When Warren Buffett was of my age, he owned a couple of companies. When Mark Zuckerberg was of my age, he had already amassed a few billion dollars. On the other hand, I have many friends who are struggling financially right now. We are saving for our first home and keeping aside a portion for retirement. We are debt-free, and if everything goes well, we’ll pay down for our first home in full. Sounds like I should be happy, doesn’t it?
No, I am not happy with my situation. I could have done better. I want to achieve something more in life, something bigger than living debt-free. Yes, for many, staying debt-free is a steep goal. I understand that. Now that I have achieved it, though, I am ready for a bigger goal.
But what I am doing to accomplish that? Nothing! I am too lazy to leave my couch, face the world, and make more money. First, let’s take a look at why many people fail to recognize the money drain. Then we’ll talk about why only YOU are preventing yourself from improving your finances, through a lack of drive to make more money.
Only you are responsible for your financial health
You put your trust into others every day. Do you check to see if the vending machine just charged you few cents more than last month? Or did you trust that your checked luggage won’t cost you any more money than you already paid online? You packed every essential for your trip. Nice surprise! “Ma’am, that will be $50 extra; do you want to pay by cash or credit?” Welcome to the world of negligence. Do you still want to make more money?
You read from your childhood that lack of trust isn’t a good thing, but putting too much trust in others isn’t smart either. Do you trust your mechanic enough to accept his prices when you go for car servicing? I have to tell you, auto mechanics are the biggest cheaters. You trust him to take good care of your car, that’s fine but, did you ever question any items on the bill? Did that part really need replacement?
Your best friend’s daughter is selling merchandise as part of a school fundraiser. You were approached, and since she’s your friends daughter, you felt obligated to help her. There goes $40 worth of crap. You don’t even question whether you really need the stuff being sold, do you?
Think about all the people you deal with, work with, or rely on. From your local librarian to doctors to government officials. You trust them to do their job, right? They do their job, all right, you are happy. Is the expert equally trustworthy when it comes to the price? What if he/she is taking advantage of your humility and robbing you?
You are the biggest reason why you aren’t successful financially. Believe it or not. You read various articles and stock guides before you decided to buy that stock, which is worth pennies now. Nobody forced you to buy it, did they?
When it comes to living your life, how you do it is up to you. Others, including me, can only guide you and advise you. Ultimately, it’s your money that’s spent or your investments that grow over time.
Experts don’t deserve automatic trust. I don’t expect you to follow me blindly, and you shouldn’t do that either. There’s no guarantee an expert in any field has your best interests in mind, not even your pesonal advisor. The paid consultant you hire works for money; he gets money from you and he concentrates on his other clients. These experts don’t have to live with the consequences of you following their advice.
You want to buy the coolest gadgets out there even if that particular upgrade really means nothing to you, and you’re possibly never going to use that extra feature. But you want to score points with your friends and be cool. One problem, there you go – pennywise and pound foolish!
You are your finances’ worst enemy
Rich people are great achievers. I am sure you have some friends and colleagues who earn better returns on their investments or earn more salary than you. Why can’t you catch up with them, or even beat them on their money? You are not willing to take action. You are unwilling to pull the trigger of knowledge intake. You turn a blind eye and deaf ear when you come across discussions of maximizing your returns. You really don’t know how to be rich.
Whenever you want to embark on something that seems impossible or very challenging, there is that voice that you keep hearing in your mind. The voice plants a very strong seed of doubt, and that reduces your confidence in your ability to manage it successfully! You are working and have enough cash to start your own venture, but this voice of yours keeps telling you, “This is risky, don’t take risks, don’t leave your job.” Perhaps I am also a victim of this voice so far. I work harder every day. I try to get out of that cubicle of mine, but this damn voice…
You have an idea to make money but, you are reluctant to work on it. You are afraid of asking for help. You think people would laugh hearing your idea. The problem is unless you reveal your idea and ask others to help, you’ll never understand if that idea can really make you money.
Regardless of where you are financially, you can set goals and move forward. Don’t ever stop. Set higher targets upon achieving each one. I know I am going to shrug off my laziness and begin a new journey. Readers, are you with me?
LaTisha @YoungAdultFinances says
I’m definitely up for the challenge to grow wealth and work as hard as I can to get there. Some of the ways I will acheive my goals include setting up passive income properties online, getting promoted at work, and learning as much as I can about investing to make what I have work for me.
Good plan to get ahead.
Newlyweds on a Budget says
Great post! My husband–who was an avid spender before we got married–was recently telling me about how much his financial outlook has changed since we got married. We’re living a completely different lifestyle but we’re also more solid financially. And we hope to increase our income and become wealthy one day : D
I am sure you are doing good. Great that he realized the benefit of changing financial habits. All the best
Good luck on buying a home with cash! That’s a great goal. What’s your next one after that?
A rental property, and then another, then another… 🙂
Justin Mazza says
Being debt free and owning a home is a dream for most folks. I have learned through the years to become more conscious of where I am spending my money and also how much products and services are costing me. It pays to be “smart” with our money.
Good that you have learnt. Now focus on making more money to be rich one day. Its one thing to seal the leak. Its another thing to open new path to prosper. Thanks for your comment
Hunter - Financially Consumed says
I’m all about financial renewal, and find it refreshing to start in a new direction at times. Keep moving forward, great advice.
I’m a big believer in going for what I want. As you point out, we’re the ones in charge of our financial future.
if you have it in you, you’ll move forward. No one’s will be able to stop you
If you want to do more, just set the goal and make a plan.
I am definitely the enemy of my own finances. But I will get better. So, yes, I am with you. 🙂
Come back to frugal fold sooner, before its too late
I am definitely my own worse enemy when it comes to my finances.
I try to justify every transaction, saying it’s not a large amount so why worry? Truth is it’s the little things that add up to huge amounts.
I’m taking baby steps to take control and get to a place of financial freedom (consumer debt anyway).
Thanks, its half achieved already as you realized your weaknesses.
[email protected] says
When kids ask me to buy stuff for their school fundraiser, I give them a donation instead. You can write a check if you don’t want to give cash.
Don’t they always have a minimum quota for selling stuff?
World of Finance says
Here’s the creating more wealth in 2012! 🙂
yeah, nicely said
I have never been an avid spender but I ain’t got no money.
Still I would say only you can see that your income grows. Stating without knowing how your day is spent, still, if you have any spare time, what you do during that? You have a site, I believe you want to earn extra money blogging, if yes, you are on right path!