Money is such a significant thing in our lives. We all need money, some need more money than others but you really can’t get by without having any money or being supported by someone with money. It’s a BIG deal! Money is intertwined in our daily lives, almost everything we do is tied to money in some form or another. But learning how to control your money instead of your money controlling you is a whole other story.
I hear people talk all day long about money, how much they need or want or lack thereof, what they are going to buy with it, how much they lost gambling, or how much they spent on something. But nobody really talks about the other side of money and that’s the savings aspect. Sure some people are tucking away a bit here and there but most money conversations aren’t about saving, they are about spending.
I happen to be one of those people who just loves talking about money and finances! I have a passion for pursuing financial independence. I could talk personal finance for days, I just love it! But I realize that’s not the majority of people and I find myself asking why is that? Everybody seems to be concerned about money but not their future money.
I think when it comes to money most people live for the here and now. They make money to spend money. I’m all about the free spirited live in the moment YOLO lifestyle (I myself used to be quite the shopaholic) but when it comes to personal finance if you don’t do some planning now you could end up in a real financial bind, broke with no savings and crossing your fingers that the social security check keeps showing up on the 1st of the month. That is not how I want to live, I’ve seen too many people struggling paycheck to paycheck just to survive (I used to be one of them). Long gone are the days of pensions, most of us have to do all of our retirement planning on our own.
Personal finance can be overwhelming. There’s a lot of information out there on what to do and how you should do it so where do you start? It can be intimidating as well, especially when you hear all the weird words like 401k, Roth IRA, 529, index funds and you have no idea what any of it means, it sounds more like the waiting list numbers at the DMV.
A lack of education is a big reason people don’t talk about money. If you grew up learning about money and having someone to teach you and guide you then you’re one of the lucky ones. Most people grow up not knowing a thing about personal finance, or worse yet, they learn wrong things, here’s a list of things I wish someone had told me about money when I was younger. You don’t learn this stuff in school, you may learn how to balance a check book or what a credit score is but they don’t really teach you how to manage your money or how to really save. It’s all set up on the premise that you’re going to work until your at least 65 and then you’ll have social security. What if they actually taught you how to retire in your 30’s or 40’s?? How different life would be right!
It seems like a lot of people just think that since retirement is so far away that they have plenty of time later to figure it out, and that the government will be there to help them out but that’s not a good plan. I wouldn’t rely on the government for any financial help (neither should you!). The best plan is to take action right now. Just start doing something, even if it’s $5 a month it’s better than zero.
Time is on your side when it comes to investing and saving. Talk to someone who knows a thing or two about finances, read some blogs, checkout some books, nobody is going to come knocking on your door to teach you these things (unless they are trying to sell you something like whole life insurance-what a joke), so it’s up to YOU!
People are scared when it comes to money so they just spend what they got and try not to think about the rest. Again, this is a bad bumpy road to travel. Money should not be something scary, nor should it be something we worship and obsess over. It is simply a tool. Money has the power to put people in scary situations and it can effect us not only financially but mentally and emotionally. The best thing you can do is to take control of your money, then you will see that it’s not so scary. You can make choices to improve your relationship with money. You can tell your money what to do. It’s a change in mindset but it works.
About half of Americans polled by MarketWatch said that they are “concerned, anxious or fearful about their current financial well-being”, don’t be one of those people!
A lot of people have feelings of shame and guilt when it comes to finances. They’ve made bad financial decisions (who hasn’t?!) but they are too embarrassed to get help or ask questions. This causes a lot of people to not want to deal with their financial struggles, but to rather ignore them as if they don’t exist. They may feel like they are so far deep in the hole that there’s no hope, but as long as you’re breathing then there’s hope.
Talking about money has always been somewhat taboo as well. People don’t like to talk about how much they make. In fact people are discouraged from talking to others about how much they make, especially in the workplace.
It just baffles me that people do not spend some time getting their financial houses in order, even just spending a few hours out of their life to get a plan or budget together and creating goals will help immensely. They have time for everything else in the world like watching every single rerun of The Golden Girls (I actually love that show so no offense) but can’t find the time to do a little research to ensure their money is doing what it needs to do.
If you owned a company do you think it would be successful if you didn’t have a clue about where the money was going or how it was being allocated? Nope, didn’t think so. Who would want their business run in such amuck anyway? It’s the same with your personal finances. You can’t be successful with money if you don’t put in a little effort. But this is the case with most people, they have no idea where their money went by the end of the month.
Everybody needs a budget. You need to know where your money goes.
I promise you that nobody cares more about your finances than you should. You owe it to yourself to manage your money. Take the time to learn a little bit about it instead of following the crowd and doing what everybody else is doing because chances are they have no idea what they are doing.
According to recent studies only 30% of Americans have a long term financial plan that includes savings and retirement goals. Even worse, about 17% of Americans have ZERO saved for retirement. There is no better time than now to start planning for your financial future. One of my favorite sayings is “failing to plan is planning to fail”, so do one thing today to help get you to a better tomorrow.