Why We Read Money Tips But Never Become Rich

by David Ning · 33 comments

dollar billsLike you, I read many articles on the topic of personal finance. And more often than not, I come across tips on how we can save and earn more money. The article will say something like “do this and you will become rich.” Some of these article may be from someone you trust, while others make so much sense that you want to try the tactic even if you don’t know who wrote it. Some of the articles are so persuasive that you might even dream about becoming rich after you read them.

But what happens after a week? Half the time, we forget about the tips all together. The other half of the time, we either try the money tip and assume it doesn’t work because we didn’t see any results immediately, or remind ourselves that we will never have time to try it.

Forgetting About the Money Tip All Together
Don’t worry. You are not alone since we are all like this. We are busy and don’t have time to debrief after reading personal articles. After all, most of us read personal finance because we want to kill time or take a break from work, not to become rich. If we read money topics because we wanted to become rich, we would have a pen and paper ready and take notes just in case the article contained useful information. (Now that’s an idea. Why don’t we write down the tip so we can choose to try it later?)

Trying the Money Tip for a Week and Then Assume It is Not for Us
Perhaps this is the writers’ fault because we do not always mention the consistency and dedication it takes to achieve financial wealth. We would write tips like “cook at home instead of eat out” and end the tip but we really should show you in the same article how much $5 every day will amount to if we have it fully invested (preferably in a low cost index fund by the way).

We make excuses for ourselves, and complain all the time about why we are so unlucky. We complain about the personal finance guru not giving enough detail. We complain about our environment, and why it works for others but not us. What we really are complaining about is why no one does all the work and hands us free money. Who said becoming rich is about doing nothing? Read all the passive income blogs and you see that setting it up is nothing but hard work. Picking dividend stocks for the long term requires brains. Running a blog requires tremendous dedication. Success requires time and effort people, wake up.

Reminding Ourselves that We Will Never Have Time to Try It
If we tell ourselves that we don’t have time, We just told ourselves that we don’t have time to become rich. Keep working forever my friends, because we don’t have time to live financially free. We read the tips, agree that it makes so much sense, then we sit there and flip on TV to watch other people make money while we spend money watching them.

Don’t procrastinate. If you don’t have time, make time. The biggest mistake is to wait and don’t do what you really want to do. If you want to run a blog, you should try it. If you want to try cooking at home, go buy groceries today. Just remember that just like everything else, you won’t have instant gratification and it will be 100 times tougher than you initially thought. But believe in yourselves, believe in your abilities to adapt and everything will work out.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Thomas Yates says:

    I think it comes down to applying the knowledge. It is all very well knowing something but its actually living what you learn that will make the difference. We all know that eating healthy foods, making healthy choices and exercising regularly will help keep us healthy and fit but how many people actually do those things? Its the same with money, unless you actually live what you learn then you won’t see any positive effect to your finances.

  • Maryann says:

    I think pick one and just do it. Right now, I live beneath my means and save. As i see my savings grow.. I’m now ready for another tip on how to invest or build on my savings. I think these articles get overwhelming and seem so foreign that the reader shuts down.
    So, start with saving money. We can all do that. Then go from there.

  • Kyle says:

    I’ve notice it takes much less effort to come up with ideas but when actually implanting them requires 100 times the effort.

    I find it VERY easy to want to throw hands up in the air and cry out “I give Uncle!” and let push me. This world requires dedication and motivation to get from point A to point B and sometimes you may have to go to Point C then go back to Point B.

  • I think the biggest key has to be consistency. You should consistently spend less money than you earn or receive. Then take the savings and invest them in appropriate investments given your risk tolerance. If you are consistently spending less than you earn and intelligently investing/saving the difference, you will build long-term wealth. The key is just having the dedication to live that lifestyle.

  • Jean says:

    Personally, I have found that is hardest to try and follow through on most suggestions and just work on my own for the most part to come up with ideas and techniques that will work for me after taking into consideration what my motivation and work ethic are and how to incorporate them in the most productive ways possible.

    -Jean

  • Robert says:

    I think the best way to get out of the rut is to just do it. I know I have made a lot of excuses over the years even when I hear information that could possibly make me a lot of money. It is all about taking action. I think anyhow.

    • Kyle says:

      I agree. There is not going to be someone that will *rescue* you from your troubles. Life is not like a storybook where the right people show up.

      You just have to basically shoot darts in the dark and keep trying to hit your target even if it takes you your entire lifetime.

      Some people are born with resources where they have friends/family who have rich connections that will give you a boost but that’s more of the exception then the rule.

      The rule is you have to do all the work if you want your dreams to come true.

  • promo gifts says:

    It’s not until people get close to retiring that they look at their finances more closely as they are about to live on a fixed income. Because of the remorseless working week many people never feel they have the time to invest in money saving tips.

  • Herbert says:

    However good the tip is, without means to follow up renders it useless.

  • The bottom line here is discipline. People who are in a personal finance fix have got there more often not due to indiscipline. Not a lot of personal finance advice is new stuff. If one applies the basics of financial hygiene in a disciplined manner even small steps can make a big difference over time. Nice article.

  • I think it helps to take these sorts of suggestions and both personalize them and make tangible goals. This way we continue to strive towards something and when we achieve them, we can celebrate. It’s a great moment.

  • MoneyPerk says:

    I read A LOT of finance related articles, and I must say this has been one of my all time favorite reads!

