Sometimes rational thinking isn’t enough. Sometimes fear doesn’t motivate. And sometimes, embarrassment is inevitable because the thought of embarrassment isn’t enough to ward it off.
Every single person uses something different when it comes to motivation. Some people are able to rationalize that saving money will lead to a brighter future…and then act on it. Believe it or not, this is a small group of people. Others need to get so scared of future misery that they force themselves to act on their financial priorities. So what do you do if none of your techniques are working? Allow me to introduce you to guilt.
Prepare to be blasted. Don’t worry. This is how guilt works.
Remember the last time you lost $100 at the casino? Yeah, that was a bad idea. You haven’t even started to save for the college educations of your three children.
Remember that new purse you just bought? Yeah, that was a bad idea. Your parents just gave you $1500 to get out of credit card debt, and you bought a stinking purse. You should have given them the money.
Remember how you buy new golf clubs every 2 years, but you get mad when your wife wants to buy the kids nice school clothes? Yeah, that makes you selfish.
Remember how you pay $80/month for someone to clean your house, but you refuse to pay $35/month to buy the right amount of life insurance? Not cool, Holmes.
Remember how you have a $600 car payment, but you refuse to buy your kid braces for his crooked crooked crooked teeth? At least you will be driving his crooked grill around in a nice car.
See, guilt sucks. It does. But it sucks because it’s true. If you can possibly relate (or know someone that can relate) to any of these situations, then please take action. Use guilt to accomplish your goals. It works.
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.