Ever since I started on this road to financial freedom I pay particular attention to the words people use when they are talking about their financial situation. I have heard people explain their situation as an elaborate trap they got caught in and their struggle to free themselves from the clutches of debt: While they sit in their four hundred thousand dollar four bedroom home with a pool, sipping on top shelf scotch.
It’s all about perception.
Sometimes we are a little too quick to play the victim card when it comes to spending. I have done it myself. It’s three days until pay day and I haven’t got a dime. I NEEDED to go to that party last night so I NEEDED cab fare, alcohol and a new shirt.
I think most of us have the mindset that we are born poor so that’s the way we have to spend out life. Most people who live pay to pay have never been taught about wealth and have never read a book on the subject. Most of them wish for that magic financial elixir like winning the lotto to drag them from the depths of debt to the caviar lifestyle.
I have used and heard so many excuses for not blazing a path to financial success because it’s easier to not have tried, than to have tried and failed. I spent all my money on: Christmas, the kids, the car, season tickets or stuff. Taking that giant step toward ‘sacrifice’ is hard. Going without now for the sake of a greater outcome later seems so boring and uncomfortable, so we invent barriers that prevent us from at least trying.
And it doesn’t have to be about sacrifice either. If you work, there is a chance you will receive a pay rise at some point. You are used to living on a certain pay then suddenly you have an extra ten, twenty or thirty dollars. What do you do with it? Most people don’t notice the extra because it is soaked up into their everyday account and filtered out through unnecessary choices. “I’ve got an extra thirty bucks, I can add the extra channel to my pay TV”. Now it’s two days before payday and you’re broke. You tell yourself that you needed the extra groceries because the guys come over to watch the new channel and you ‘had to eat’.
It’s interesting too that some people blame the banks for their debt. The banks keep sending credit cards to them so they just keep using them. Or, the banks keep increasing the limit on the card and so they are obliged to take advantage of it. It’s not their fault.
We see ourselves as intelligent beings and so when we unintentionally back ourselves into a corner of financial debt and despair we tend to look toward external causes.
Have a serious talk with yourself and if you are in a partnership then make it a group discussion. Take ownership of your debt and make some serious changes toward managing it. You won’t be disappointed.