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Why You’re Not Rich Yet: 10 Secrets to Overcoming the Ordinary

by Jackie Beck

Most of us daydream now and then about winning the lottery or coming into a small fortune. And wouldn’t that be nice? The easy route to wealth seems so appealing, despite its almost complete unlikelihood.

Why not examine the things that are holding us back financially and take the much more certain route to wealth instead? Here are 10 common obstacles to wealth — along with suggestions for overcoming them:

1. You don’t pay attention.

This is often a biggie. Quick, how little could you live on in a year? Where did that $20 go that you withdrew yesterday? How much do you REALLY spend on the things you habitually buy? And are those things still worth it, or are you just paying what you’ve always paid?

Just the act of tracking spending and plain old paying attention to the things you buy and invest in can go a long way. You see, when you pay attention, you care more about what you’re doing AND you get what you really want. Wealthy people do look for the best deals. They do watch their spending, income, and investments, and they make a conscious effort not to waste money or resources.

2. You’re swayed by advertisements.

Hey, did you see the latest ad? Isn’t that cool?! Oh I want that! But did you want it before you saw the ad or heard about the product? No? Then you probably don’t really want it.

Give yourself a couple of days and see if you even remember the item then. Advertisements are designed to get you to buy things. And they work really well. Wouldn’t you rather use your money wisely instead, only getting the things that you really did want, while investing the rest and growing wealthier?

3. You’re impatient.

This goes right along with the former point. Not only do you want things, but you want them NOW. Three-year-olds express their desires with screaming fits in the stores; adults often express them by swiping their credit cards. But it’s a paradox. The long way to getting what you want is often the easiest and least costly; the short way is often the most expensive and least satisfying. Wealthy people don’t go out and borrow money willy-nilly. If they do, they’re quickly drained of their wealth.

4. You’re compensating for your childhood.

Ok, so you didn’t have a perfect childhood. No one did. That’s no reason to indulge your every whim because you couldn’t afford things as a child. It’s not a reason avoid learning to manage money because you never had to then. It’s not a reason to go out and buy a big house that you can’t afford because that’s what your parents had. It IS a reason to sit back and consider your actions. Are you doing something based on what happened when you were a kid, or are you doing it because it’s a financially sound idea? Wealthy people think things through. They plan and wait for the right opportunity.

5. You spend more than you earn.

Items one through four above all make it easy to spend more than you earn. To avoid this, you have to know both how much you earn, how much you’re currently spending, and how much you need to cut back. It’s simple: you cannot become wealthy by digging a hole. You have to BUILD wealth. Sometimes that means making hard choices, sometimes that means not going crazy with the toys, and many time it means just plain old paying attention and focusing on your goals.

6. You’re afraid of success (or failure).

What would your life look like if you were wealthy? If picturing that brings up some sort of nameless fear or negative feelings, think about what’s behind that. See if you can’t change your feelings around. After all, you won’t become wealthy if you don’t think wealthy is a good place to be.

7. You stick to what you know, even if you don’t like it.

This is often related to the former point. The devil we do know is better than the devil we don’t — or so we think. I find picturing worst case scenarios to be helpful here. What’s the worst that could happen? How likely do you think that is to happen? Do the wealthy people you know have those experiences? (And keep in mind that if it turns out you hate having plenty of money, you could always give it all away.)

8. You’re uninformed.

Maybe you just don’t know HOW to get rich in a reasonable way. Maybe you know nothing about managing money on a day to day basis, let alone about growing wealth and investing. The solution to that is fairly simple: go down to your public library or pull up information on your computer and start studying. Talking with others who have done what you want to do too. Learn as much as you can, practice little by little, and keep on learning.

9. You don’t hang around with the right kind of people.

Sometimes it really is who you know. Now I don’t mean that you need to know multimillionaires in order to become rich — but you DO need to hang out with people who have a positive and healthy mindset regarding money. Don’t spend your time hanging out with people who act irresponsibly with money or who are always whining helplessly about their circumstances, because you’ll be tempted to act that way too. Find some responsible, reasonable, caring people who are good at managing and growing wealth, and emulate them. Just don’t emulate them by acquiring things before you can afford them.

10. It doesn’t occur to you.

I think this is a big thing. Did you know you can become rich? Do you really believe it? If you don’t even think that it’s a real possibility, you’ll never rise above the level of daydreaming about it. Allow for the real possibility.

Posted in Make Money on 08.22.11 with 14 comments.

14 Responses to “Why You’re Not Rich Yet: 10 Secrets to Overcoming the Ordinary”

  • Number 3 and 5 have been my biggest problems in the past, but hopefully I’m past it as the past year it’s been cash only and down to only 3 debts now.

  • Carrie Smith says:

    I definitely agree with #2 and #7. Seeing advertisements everywhere makes me think that I need that item right now. Taking your advice and stepping back, just waiting for a few days to see if that item is even something that’s important, is a successful way to overcome impulse buying.
    Sometimes I do get stuck in a rut, and just do things the same old way. Thanks for reminding me that trying something new might offer better results.

  • alysa@impulsesave.com says:

    The ability for advertisements to get us to purchase always amazes me! It really is important to take the time to think about purchases to make an effort against making them impulsively.

    Stephen Colbert did this great segment on savings behavior and impulse purchases, it’s hysterical and makes some great points!

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/389614/june-14-2011/close-sesame

  • Little House says:

    I love this line:
    “Three-year-olds express their desires with screaming fits in the stores; adults often express them by swiping their credit cards”
    This is so true!

    I’m not much swayed by advertising and I can always wait for something I really need. For me, it’s the little things that add up (like my Starbucks addiction!) But I’ve found ways to limit it, like loading my rewards card with a set amount and sticking to it (well, sort of – within reason.) :)

  • Doctor Stock says:

    Spending more than we earn is such a Western way of life… we seem to have eyes bigger than our wallets.

  • #5 got me….for a really long time. Now I’m spending a few years digging myself out of a mountain of debt. I’ll get there eventually. :)

  • Buck Inspire says:

    6 and 7 got me. The devil we do know is better than the devil we don’t — or so we think. Never heard this one before, but it really fits the bill. Thanks for reminding me of what I need to improve on! Fear of failing and sticking to what I know!

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