The Mentality of Solid Financial Living

by David Bakke

solid financial livingI wanted to speak a little today about the mindsets and attitudes that go along with living a solid financial life.  Back when I was in debt, in the beginning, I thought I could solve my debt problems by simply creating some A B C list of things to do.  Complete the things on the list and boom; I’d be out of debt.

Eventually I came to realize that this is not the right way to go about doing it. Rather, it is by changing our thought process and our handling of how money comes into and goes out of our life that will bring us real, long-lasting financial success.

I could write on this topic for days (and did so extensively in my book) but for today, I just wanted to outline a few of the behaviors that I began to put into place in my life that made for some real financial progress.

Here we go, in no particular order:

A Willingness and Desire to Get Out of Debt.  This is first on the list for a reasonYou could follow a hundred other steps to get out of debt, but if you don’t  really, truly want to get out of debt, it will never happen.  This includes a willingness to put measures into place in your life, and sticking with them, which will solve your financial shortcomings.

Some degree of organization.  I would say it’s a pretty fair bet that most people whose finances are a mess are not very organized by nature.  This was definitely the case with me.  Note, I did not say something like “Be Completely Organized”.  Simply getting some sort of organization wrapped around your finances would be a good enough start.  Specifically, organize how and when you pay your bills, organize how and where you file them, etc.

Improved Attention to Detail. The statistics are shocking at the number of people who don’t even look at their credit card bills or their utility bills before paying them.  They don’t even look.  Are you kidding me?  In the beginning, you have got to take a good hard look at all your bills to make sure there are no hidden fees that you shouldn’t be paying for, that they aren’t services on your bill that you’re paying for and not receiving, and that there are not charges on your credit cards that don’t belong there. Once you get used to doing this, the process really turns into a quick scan of them, but you’ve got to know what you’re looking for.

Increase Your Awareness Level.  What does this mean?  Let me pose some questions to you.  Is there a cheaper gas company out there that you could get your gas from? A cheaper internet company? Cable TV? When you shop, do you know a good deal when you see one?  Or, do you mindlessly wander the aisles, casually throwing the same overpriced stuff in your cart as you did the week before.

And finally, the Ability to Act. If you can find a cheaper way to get internet, will you take the time and energy to call up and switch?  Or will you maintain your status quo because of laziness or apathy or whatever?  If you see a charge on your credit card that doesn’t belong there, will you call up and dispute it?  Or just let it go because the thought of standing up for yourself scares you to death?

As you can see, this is a list of behaviors and habits, rather than a concrete list of things to do to solve debt. I learned early on in the process that by instituting one of these behaviors in your life is the same as doing ten things off of some laundry list.

Please comment below on my words and tell me what you think.  I always appreciate your honest and direct feedback.

{ 2 comments }

1 Robert J. Fischer April 16, 2010 at 12:43 am

Time is such a scarce resource that we must choose the things that we do well. Do you really want to lose weight ane get fit? It can be done, but it takes commitment. Further your education? It takes commitment. It is no difference with finances. If you make plenty of money and always will, it may be okay to be a little sloppy here. But if you must live on a modest income, it is much more important to make managing your money one of the things that you choose to do well.

2 David/Yourfinances101 April 16, 2010 at 1:49 am

Bob,

Thanks for chiming in…I couldn’t have said it better myself.
.-= David/Yourfinances101´s last blog ..The Mentality of Solid Financial Living =-.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: