Why People Can’t/Won’t Manage Their Money

by David Bakke

why people can'tI see people every day that cannot or will not manage their money. The reasons why are not important, but it gives me a strange feeling because it’s almost like I am seeing myself 15 years ago. What I fail to understand is why I was able to escape the hellish debt I was in, and why all of these people can’t or won’t.

First, I recently figured out the distinction between the people that can’t manage their finances and the people that won’t. Luckily, back in my “glory” days, I just didn’t manage them. I was certainly capable of doing it. In my opinion, there are a variety of reasons why people won’t manage their finances. In my case, it was a matter of maturity, or lack thereof. I think some other root causes are a lack of self-esteem, people that suffer from a victim’s complex, and a matter of insecurity.

Now, I would venture to say that it would be easier for these people to wake up and dig themselves out of their holes compared to the people that are incapable of managing their finances. These causes are all psychological and can be identified and dealt with. For example, this is a completely unrelated matter, but for a long time, I had self-confidence issues. I knew it, and it never really bothered me.

Well, once I got out in the professional world, when it came to going on job interviews, this lack of self-confidence I soon came to find out was causing me to perform terribly in interviews. I soon realized that if I didn’t do something about it, then I would never be able to improve myself professionally.

So, I did what I had to do to improve my self-confidence and I never looked back. This is what people in the first group need to do. They need to indentify the root problem behind what’s preventing them from managing their money, fix it, then fix their finances, and move on.

The second group of people is a different story. For those that are simply incapable of managing their money, I think a lot of it has to do with education, or lack thereof. They simply do not have the intellectual capabilities to manage their money. This is not to say that these people are lost causes. I just think in their cases, they may actually need professional financial help, and they may have to pay for it. You see, once I got out of my hole, it occurred to me that I did it without professional advice from anybody. And this is a big part of what my book is all about-the fact that you should be able to fix any financial mess that you created for yourself without needing the help of any paid professional.

This was exactly how I felt about it once I got serious. I decided that if I was able to create this mess for myself on my own, then certainly I must be able to solve it on my own as well.

If your finances are a mess, and you finally want to get serious about managing them, it seems that the first step is to identify what prevented you from doing it before. And it may involve coming to some hard realizations. Do you know why your finances are a mess? If so, that’s great. It’s a great start. If you don’t, then you might just want to call one of those debt consolidation companies or credit counseling services. But I only recommend this if you really have no idea how to manage your money.

If you do have a pretty good idea what the cause is of your financial difficulties, then it’s high time you got to it and fixed the problem. Fix what’s causing you to not manage your money, and then start managing it.

Were you able to identify the real problem causing you all of your financial hardship? If so, share it with my other readers!


1 Kerri November 20, 2009 at 5:58 pm

This is a scary thing for many people, and your post is spot on.
I’ve done some research in the arena, and one of the main issues is that people don’t have a basic understanding of their financial picture and they don’t quite no where to begin; they’re intimidated.
A new site called DebtSpark (http://www.debtspark.com) provides a very simple step one for getting a sense of monetary health. You just plug in income, expenses and debt to get a snapshot of the situation, which enables you to move on and make decisions from that. Many people are unaware of even their positive or negative cash flow! It’s about putting the wheels into motion, and being diligent about the plan you’ve established.

2 Kris Cavanaugh November 21, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Managing your money in a healthy way does indeed require maturity, and determining the reasons you didn’t do it in the past is important. I find that most people are overwhelmed with how to begin to change their money management habits, and sometimes an investment in a financial product or service is necessary to get them going.

I was blessed to have parents who helped me learn good money management habits when I was younger, though I didn’t truly take advantage of the information I was given until I was out of college.

~ Kris Cavanaugh (www.begintoshift.com)
.-= Kris Cavanaugh´s last blog ..Shift Inc. Home Page =-.

3 David November 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm


I was a little worried that this post may not be completely politically correct, so I am glad you find the wisdom in it.

I think that this website that you provide would be a good starting point for a lot of people. Thanks for sharing!
.-= David´s last blog ..Why People Can’t/Won’t Manage Their Money =-.

4 David November 21, 2009 at 1:51 pm


I, like you, had parents who were financially sharp as well. And, I, like you, did not take advantage of their knowledge until well after my college years.
.-= David´s last blog ..Why People Can’t/Won’t Manage Their Money =-.

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