Why Do People Struggle Financially? Take a look and Find out!

My Turn Opinion Column

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Have you ever wondered why people struggle financially?  There are so many opinions and ideas around this topic.  Many blame the government, society and anything else they can find.  How about us?  Do we ever consider that maybe WE are the reason that “we” struggle financially?

I think that the biggest reason so many people struggle financially is because we live beyond our means.

People do not want to be told no and do not want to restrict their own wants and desires. This is where the problem starts.

Next, mass media, social media, radio, television, websites, etc… constantly “tell you” that you need this or that… to look better, to feel better, you deserve it, because everyone has it…

This constant stream or marketing and advertising hitting your brain never takes a break and it is a form of brainwashing where people convince themselves they need all these things to survive in the world when in reality only need a few things to survive.

Moreover, people are convinced that things and stuff will bring happiness. Before you know it, you have spent more than you earn and start to borrow using a credit card. Pretty soon you get caught up in the comparison trap and everyone’s highlight reel of Facebook and Instagram. We see that everyone has such amazing awesome lives on social media and desire to have the same thing. The problem is that this is all fantasy… it is the BIG LIE we tell ourselves. No one has such a life, maybe a few but most people just want to fit in a world where you are judged by what you wear, what own and what you drive or what job you have…  We seem to care so much about what OTHER PEOPLE THINK.

This perception of what will bring happiness is a house of cards… it creates a spending pattern that quietly and consistently drains all your resources until you look up and realize you are in huge financial trouble.

I know this because I coach people every week trying to dig out of huge holes and the stories are all the same… it is really sad, but you can be the “hero of your own story!”

The solution to the problem is to first, STOP caring about what other people think.  What should matter is what YOU think…  Second, I think it is healthy to “disconnect” from technology / phones / iPad and other things on a daily basis and simply ground yourself on the essentials of life.

Here is the list of the things we REALLY need:

  1. Dwelling – A place to live (rented or owned) but NOT a mansion. A roof over your head is needed.
  2. Clothing – basic clothing. NOT designer clothes.
  3. Utilities – need to pay the electric bill, water, telephone and internet.
  4. Food – groceries, NOT eating out.
  5. Transportation to and from work. A bike, simple car, walking can all achieve this. You do NOT need a BMW to survive.
  6. We need Love. We need other people. We need to talk, not text. We NEED relationships. We need to care for others and for others to care about us.   
  7. We need to move… exercise… walk, run, play sports, we need to get moving. 

If people lived on a budget and told there money where it was going they would be far better off.  Have you ever thought about that?  Budgets do NOT sound fun or exciting and people perceive they are a way of saying “NO” to the things they want and desire.  It does not have to be this way.

Most people have too much month left at the end of the money.

Try living a simpler life. Get rid of the “stuff” and the clutter and focus on building relationships. Do not play the “comparison” game. Have “plastic surgery” and cut up the credit cards… tell them goodbye forever!

You will find your life is simpler and you will have more money. When you have less stuff, you will have more time, more freedom and more money!

If you want financial freedom, look at the person in the mirror and say… NO MORE! I am taking my life back!

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