Personal Finance is Indeed Personal

by David Ning · 7 comments

What I love about personal finance is that everyone is in an unique situation. Yet, the more they are different, the more they stay the same.

What’s more interesting is that even though the majority of us struggle to achieve financial freedom, the methods are simple and for the most part, we already know them.

  • We already know that the key is to earn more than we spend. Yet, we struggle with controlling our expenses.
  • We already know not to buy high and sell low. Yet, we unknowingly fall into the trap of buying the latest hot investments.
  • We already know that saivng for the future is important, but we put off thinking about retirement anyway.

So Why is it Difficult?

Perhaps the personal in personal finance refers not just to our unique circumstances but more importantly, that it’s up to us to make a difference. We probably know we need to make more and spend less and we may even know how to get this done. We just don’t know how to get ourselves motivated to act.

I know, luck plays an important factor in all this and it’s easy to blame the hand we are dealt. And let’s face it, some people are just luckier than others. Your friends may have joined a start up company early on which then struck it big, or someone you know could have bought a high flying stock long ago and made their initial investment 100 times over. But whatever happens to others have nothing to do with your situation. Personal finance is personal. Stop complaining and start doing something about your own situation.

The Good News

The good news is that it’s easy to succeed even though you may end up being the minority. You just need to:

  • Pay Attention – You may hate budgeting since no one really ever pushes you to keep track, but find a way to pay attention to your expenses and your surroundings. Studying the details will help you find ways to increase your income, and being alert will only help your pursuit to control your spending.
  • Develop a Laser Focus – Not only are a focused person productive, he/she is also determined to never give up. The road to financial freedom is long and you will encounter road blocks. Have the tenacity to pick yourself back up every time you fall by focusing on the prize.
  • TAKE ACTION – The more people I meet, the more I believe in taking action. Everybody fails at one point or another. EVERYBODY. The ones that succeed just try again. Learn to succeed by failing fast.

You already know all this but you may just need someone to beat it into your head again and again. You may or may not like the way I do this, but you can be sure that I will try. Not that I like repeating myself of course, but helping you have been rewarding, not to mention that writing to you helps remind me of these principles as well.

Sometimes people forget, but I’m pursuing the same thing as you too.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Financial Samurai October 27, 2009 at 6:18 am

That is a good point David. Sometimes we do forget you’re in it together with us.

Have you ever used negative thoughts to help motivate you? Such as, if disaster strikes goodness forbid, you need to work hard now and build your EF to provide for your family?

I like to encourage my discipline at times using negative thought processes, so I can create that sense of urgency.

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MoneyNing October 27, 2009 at 9:36 am

I don’t explicitly remind myself of the potential disasters, but I’m fortunate in that the fear of what could happen is always in the back of my mind so it motivates me to work hard.

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FinanciallySmart October 27, 2009 at 8:30 am

Yes it is Personal and we should always take time out to see what we are doing wrong and stop doing it. What I have come to realized is that looking at another person success without getting motivated will not help me to move on. Envious and jealousy will not work stick to what you know will allow you to make it and it will. The rules was set because it has proven and so we should abide by it and success will come.

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Craig October 27, 2009 at 9:31 am

It is difficult and a lot of people don’t have the knowledge and jump on bandwagons without proper research. Just learning the basics can be a huge step and then you realize the little things add up, don’t need to worry about everything.

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Austin October 27, 2009 at 11:23 am

Paying attention is so important but no one ever talks about it enough. Being alert not just with finances but actually everything. The more we pay attention, the more opportunities we will see and the higher our chances of success.

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JGW October 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm

check out mint.com. they are a new site that does the budgeting for you by plugging in all your info. it’s a good tool to have if you’re bad about budgeting.

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settleme August 29, 2011 at 9:59 am

I loved the fact that you brought up having laser focus. It is often to stay on track when doing a budget and lack of focus is often the problem. Great tips!!!!!!!!!!!

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