Okay, a show of hands….. How many of you feel like you never seem to be able to get ahead on your finances? Yeah, I see your hands. You can put them down now. This is a huge topic in today’s society that most people can identify with. Okay, next question…. How many of you routinely blame someone else for this problem? You know what I mean? Your taxes are simply too high. The school system is sucking every last penny out of your paycheck. The house you live in is simply too expensive to heat and cool. I mean, the list goes on and on and on. Everyone is chipping away at your paycheck and it is simply out of your control.
Or is it?
Dave Ramsey, of Ramsey Solutions and Total Money Makeover fame, has an interesting story. Prior to becoming a financial guru, he was in real estate and was killing it financially. However, he also accumulated, a ton of debt and, through a series of events, lost it all. Mr. Ramsey had to ask some difficult questions. What happened? Who is to blame?
In describing his finances and this life-changing event, Dave Ramsey states that “I went on a quest, a quest to find out how money really works, how I could get control of it, and how I could have confidence handling it. I read everything I could get my hands on. I interviewed older rich people, people who made money and kept it. That quest led me to a really, really uncomfortable place – my mirror. I cam to realize that my money problems, worries, and shortages largely began and ended with the person in my mirror.”
I think we all end up at that point eventually. I mean, we can spend all day long blaming everyone else for our shortcomings in life. But, ultimately, the realization that there is only one person that determines our fate in life sets in and we end up staring into the mirror. Who is looking back at us? If we are really honest with ourselves, probably not the person that we want to see.
Everyone wants to look into the mirror and see the reflection of someone who has got it together. However, our flaws and shortcomings will really stand out when we do an honest self-examination.
In regards to our finances, we often see an undisciplined spender looking back at us. That’s what gets us into the trouble that we are in. That’s what keeps us going paycheck to paycheck. It prevents us from getting ahead. We’re the problem. Nobody is taking money from you that isn’t being taken from every other individual in our country. Everyone (for the most part) is paying taxes. We all have utility bills. Everyone is having to cover the cost of their child’s school fees. So, if your struggling to make ends meet and your neighbor is not, maybe something needs to change within you.
Remember, Ramsey tells us that his money problems began and ended with the person in his mirror. Once you have established that, then you can start taking steps to change.
Life is Strange. Live it Well.