Do you dread balancing your checkbook or reviewing your personal finances every month? It seems nothing ever changes. The same problems are occurring every month. You are just as stressed after you look at them as you were before thinking “I will never be able to retire at this rate, and I just turned (insert your age here)..” Finance talk is important in overcoming the public discussion myth above money.
The “You Never Discuss Your Personal Finances” Myth
Well my friends – You are NOT ALONE!
I have been there perhaps in worse shape than you are. I understand and feel your stress and pain. As I have said before, I have been there not just once, but three times, and felt embarrassed. Perhaps the reason for that feeling was because I grew up in an era families did not talk openly about money. Money was considered a taboo subject for conversation.
You were led to believe you had to keep up with the Jones’ family next door or give that image, regardless of the reality of your situation. You see Jack Jones next door suddenly has a new black shiny limousine in his yard. He is bragging about how they paid $40,000 and got all the bells and whistles included. Well, you just assumed his family was doing quite well or was well-to-do. You never asked him how he paid for it – cash or credit.
Personal Finance Concerns Need to be Talked About
The truth is Jack Jones and his family may be struggling more than they want to let on. They are embarrassed by their situation. They may feel this new car makes them feel better for their real struggles where finances are concerned.
Fact is, he is lying to himself to feel better. Sooner or later, those lies will catch up to him and his family, and the bottom of their money pit will buckle and collapse under the weight of debt that is placing a burden on their family’s true happiness. They could have found a nice second hand, single-owned car for about $3,000 and really paid cash for it.
Assumptions Can Lead to Contagious Actions
Now you look at your car in the driveway and start comparing it to your neighbors, you think “gee, maybe its time we get a new car!” You are afraid if you don’t follow his led, the neighbors will think you are too cheap or even label you in some way for now keeping up the aesthetic look for the neighborhood.
The only thing assumptions do is led you to ASSUME. This reminds me of the old show, “The Three Stooges” when Moe explains to Larry and Curley just what you do when you ASSUME anything. He told them when you assume you only make an ASS out of U and ME.
Step Back Now and Think
Okay, you don’t know your neighbor’s finances, but you should know your own. You know you cannot afford a brand new car and that is okay. You need to be comfortable in your own skin. Mr Jones was not thinking of you or your other neighbors when he bought his new limousine, he was fulfilling his own thoughts and dreams. If he misses a payment or two, you may just witness a tow truck hauling it away in the wee hours of the morning. That is a devastating feeling no one should experience, and yet – I did, now I own my current car. Oh, it has some dings and nicks but that is okay, the important thing is – it still works and gets me around.
Remember – You Are #1, think before you act foolishly!
In closing, the only one we need to think about is our self. If you need something, do your homework thoroughly with lots of research and consider others who may have already gone the route you are thinking about. Talk to them, let them know what you are thinking and ask for pros and cons they have found since they already have done what you are looking into.
Once you have all the facts and looked at your budget – you may realize all you really need is a tune-up, and through talking you learned your neighbor is willing to give you a discount and do it for you as that is what he does for a living.
I look forward to your opinions here. Please share your thoughts as you were reading this post. .