Monday, December 17, 2007

Reasons Why People Don't Pay Attention

Do these reasons sound familiar?

I’m doing just fine. I make good money so I don’t need to do anything about it.
If you have consumer debt (credit cards, lines of credit, no-interest plans), you don’t have as much money as you think you do. The only reason you think you are fine is because you aren’t willing to deal with the debt. It’s all a charade - you are living on borrowed money. I lived the charade for many years without even realizing I was doing it. I just assumed that’s how everyone lived. Then I realized YES, that IS how everyone lives and it sucks!

I’m not interested in money issues. I think it’s boring.
Once you start digging into it and figuring it out, you will probably find that it’s exciting because you finally feel like you have some control of the situation. You know how much is going in, you know every single penny that is going out. It’s an awesome feeling.

I don’t understand money and investing.
Personal finance is not brain surgery. You need to spend less than you make. If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. As for investing, you don’t need to spread your investments all over the place. Pick a few that are somewhat reliable (growth stock mutual funds and paid-for real estate) and learn about them.

I don’t want to give up my lifestyle. I like new clothes, toys, entertainment, etc.
You’ll never succeed until your lifestyle matches your wage. If you have consumer debt, you are not acting your wage. This will come back to haunt you, so you need to decide if you’re going to deal with it now or wait until disaster strikes and you are forced to deal with it. Disasters happen all the time – people get sick and can no longer work, lose their jobs unexpectedly, and so on. How long would you be able to pay your bills if the primary wage earner in your family was suddenly without a job?

My employer has a retirement plan. That will be good enough.
It will not be good enough, people. You are the one who needs to be responsible for your retirement – not your employer.