How many times have you heard that “money is not enough and I am not happy with my finances”? Alright, this is actually the voices from my heart. I use to blame the government because our education system does not include financial education classes for us to manage money well, sometimes I would blame my parent for not managing their money well enough for their kids to live better in future. But wait a minutes, is it their responsibility? This really got me thinking.
When something is at fault, there is always someone to be blamed. Let’s think about it, before pointing finger to others, look at yourself what have you done. Let me share with you, recently I open a poll in a well known finance forum asking about how many people who has emergency fund on their hand if they do not work for 3 or 6 months. I wasn’t surprise with the results, there are only 5 persons out of 53 that have emergency fund on hand. This is so common I was not shocked. From the 53 people that responded to my polls, I am sure they are smart and disciplined person. Emergency fund is essential in personal finance and why do this people not following? Perhaps it was just one example and I can’t justify overall about personal finance but why do this good personal finance fail in the first place?
It kept me thinking for awhile and I think you may know how important it is to budget and manage your money. No doubt that there are still many people I know still don’t keep track of their expenses. Hmm…I use to think, if everyone is practicing, personal finance would not exists and this blog will not exists neither. Probably this is what I want it to happen.
To get a picture why these good personal finance idea is hard to follow and fail, I would use myself as an example and additional feedback from the poll that I had gathered. Here’s some of the reasons and obstacles:
1. Not taking action and lazy to get started
Lazy could be the number one reason. They simply do not want to take action to get it started, all sort of excuses popup such as lack of time or rather spend the time in leisure to rest or do things they always wanted to do. In fact, the first step to get started will not take you long to plan and budget your day-to-day financial affairs. Despite doing all these planning will enable you to do the things that bring you satisfaction and enjoyment in later days. After all, it is completely up to you to take the first step. In my opinion, I think everyone should track where their money goes and I have not met people who is good in their finances that don’t need to track their money unless they have a personal finance adviser.
2. Get lazy along the way
I know I know is lazy again. The second big obstacle required discipline and you may lost focus follow through. At this stage, even though you have make the right move to get started, but along the way you get lazy and the intention to give up is strong.
Since many will give up at this stage, if you continue to sticks to your goals, you’ll will be better off others. You can cultivate good habits to keep you stay focus, for example, writing journal to remind you to sticks to your goals like I did, to blog about personal finance, and each time I wrote and reread what I wrote, it will automatically entered to my subconscious and keep me stay focus all the time.
See, this works for me, there is other ways to stay motivated, such as keep yourself a to-do-list all the time to force a daily routine to track your expenses. You can take about a minute or two a day after dinner or before you go to bed to list down what you had spend for the day.
3. It is not the right time yet
I know you may have a better important things to take care, you may thought of it is not important enough to take care personal finance now . But let me ask you, when is the best time? It is always the best time to start right now, start it small and you will eventually formulate a plan for yourself in long run that works for you. What’s more important than paying attention to yourself. As with anything else in life, without financial goals and specific plans for meeting them, we drift along and leave our future to chance.
I always heard this anywhere in self development books or website -> “most people don’t plan to fail; they just fail to plan.” So, it reminds me that if I fail to plan, I will fail to reach my financial goals.
Given all the reasons and obstacles, the next step is all depends on you to get kick start your personal finance. It’s easy to get started and practicing makes easy.