What obstacles prevent people from solving their financial problems?

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Dear Dave,

In your mind, what are the main mental and emotional barriers that prevent people from solving their financial problems?

Roger

Dear Roger,

That’s a great question! There are always circumstances beyond our control that can put us in dire straits, financially or otherwise, for a season. But in order to change your money situation, you have to be prepared to take a step back and honestly take a look at the big picture of what worked and what didn’t, and why. You need to be prepared to admit that there may be things wrong with you and be open to learning and trying new methods.

Myths about money and debt are definitely at the top of the list of things that confuse people when it comes to their finances. I have heard that if you lie often enough and loud enough, that lie will be accepted as a fact. Repetition, volume, and longevity will twist and turn a myth, or lie, into a commonly accepted way of doing things. Debt is so ingrained in our culture and has been presented to us so aggressively that most Americans cannot imagine a car without a payment, a house without a mortgage, or a student without a loan. We also bought into the myth that we can get rich quick. We live in a microwave society, but living financially well is a slow cooker concept. It takes time.

Some people are afraid of change. Change can be painful, and many simply won’t change until the pain of where they are in outweighs the pain of change. When it comes to money, where you are right now is the sum of the decisions you have made so far. If you don’t like where you are, you have to admit that changes need to be made in order for you to achieve your dreams.

Finally, a lot of people just haven’t learned the right way to manage their money. Ignorance is not a lack of intelligence, it is a lack of know-how. There is a big difference between the two. Admit, if only for yourself, that you are not a financial expert. Read about money, talk to people who have been successful with their finances, and start a lifelong quest to learn as much as you can about money and how to manage it wisely. What you don’t know about money will get you broke and keep you broke!


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