Lying to yourself
Undoubtedly, the most grave financial mistake that people make is that they lie to themselves about money. If they are a couple, they also lie to each other, a classic double whammy. People tell not only other people, but themselves, the “right” things. Then they do the wrong things.
I see it every day, and it’s the single greatest threat to a person’s ability not only to achieve their financial potential, but to achieving any real financial success at all.
Example: Client, “I don’t know why we can’t get ahead. We don’t live a lavish lifestyle.” Lie! What does that mean? It means that they are spending everything they have and more, and if they could, they’d spend even more. However, they tell themselves that they are only spending on what they need. It takes one second to disarm that deception: “If you are spending everything you earn, then you are living your version of a lavish lifestyle. I can find 10 people on the street who would be envious of your lavish lifestyle.”
It’s not about defending your bad behavior with deflecting, dishonest statements that propel you to continue your devious ways. It’s about facing reality and taking responsibility for your own decisions and living within your means so that someday life doesn’t feel so hard. Once people allow themselves to be honest, a great weight is lifted from their shoulders and they buckle down and start working.
--Dawn Smith Maloney, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Hopkinton, Mass., 01748, 508-497-5023, email@example.com