Putting the BBs Back in the Box

Mack Brown was hired as the University of Texas football coach in 1998. He came to the university with no small task ahead of him. He was expected to bring Texas back to national prominence after two decades of mediocre results.

He met with legendary Texas coach and football stadium namesake Darryl Royal shortly afternoon taking the job. In his trademark style, Coach Royal articulated what Mack faced.

“Your job is to the put the BBs back in the box.”

What he meant was that the University of Texas has very proud alumni with plenty of financial resources and the best high school football in the country. But the alumni were not on the same page disheartened from the years of mediocracy. The former Texas coaches had lost touch with the fans and the Texas high schools. Mack had to figure out how to sell both groups on Texas Football again.

Trying to rein in spending is like trying to put the BBs back in the box.

Once you’ve adjusted your lifestyle, it’s very difficult to ratchet it back down.

Without clear goals and a financial purpose that is articulated, it’s difficult to rein in spending.

That’s why, much of the time, budgeting works for a short time but often fails in the long run.

Unless we have something anchoring us to what’s most important, we’re going to have a tough time making changes.

We also we need a way to objectively measure how we’re doing in the present. Burn rate. This is everything we earn that does not go to taxes, savings, or debt payments.


Total Income: $100k

  • Savings $20k per year (20%)
  • Debt $20k per year (20%)
  • Taxes: $15k per year (15%)
  • Burn Rate: $45,000 per year (45%)

In this case, 45% is a healthy burn rate. But let’s say this same household only saved 5% and burned 60%. Their burn rate would be concerning.

Mack had a way to make people see vision and get behind him. He laid his vision to boosters and invested time in the Texas High School coaches (even hiring one that was on his staff his entire tenure). He figured out how to get the BBs back in the box. But it took a clear vision and the ability to articulate that vision to those that cared.

Here is a great exercise to help understand what you value most. Please share your results. https://www.think2perform.com/values

Let’s schedule some time to get the year off to a great start.


Andrew Eppes, CFP®, RICP®

Andrew Eppes is a registered representative of and offers securities and investment advisory services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. www.SIPC.org. Nexus Advisors, LLC is not a subsidiary or affiliate of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies. 14241 Dallas Parkway Suite 1200 Dallas, TX 75254 972-348-6300. CRN202701-5768072

Clear a Bold Path

Toward Total Financial Health