    I read these types of articles because you never know if one you stumble upon can give you great advice, just like this one. It very important to know that it takes perseverance to achieve your financial goals, and finance articles are definitely here to give you encouragement or proper knowledge.

  • Watch Fight says:

    I like this line “Forgetting About the Money Tip All Together” yes that is right because there will be redundancy and every tip will conflict from one another.

  • Marbella says:

    Some tips to get rich are sometimes wrong and then there will be a loss instead. But in the long run, we will slow a bit richer, maybe just on experience and sometimes a little money too. Great article you write.

  • Vivian Love says:

    This is nothing new. It applies to everything. Get over the hump is always the hardest part. I’m thinking sometime others’ success scares you because you make yourself to believe that you will NEVER be that successful. Am I making some sense here?

  • Jerry says:

    There are a million excuses in the world for not doing what it takes to achieve anything worthwhile. If it were easy, everyone would be rich. Sure, there’s a small segment that has inherited wealth but many have earned it and earned it the hard way. Hard work, patience and diligence leads to results. It’s human nature to get bored, give up and complain. But, if you’re expect more of yourself you have to *do* more. There’s no insurance that anyone will be a millionaire or billionaire but wouldn’t it be nice to feel freedom from debt and live within your means. That might just be enough to feel like a million bucks.
    Jerry

  • Britanny says:

    Yeah, the majority of us read tons of books on how to become rich and just few of us succeed. It is very difficult to make the 1st step as you are always afraid to lose your money and take risks. However, who does not risk, never gets success.

  • Moneymonk says:

    I read pf articles to entertain myself, I love the subject. However, if I find something worth applying to my life I will actually print it out take notes and do it.

    By reading about money and educating myself, I can say Im not rich (yet), but I have move from middle class to upper middle class. Im almost there….

  • Changing an established lifestyle is difficult for most people.

    We are creatures of habit, so implementing and following through on all the personal finance tips could be a massive upheaval.

    Still, it is important to take the first step if we want to be financially free.

  • marci says:

    Assuming that one is actually applying the tips faithfully, my answers would be: 1. Inflation. 2. The older one gets (sometimes) the higher one would like their standard of living to be, so the money just doesn’t ‘catch up’ to the mind’s attitude. 3. One’s definition of ‘rich’ keeps growing in size – higher and higher.

    Along with reading and applying the tips, one also needs to ‘Get real” with their attitude about what is rich. I just feel if I am debt free and have money to blow, plus retirement $$ saved up, then I AM rich 🙂 Rich according to MY standards, but certainly not to any one else’s.

  • Magnesium says:

    From my point of view the majority of people are afraid to fail, thus they don’t try various approaches and are not successful

  • marie says:

    I think it’s all a matter of mental discipline.

    Marie

  • thehungrydollar.com says:

    I think the key is to try out different approaches until you find the one that best fits your lifestyle. A magic method that will fix all of our financial problems doesn’t exist. Our lives are just too different. Once you find what works for you, you’re more likely to stick with it.

  • GBlogger says:

    It’s human nature — it’s hard for most people to change their habits/direction.

  • Lise says:

    David, I just wanted to say that I keep coming back and re-reading this post. It really speaks to the frugality/personal finance blogosphere as a whole.

    I think there are two points here: one is the obvious one, culled from the title–that there is a distinction between knowing how to act and actually acting that way in regards to one’s finances. The second point is less obvious: when you say “We make excuses for ourselves, and complain all the time about why we are so unlucky,” that’s really getting at it. We all have our blindspots. This is a painful truth for me, and I am trying to examine those blindspots.

    I haven’t added this to my del.icio.us yet, but I will do so now, just so I can continue to appreciate–and so that others can, too, hopefully.

  • MoneyNing says:

    Vik Dulat: Definitely. I find it interesting that people would spend the time to read tips after tips but never spend the time to try some of it 🙂

  • Vik Dulat says:

    I guess it comes down to taking the initiative of having the motivation to do something.

  • MoneyNing says:

    financial hack: Most of the things is always up to us. We just have to stop blaming everyone else.

    Brooke: That’s a good idea. Forcing a schedule usually works well since it helps people put discipline into the mix.

    KCLau: It’s always a catch 22 🙂 That’s why there are people who are winners and others who always struggle.

  • KCLau says:

    After reading your post, I think a person should read motivational tips and improve on their discipline and other personal development area before taking up any personal finance course. However, a person who attended those courses and learn about money tips are those who are already motivated to get better.

    Money tips should be made into habits.

  • Brooke says:

    Maybe if we put an hour into our schedule each week (preferably during a weekday) to implement some of the tips? Then we could pick the best one from each week and throw an hour toward implementing it. Thanks for the great non-procrastination tips.

  • thewild1 says:

    What financial hack said is pretty true. Usually the hardest part is to make the first move.

  • It all comes down to follow through and it doesn’t apply only to finances, but almost every aspect of life. Finances aren’t that difficult. They are definitely not rocket science. So the only person you truly have to blame if they are not in order is yourself.

    • Todd says:

      I agree in regards to the follow through efforts. One of the best things that I did for both my finances and myself was to register and pay for a marathon entry.

      I had 5 months to train for it and it would happen regardless of my fitness level. By sticking to the training runs, It gave me plenty of time to think about how to improve other aspects of my life.

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