Addressing America’s Top Money Concerns

In July, 2011 Gallup released a poll that they conducted which asked the question:

“What is the most important financial problem facing your family today?”

The top 3 responses were:

1) Lack of money/low wages 17%

2) Healthcare costs 12%

3) Too much debt/not enough money to pay debts 11%

Can you relate to the way at the respondents replied in this poll? I know that just last year, I certainly could. I want to encourage you and let you know that you don’t have to feel this way and you can change your circumstances regardless of how true number 1 feels to you. Because of number 1 on this list, all of the factors below it are affected and that is why they are an issue. Let’s tackle number 1 together!

On the top of a piece of blank white paper write, I LACK MONEY. Below this phrase on the piece of paper I want you to list at least 3 reasons you feel like why you currently lack money. Great Job!

Now, I hate to break it to you, but the three reasons you just wrote down are excuses for why you lack money. Harsh? That is my job. The reason why I am so frank and “harsh” is because just last year, I felt like my husband and I “lacked money.” Yet now, it feels abundant and we are not making any more. It feels abundant because I tackled the excuses that I was making for our lack of money.

Some of the excuses I would have put down last year would have been:

1) Don’t make enough

2) There is none left over

3) Too much debt

Now I can look at all of my excuses I would have had a year ago and immediately see the solutions! The solutions that we implemented to change our lack of money didn’t take MORE money, it took planning and organization.

This was a HUGE revelation for me – first I had to become content in our circumstances and quit focusing on what I wanted beyond what we had. After I was able to become content with what we had, I needed to better understand how we could organize our finances to best position us for success.

Number 1 from my excuses above: we did make enough but we didn’t have a plan for what we were making, therefore it felt like we didn’t make enough. If you feel like you don’t make enough, what don’t you make enough for? Maybe it is time to re-evaluate your standard of living and ensure that you are not living beyond what your salary affords you. Too many of us put ourselves in situations where we cause our own stress by our lack of self-accountability. We know better than to buy the flat screen TV. on the Best Buy credit card, we know better than to buy a new car with a $400 monthly payment and we know better than to get our nails done every week or go out to lunch everyday. Whatever your reasons are, YOU are the reason you don’t make enough. Not your employer, not your job, YOU. You have the ability to change this excuse today.

Number 2, where did all of our money go? Our money disappeared because we don’t have a system in place and lack of planning was causing our money to disappear. Imagine each month, loading up the bed of a truck with (20) $20 bills that you just pulled from the ATM of your checking account. You start the truck up and start to drive. Are you going to drive slow or fast? Slow? Why? You would probably want to drive slow to ensure you don’t lose any of those 20′s, right? I know I would. But last year, I was loading up the bed of the truck, peeling out of the lot and topping my speed out at 80 miles per hour. I was OK and having FUN blowing my money each month with no regard for it and then grumbling at the end of the money saying, “We have no money, nothing is left over at the end of the month!” Lies. The TRUTH was that we did have the money and we were not managing it, therefore it felt like we had no money. Management and stewardship of money is the key, THAT IS IT! IT is that simple…

Number 3, our debt is killing us slowly, it will be wrapped around our necks for the rest of our lives!!! Guess what? It doesn’t have to be, that was a choice. There is a lot I can get into here about debt and I won’t because that could be a 20 page article in itself, so I will keep it simple for this article. We chose to be in debt. We chose to let debt control us. End of story. Lack of money was not the reason for our debt, lack of discipline was. It was time for us to change and stop making excuses. It was time for us to look at our resources and manage them properly so that we could get out of debt. We did. You can too!

It is time to stop making excuses for your lack of money and making changes that will create an abundance of resources. I am not talking about getting rich, I am talking about becoming better managers of our personal finances so that the lack of money is no longer an obstacle to our success.