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Changing Financial Habits Is Hard Work. Don’t Just Talk About It, Open Your Mind and Do It

July 20, 2011 · 22 comments

in Personal Finance

How many times have you said to yourself that you wish you had more money?  How often have you looked at other people and wondered how they seem so financially comfortable?  Have you ever asked these people how they have accumulated the wealth or comfort they seem to have?  I am sure the answer from some would be that they really don’t have as much money as it appears.  They just choose to charge their possessions and worry about paying for it later.

However, there is also those people out there who truly have lived within their means, and can afford to take trips when they want to or buy an expensive bottle of wine. They may have tales about how they didn’t buy another car until they had enough money saved. Or they didn’t buy a huge house even though they were pre-approved for a huge mortgage.   In other words, they thought about what their true needs were, and did not get distracted by all the ‘wants’ and ‘good deals’ that are available.  (Remember, even if a big house is lower in price relative to times past, that big house is expensive on many other levels like maintenance, utilities, taxes, etc.)

In All Honesty, Are You Impulsive Or Patient When It Comes To Spending?

If the person you spoke with focused on needs instead of wants, what did you do with such information?  Did you take it to heart and try to apply similar principals?  Or, did you take the easy way out and continue on your current path of spending freely, only to ask the same questions months later?  (In other words, did you rationalize away their reasons for financial success and felt your situation was ‘different’?)

Think Hard About This, Are You A Financial Excuse-Maker?

Quite often, I hear or read about people that want to change their financial situation. However they want it to happen magically. When real methods for cutting costs or saving money are discussed, the excuses fly fast and furious.

The thing is, quite often, spending habits are deeply ingrained.   If it was as easy as flipping a switch to turn someone from a spender to a saver, then our country would not be in the mess it is in.  If you want to improve your financial situation, it may require a reversal of life-long thinking.   This new thinking can’t just last until you are out of your current messy financial situation, good spending and saving habits need to be maintained for life.  In addition, you need to open your mind about investing.  Many people are very nervous when it comes to investing their money because they feel they don’t know enough about investment vehicles.  If that is the case, don’t just let your money sit in a savings account earning .5%.  Either educate yourself, or find someone you trust to help you manage your money.  Ignorance is no excuse.

Can You Commit To Changing Your Financial Mindset?  Or, Is That Too Hard?

Are you ready to make a real commitment to opening your  mind and really looking at how you are spending and saving your money?  Can you really make the changes required to pay off the debt that has accumulated?  Or, is the talk about becoming more financially stable just words, much like the obese person saying they want to lose weight while shoving a Twinkie in their mouth?

Nobody says that change has to be drudgery. Make changes incrementally and create a reward system along the way. Do whatever it takes to ensure success.   However, don’t just talk.  People get tired of hearing constant excuses while answering the same questions over and over.

So, next time you complain about your finances, take a breath first and think of what you have really done to help your situation. If you really are one of the unfortunate souls who have been laid off and tried tirelessly to find work and can’t, then feel free to complain.  However, much of the general population makes plenty of money, they just don’t allocate it wisely.  Change can be hard, but so can being broke.  Decide what you really want for yourself and keep an open mind about how to get there.

Do you know people that complain about money yet do refuse to alter their spending or savings habits?

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