Motivation is a fickle beast. Coupled with your financial life, it’s an unpredictable mess. But somehow you’ll need to navigate the mess in order to motivate yourself to make changes. Your financial life needs your help. And only you can help yourself. I can talk at you all day, but you’ll need to find the motivation to change within yourself. That doesn’t mean I can’t help give you a starting point though.
Here’s my best motivational speech broken down into 5 great reasons to change:
1. Blissful awareness
Unlike it’s counterpart blissful ignorance, blissful awareness is the freedom which comes with being open and honest about your money. Whether it’s to a partner or just to yourself, airing all your dirty money laundry is absolutely freeing. It will also open the door to productivity and spending wisdom.
While self-control sounds restrictive and sacrificial, it’s anything but. Self-control means you are fully aware and in control of all aspects of your life. Getting your money right will lead to getting your fitness right and your relationships right. Self-control is a lifestyle change. Your old, undisciplined ways will be a vague unpleasant memory.
3. Relationship miracles
Regardless of where your relationship currently is, it can always get better. A commitment to bettering your finances acts as a pledge to bettering your relationship as well. Working through your finances together opens the lines of communication and banishes embarrassment and resentment.
4. Personal responsibility
I don’t blame anyone for what happens to me. This is personal responsibility. By taking ownership of what is going on with your financial life you are taking responsibility for everything in your life. Blaming will keep you spinning in circles or worse, spiraling further into debt. Though I am not suggesting you blame yourself, personal responsibility and self-blame are very different. Wallowing in self-pity also won’t help. As lame as it sounds, you need to break the cycle. I don’t care if you learned the blame game from your parents or absorbed it from your co-workers. You are responsible for you. Taking on the responsibility will propel you into action. And action is always a good thing.
5. A Macgyver-free lifestyle
Is your financial life stitched up with hack budgeting, only to be saved by a just-in-the-nick-of-time bonus or tax refund? You may congratulate yourself after avoiding bankruptcy one more month, but you are no Macgyver. Your financial life is too important to leave to unreliable techniques and sheer luck.You can’t make a successful plan with poor financial habits.
Motivation should naturally lead you to education. So whether it devouring what information you can glean from the interGoogle or buying a budgeting book (*ahem*), your financial future is waiting for you to step up. Can you handle it?
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.