There’s someone I know that I have been trying to help improve her financial future. Unfortunately, she seems to be stuck in a self-inflicted financial ineptness that’s beyond rescue. Somehow, she always come up with some lame excuses when it comes to money.
“Hey, I can always make more”
She symbolizes the living paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. It seems whenever she wants to spend money, she’ll say something like this. I tried to explain to her that this line of thinking is foolish. Her income will come to a grinding halt if she loses her job, gets sick, becomes disabled, etc. I shared several ideas on how she might protect her ability to earn money, but none of them seems to matter.
“There are just two more things that I want, and I will start saving money”
Oh, really. Every time we have a conversation, it’s always one or two more things and she will start to save. For some people “wants” is a bottomless pit, no matter how small they make it appears. The truth is, if you don’t make “saving first” a priority, it will never happen. There is no such thing as saving unspent money; especially, if she doesn’t believe in budgeting.
“It’s only $10 a month”
Little things do add up. This is one of the reasons why she can’t save any money. Sure, each membership and monthly fee only cost $10-20 per month, but she has about a dozen of these going — i.e., premium channels, online movies membership, satellite TV, satellite radio, magazines, Xbox Live, Netflix, etc. Sometimes, you just have to say enough is enough. Do you really need all these things to keep you happy?
“You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow”
When she uses this phrases she meant why bother accumulating a lot of money. To her, it’s better to live NOW. Instead of using this as a justification to buy the right insurance, and protect her future, she uses it to defend her spending habits. For me, life is about balance — I want to enjoy my life now and in the future.
“The new model just came out”
Why is it that some people feel the need to upgrade every time there’s a new model? To me, her “old” stuff works just fine. Heck, some of the stuff she wants to replace are newer and better than stuff I own.
Does this sound like anyone you know?
This was a guest post I wrote for Five Cent Nickel on February 22, 2007.
Pinyo Bhulipongsanon is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance and a Realtor® licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, financial literacy author, and Realtor®.