meal is a bunch of details brought together and executed well.  I always admire people who can cook well.  I know it is not that difficult to follow a recipe, but there is more to it than that.  Isn’t there?  Maybe it is just a matter of following the instructions!  Next time you make a cake or bake cookies, leave out the sugar and let me know how it tastes.  If that is true, everyone could cook well.  Everyone can learn how to cook, although not everyone will be good at it.  Is is details or confidence with details?


I recently was reading about $150 umbrellas.  When you read a lot, you become indiscriminate in what you read.  I live in southern California where it does not rain very often.  It is one of the reasons we have to import water from northern California.  So why do I need a $150 umbrella?  I really don’t need one, but I love quality products.  In the article, they described what made the umbrella more expensive.  I bought a much less expensive umbrella a number of years ago.  I think I paid $21 and it came with a lifetime warranty.  A detail that is important and makes my less expensive umbrella just as good as the expensive one.

Although the materials probably are different in the more expensive umbrella, it does not matter.  More expensive parts may or may not create a better product.  I have a lifetime warranty and needed it a couple years ago.  One of the metal pieces failed and they replaced the umbrella.  A good warranty is good marketing or a detail that comes in handy, if something goes wrong.  It is one of the reasons I like certain products or stores.  Does the warranty make the product better or is the product better because of the warranty?

College degrees?

At one time a college degree was a guarantee for success.  It still is, but not immediately.  Unemployment is still high (7.6%), but it is only 4% among college graduates.  You will earn approximately one million dollars more than a high school graduate in your lifetime.  How can you make yourself more employable after you graduate?  Simple, just show how you applied your education during college to the real world!  An internship (paid or unpaid), summer jobs, part time work, self employed or joint projects with industry. It is a tangible application of your skills, but just a detail!  A detail that helps you market yourself!  Details that are hard to suddenly accomplish after the fact.  You can still show you can apply your skills in a variety of ways.  Just do it!


Budgets are a bunch a details that if executed well will help you reach your financial goals.  Budgeting and planning in general use details to help you reach your financial and other goals.  A detailed plan whether to build a home, business or a financial plan is necessary to reach your goal.  Can you plan retirement without knowing how much you will contribute each year and how many years to reach your desired goal?  Can you imagine taking a vacation without any planning?  A goal without a detailed plan is just a wish! It is all in the details.


I love art, not all art though!  I have acquired some art over the years.  There are certain artists that I like for my office.  I like photographs too.  There are some framed in my office and home.  I am not talking about the personal ones of family and friends, but places I have visited or would like to visit.  You can look at art and say it is just a series of lines or dots arranged in a particular way.  Art is a skill acquired by experience, study or observation.  I realize I don’t have those skills, but I can appreciate good art when I see it.  Art is a personal choice!

Good art is a series of details whether it is a photograph, painting, drawing, film, sculpture, nature or some other realization of someone’s imagination.  It may affect us emotionally or in some other way.  Art may be just a series of details, but it is those details that move us!  For me, it can be the Pacific Ocean, a lithograph, Paris at night or canals in Amsterdam.  It moves me and makes me happy!  Details that make me react emotionally cannot be bad.  It enriches our lives!


Sports are a series of details.  You learn skills and practice until you get it.  If you are good at sports, you spent more time on the details.  Many sports require more practice than others such as golf or tennis.  Sports is a lot like life!  You need to work on the details and practice to be successful.  When I started investing in income property, it was like learning a new sport.  I needed to learn a lot of details until I got it. I kept working on it as I built my business and became more successful.  It was a lot of time on details. Have you learned something new that you needed to learn a lot of details to become good at it?

Final Thoughts

Although I gave some examples, there are many more  for your consideration.  Details are important and you need to pay attention to them.  Some may say it is a minor inconsequential item, part or detail, but taken together will affect the outcome or result.  If you have a detailed goal and plan, you are likely to achieve the goal.  Details are important in everyday life!  Is your education just grades or is it many details?  My college experience were  classes, sports, fraternity, social and a lot more!   We learn a lot of details, facts or sometimes inane things that seem to be meaningless, but you never know when you will use them.  Are they just details or are they pieces of information to join together to help you achieve success?  We are the sum of our experiences which are filled with details!  Details do matter!

Photo by: szeke


Yakezie Carnival at The Frugal Toad
Carn. of Financial Camaraderie at Making Sense of Cents
Carnival of MoneyPros at Money Pros
Y and T’s Weekend Ramblings at Young and
Carnival of Retirement at Midlife Finance

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My Financial Independence Journey May 2, 2013 at 2:46 am

My budget has gotten more and more detailed over time as I worked to gain a better handle on where my money was coming from and where it was going. Now I reached a reasonable level of detail.

I also tend to pay attention to detail in art.

$150 for an umbrella is crazy, especially since I’d probably forget it in a shopping cart eventually.

Krantcents May 2, 2013 at 6:57 am

The detailed the goal or plan, the more likely you will achieve it! I love the quality of a well made product , but I could never justify $1150 for umbrella particularly in southern California.

Greg@ClubThrifty May 2, 2013 at 4:37 am

I totally agree – details, details, details. Whether it is art, finance, or funeral directing – the best and most successful take care of the details.

Krantcents May 2, 2013 at 6:59 am

There are some things such as funerals I just would want the desired result without knowing the details.

