I suck with money. And that’s awful because money is security.
Don't you agree?
When you have money, an emergency like needing a new oven, can't bring your entire life to a halt.
Our society doesn't teach this. The majority of Americans who are living paycheck to paycheck, and a good percentage is actually going into DEBT to afford things like rent and food. This is the opposite of security.
Does America really suck with money that badly?
I don’t think so. I think the deck is stacked against us in several different ways.
Spend Less than You Earn
Spending less than you earn is the golden rule when it comes to money. All the education and money hacks in the world won’t help you if you are overspending.
This sounds like such an easy fix. Just spend less.
Is it every that easy?
Food, gas, housing, and other necessities add up quickly. Sometimes, it’s just not possible to spend less on these things and stay fed and safe. That’s why so many people are going into debt.
This isn’t a political post so I will skip how wages are stagnant when inflation is considered. I will skip talking about how the money is out there, just concentrated in the hands of a few. But that’s a problem, too. (Interested in my bait? Leave a comment and I will happily write a post about this!)
So what can we do?
Marketing Tricks and Cognitive Biases
The marketing world loves psychology.
They know you won’t buy their products if they just start screaming in your face “BUY BUY BUY!”
So they employ marketing tricks like using specific language to trick you into associating their products with success, good feelings, or urgency.
This has led to an entire world of shady but successful advertising protocols that help trick you into making bad decisions.
Cognitive biases are another part of psychology that marketers love, although not all biases are preyed upon by nefarious marketers.
Cognitive biases are patterns our mind automatically think. They are not conscious decisions, and you probably don’t recognize them.
The most obvious one is the Denomination Effect. This is a phenomenon where people spend more money if they carry small bills (like $5s and $20s) than they would if they carried large bills (like $100s).
This happens because you think “I don’t want to break this $100. That’s spending too much money!”
But when you carry a $20 bill, you don’t blink at spending it on something because it’s “Just $20.” However, having this attitude means that you can quickly spend $100 in small bills without realizing how fast it adds up.
This also happens when we use our debit/credit cards too much.
I have been there. It has burned me.
What can you do?
Lack of Financial Fortitude
This is a big problem of mine, too!
Fortitude is defined as courage in pain or adversity. I want to tweak that definition just a bit: Financial Fortitude is sticking to your financial plan in hard times AND in good times!
I definitely don’t have trouble sticking to my budget when money is tight. I mean I have no choice.
My problem is when there is extra money, or perceived extra (it’s never really extra). I get stressed or happy, and all the sudden my mind shoots to “Well, let’s take the kids to Burger King and let them play in playground to get away from it all!” or “Let me go out and celebrate!”
Nothing is wrong with either of these responses. Both are common and do make us feel better. However, both show a lack of financial fortitude.
So what can we do?
Lack of Financial Know How
I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t taught how to budget in school.
I was taught biomedical physics, genetics, embryonic development, and calculus in high school. I was taught to pick apart an argument and how to deliver a scathing rebuke.
While I love the level of education I was lucky to receive, none of those things helped me when I opened my first bank account. They don’t help me balance my checkbook. And it doesn’t take calculus to figure out how long until I am broke again (that is insipidly predictable).
The sad truth is that the American public education system leaves out personal finance. And parents can’t teach their kids what they don’t know!
Everything I learned about personal finance I did because of self-study. I sought out books, blogs, podcasts, and anything else I could to try to take control of my money.
So what can you do?
I am ready to tell you!
Wealth Reboot July 2019
I am a pusher. I push people (Mean Girls, anyone?).
Jokes aside, I want to help you learn the basics of personal finance so you can finally have the knowledge, tools, and support to gain control of your money.
That’s why I started the Wealth Reboot Challenge.
Why Take the Challenge?
First, I am going to throw a ton of information at you through my blog series, that runs each weekday the month of July (excluding the 4th), and through the Facebook Group for participants.
Each week will have a theme like budgets or FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) that will give you the practical knowledge you need to figure out a plan.
In the Facebook group, I will share links, tips, tricks, infographics, and products that will help you learn more in your weak areas.
Then each week will have a Challenge Task, designed to take no more than 15 minutes or so a day. These tasks are designed to help you develop practical habits that will lead to better money management.
Then through the group, you will get to connect with others who are at the same place we are. People who are trying to do better but are struggling and need support. On top of that, I will be sharing some fun stuff like funny and inspirational finance memes.
The best part is that everything is FREE!
This is your chance to reboot your money habits. This is your chance to rebuild your financial fortitude. This is your chance to secure your family's future.
Sign up below to be the first to join the revolution. You won't miss the chance to join the Facebook group once its live!
Hi! I am Ali, a homeschool mom who is passionate about science, managing my money and time well. Unfortunately, with an army of tiny faces, I am always still kind of a mess.
I was tired of not having a judgement free place to talk about money troubles with other moms. So I created one!
Click on the picture above to join my Facebook Group, Money Savvy Mommas.