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Classic Money Habits That Last A Lifetime (Part II)

by Shawanda Greene

"Always and Forever"This is the second blog post in the Classic Money Habits series. 

Be a Boss

It seems making excuses has become a national pastime.

If a business, bad luck or your boyfriend’s baby mama is screwing up your money, you have two choices:

1) Wait for the culprit to do the right thing, or

2) Get off your butt, and solve your own problems.

Over the years, I’ve learned you’re 100% responsible for getting what you want out of life.

Sure. Others will sometimes get in the way. They’ll sabotage your efforts.

But you know what’s crazy? They don’t care!

While you’re angrily complaining about how you were wronged, the people who’ve negatively affected you aren’t concerned with the problems they’ve caused. It’s likely they’re unaware your problems exist. Or even worse, that you exist. *shakes head* Man, that’s cold.

Regardless of who’s at fault, don’t waste one second obsessing over what you can’t control. Ya got it?

I know it’s tough, but you’ll get better with practice.

If you must, call up your BFF in the middle of the night, rattle on endlessly about how you’re the unluckiest person on the planet, and recount every painstaking detail of the event that led to this spectacular act of selfishness.

I get it. I’ve been there.

Just don’t get tangled in a web of excuses and inaction because 

  • your feelings are hurt
  • you’re a good person, and you deserve better
  • that stupid recipe called for 3/4 cup of milk and now you’re pulling a daggum soup out of your oven instead of a firm, delicious green bean casserole.

Understand Why You Do What You Do

It’s been a decade since I dissected The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Occasionally, a certain action triggers my recollection of one of The 7 Habits.

While writing this post, I remembered this one: Begin with the end in mind.

Disclaimer: I’m not totally sure what Mr. Covey meant by “begin with the end in mind,” and, for the sake of time, I won’t bother researching it. (If you insist on exactness, read the book yourself).

Here’s what I think it means: Before you embark on a voyage, identify what you want the end result to be.

I’ll give you an example.

Let’s say you wanna send your blessed children to Prestigious University.

A little self evaluation reveals what’s motivating your decision.

  • You want your offspring to attend your alma mater. Having a legacy is important to you.
  • You want your kids to earn a substantial living. The relationships created in college will set them up for career excellence.
  • You want to brag to your friends about how brilliant your children are and make them feel inferior about having stupid kids.

The long-term sacrifices required to save for this humongous expense are much easier to endure when you understand the purpose of it all.

Otherwise, what’s the point?

If you find yourself asking that question and blanking on a good answer, you’ll quit.

Think about it.

Why forego retirement to pay for something that’s unimportant when you can spend your golden years being insanely rude to strangers because you’re old and most people refuse to punch an elderly person in the face?

Ignore Dumb Financial Advice

Dumb financial advice isn’t the easiest to spot, but I have a quick and dirty trick to detect it: Dumb advice comes from dumb people.

They may not be dumb in general, just dumb when it comes to money.

The Bible says, “You know a tree by the fruit it bears.” (Well, it says something like that. Don’t quote me.)

Accepting career advice from some joker who can’t hold down a job is probably not a good idea. You’ll likely find better credit repair tips from someone other than your cousin who borrows money from you on a bi-weekly basis. And, the mechanic who owes tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes is in no position to debate what qualifies as an “ordinary and necessary” business expense.

Unless the dummy is advising you to not make an amazingly stupid choice that landed them in a pile of mess, take their counsel with a grain of finely ground sea salt. (Mmm. Sea salt.)

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