KC @ genxfinance May 2, 2013 at 5:48 am

That is beauty when you pay attention and start budgeting all your expenses. Eventually, it becomes a habit and you don’t even know it.

Krantcents May 2, 2013 at 7:00 am

You’re right when the numbers balance or just work, there is something special about it.

Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter May 2, 2013 at 6:23 am

I am learning just how important the details are. I never used to pay attention to them, but details are what make a high quality product.

Krantcents May 2, 2013 at 7:27 am

There are details in every product or service. It is our attention to detail that makes it adequate or great!

John S @ Frugal Rules May 2, 2013 at 8:33 am

I think you hit the nail on the head sir! In my opinion, details are the name of the game. Having a vision or goal is great, but without the details and plan I think you’re much less likely to attain it.

Krantcents May 2, 2013 at 9:01 am

Thanks! The more detailed goal and plan, the more likely of success!

Sicorra @Tackling Our Debt May 2, 2013 at 10:59 am

I am very detail oriented. Always have been. Probably too much sometimes, and it probably slows me down a bit too. But I read and double check everything a few times to make sure things are right. When I worked as a PM paying attention to details was very important.

Krantcents May 2, 2013 at 11:31 am

As a former CFO (accountant), it is all about the details! I think I am still detailed oriented. I sometimes have to balance speed with accuracy.

Matt Becker May 2, 2013 at 11:07 am

Back in high school, my wrestling coach was all about learning just a few moves, but learning them really well. In other words, if we could get as far into the details on those moves as possible, we’d be better off than learning just the surface of many more. We only lost 3 matches during my 4 years of high school, so yes I’d say that was a good strategy.

Krantcents May 2, 2013 at 11:34 am

I think what you describe in wrestling as just a few moves is a metaphor for life. If you become an expert in just a few things, but still okay in the rest, you should have a very successful career. Medical doctors, attorneys, engineers etc to name just a few are some examples. It is equally true for plumbers, electricians, carpenters, auto mechanics etc too.

The Happy Homeowner May 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm

The devil is in the details! Paying attention to them has helped me stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting jobs, promotions, etc.

Krantcents May 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Great, I think it will help you succeed professionally and personally.

Tom Gorski May 2, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I agree, it is an absolute necessity to take care of details even the minutest work you are entrusted with.. in fact I have come across homemakers unusually good with details of their tasks, that make their work much more interesting!

Krantcents May 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm

One of the essential qualities of an entrepreneur is paying attention to details. It is not limited to business people, many professions require a detail orientation such as chef, engineer, detective, brain surgeon etc.

The First Million is the Hardest May 2, 2013 at 6:31 pm

I’ve always been detail oriented by nature. It all come so naturally to me that sometimes it drives me nuts when others overlook certain details of things I think they should notice easily.

Krantcents May 3, 2013 at 6:54 am

Everything is a series of details! Paying attention to the details provides a better outcome.

Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce May 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Especially with sports, seems that there is a highly variable learning curve–the same is true with most serious pursuits, depending on how much you’re willing to get out of it!

Krantcents May 3, 2013 at 6:55 am

For some, sport comes a lot easier than academics, but there is a huge similarity.

Money Beagle May 3, 2013 at 5:02 am

$150 for an umbrella seems a little steep for the quality curve. If the difference between a cheap and quality umbrella were like $10-20 then it would make sense, as you’d likely spend a lot more buying additional cheap ones in the long run, but $150 would take a long time to make up. That works if you have the cash to support that, but that’s a pretty big chunk of most peoples budget, and many would find it hard to justify on an umbrella.

Krantcents May 3, 2013 at 6:57 am

The $150 umbrella probably has different materials in addition to quality. My less expensive umbrella meets the basics of a lifetime warranty for far less money.

Kim@Eyesonthedollar May 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Details can be incredibly important when trying to figure out a person’s medical problem. Unfortunately, people tend to hold back on details if they are less than flattering sometimes.

I use my umbrella maybe once a year. Maybe if you lived somewhere rainy, you’d need one that nice? I think I’d rather buy several cheaper ones because I tend to lose things like that.

Krantcents May 5, 2013 at 8:16 am

My less expensive umbrella with a lifetime warranty makes it equal to a more expensive choice. The lifetime warranty is a detail too!

Untemplater May 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I’m not a very good cook. I tend to eyeball things and make up my own dishes. If I follow recipes exactly though the results are better at least 90% of the time though.

Ha and I thought my $40 wind proof umbrella was expensive. I can’t imagine forking over $150.

Krantcents May 6, 2013 at 6:53 am

My $20 umbrella compete because of the lifetime warranty! :) A warranty may be the most important detail.

Squirrelers May 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Details matter. Paying attention to the details can help us avoid critical or dumb mistakes, which in itself is a big part of success. Of course, we don’t want to be detail-obsessed all the time as there are times to make quick decisions.

Krantcents May 7, 2013 at 6:52 am

Details should not get in the way of the big picture or outcome.

Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide May 7, 2013 at 6:03 am

Cooking really is that simple. Really. If you have a good recipe, of course. People who get really good at cooking learn to recognize good recipes and tweak not-so-good ones, but most people who struggle with cooking just don’t follow directions.

Krantcents May 7, 2013 at 7:26 am

This could be a metaphor for life! If you follow directions, warning signs or recognize problems, you will be more successful. Ignoring those signs will definitely get you in trouble.

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