Think for a moment about what your ideal financial state looks like. Thinking?
Really take a moment. I’ll wait.
If you are like me then you are probably thinking about a nice house in a nice neighborhood. You’re envisioning two nice cars parked in the driveway, a swing set in the back yard, and perfect landscaping. You’re thinking about weekend trips to the city, the ballpark, or Disneyland. You’re thinking about a safe and reliable income, a healthy savings account for emergencies, and investments for your current life as well as retirement.
Notice what you aren’t thinking about?
You aren’t thinking about the stress involved with checking the mail because another bill collector is probably sending a notice. You probably aren’t wondering whether or not those two cars in the driveway will be repossessed if you can’t make the payments this month. You definitely aren’t thinking about a long weekend spent at home sitting at the kitchen table arguing with your wife about how you can make ends meet this month. In short, stress is usually the last thing we think about when we picture the ideal financial state that we hope to achieve.
Now, these stories may be highlighting the two extremes a little dramatically, but I would be willing to bet that at least some of these fit into your current visions or realities. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to have that ideal financial state. The problem is that unless you were blessed with a nice family fortune then it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get to this point.
Everyone wants the good life, but not everyone wants to work to get it
In this series we are looking at why millions of people make poor financial decisions every day that pushes them down the path of debt and misery. There are probably just as many “reasons” or “excuses” as there are people in debt, but I believe that it basically comes down to the fact that we routinely spend more money than we make. It’s almost as if we get to a certain point that money isn’t real to us anymore and we are blinded by our short-term desires. If you have already stumbled down this path then trust me you are not alone and you are not a failure. The world has a way of tempting us into making bad decisions in order to feel better about ourselves. The problem is that it only works for a little while before the warm feeling wears off and the cold, hard reality sets in.
Let’s dive in to how this starts, what happens during the slide, and how it often ends for the majority of people.
For the first article in the series click: Why Do We Spend More Money Than We Make?