What kind of financial future do you want for your kids? A successful future? A debt-free future? An intentional future? Since more is caught than taught (i.e. actions speak louder than words), we often say we want this financial freedom for our kids, and continue to live in financial ruin.
If you want to raise financially responsible and prosperous adults, you have to model that, which may mean it’s time for financial change.
But people don’t change. Why?
If you don’t do anything about your financial future, what happens tomorrow?
Nothing. Nothing happens.
But when you add up 30 years worth of tomorrows, financial disaster ensues. That is, if you aren’t doing anything about it today.
When we only consider the potential risk of doing something with our money—such as being afraid to invest in the stock market—we don’t consider the consequences of not doing anything — such as inflation eating away at our savings.
The truth is, there are plenty of reasons people don’t make financial changes. I could try to explain it in my own words, or I could let those who have already explained it give you some insight.
Let’s look at the problem, answered in 45 quotes.
Having a toxic view of money and how money works is a dangerous game. The problem is, nobody realizes they have that view when they have it. The first step to financial change is getting a proper view of money. Why do you want money? What’s important to you that money can buy? Are you trying to impress anyone?
1. “Too many people spend money they earned… to buy things they don’t want… to impress people they don’t like.”Will Rogers
Financial change isn’t all about simply having more money. More money usually isn’t the answer. Proper mindset is, and direction…
2. “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”Epictetus
3. “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.”Seneca
4. “The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.”Anonymous
5. “Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this.”Dave Ramsey
Until you get a proper view of money—not as good or evil, but as a tool—it’s going to be hard to make financial change. You need to feed yourself the right information.
We’ve been fed bad and good information our entire life, through our parents, other family members, friends, acquaintances, television, social media, advertising… any way you could imagine. It’s important to know the “what,” though knowing the “what” isn’t the primary issue. Most people know what to do, they just don’t do it. But still, first, having the right information is the start to making any financial change.
Financial change is fairly easy if you know how to do it, but the problem is…
6. “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.”Jim Rohn
And we want it to be given to us without working for it.
7. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”Thomas Edison
We must be willing to put the right information into our brains to make the change.
8. “Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.”Zig Ziglar
Ultimately, we have to learn how to control our money.
9. “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”Dave Ramsey
But we “don’t have the time.” This is probably the main excuse for most things that don’t work out in people’s lives. We all think we don’t have time, but we don’t realize how we spend the time we have.
How many times do we hear time as an excuse to not making financial change, or any change for that matter? Often. But when you think about, it’s not a reasonable excuse at all. Time isn’t the issue.
10. “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to.’”Lao Tzu
It’s perfectly fine if you don’t think you have enough time. That means you’re normal, but you can still use the time you do have.
11. “To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.”Leonard Bernstein
12. “You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”Charles Bruxton
13. “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”H. Jackson Brown
Speaking of Albert Einstein, if you want to think a little deeper, just for fun…
14. “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”Albert Einstein
We all know we can’t get more time, so we must spend our time fruitfully.
15. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”Steve Jobs
16. “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”Stephen Covey
17. “In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.”Sir John Lubbock
We’re always “going to make a change,” but do we follow through?
18. “I am definitely going to take a course on time management — just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.”Louis Boone
Often, financial change starts with small changes. It only takes a few minutes a day to read a finance book. Read for 15 minutes, and you’ll have one book down in a few weeks. You had to find the time, but 15 minutes isn’t hard to find.
19. “Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.”Lord Chesterfield
Find your time where you can. I found my time in the mornings. That’s been the key to many people’s success: mornings. It doesn’t have to be that way for you, but with the popularity of mornings among successful people, I would at least try it.
20. “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.”Richard Whately
Never forget the importance of time, especially the little minutes, hidden away in the mornings and late evenings. But you do have to make the time.
21. “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”Jim Rohn
22. “What may be done at any time will be done at no time.”Scottish proverb
Regardless of how much we know and how much direction we have, if we don’t act on it, nothing is going to happen. Action is the key to success in financial change.
23. “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”Bill Gates
24. “I have met people who have ruined their entire lives because of procrastination. They were unaware of why they never took a step, but I could easily see their Procrasdemon standing beside them.”Neeraj Agnihotri, Procrasdemon
Again, we don’t think we have enough time, so we take no action at all.
25. “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”Edmund Burke
But we’re all busy. Nobody feels like they have time, until they create it.
26. “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”Henry David Thoreau
Why don’t we take action? Sure, it could be laziness or procrastination, but how often does that stem from a fear of failure? What if we try to do something big and fail in a big way?
If you’ve ever read a personal development book, you know the phrase “fail forward.” You’ve heard people talk about how your success is possible because of your failures. You’re always going to get it wrong until you get it right, and those with the most success have failed the most.
That’s what success looks like. Lots of failure until you succeed. If you’re afraid of failing, you’re not going to get far.
27. “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”Dale Carnegie
28. “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”Theodore Roosevelt
Roosevelt was dead set on getting his point across. Failure is common among anyone who’s done anything worth talking about.
29. “The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.”Theodore Roosevelt
Failure is part of the process. Your information, direction, and time management make success much more likely, but you must take failures as lessons, and never as an excuse or a way to blame somebody else.
30. “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”John Burroughs
31. “Rich people believe ‘I create my life.’ Poor people believe ‘Life happens to me.’”T. Harv Eker, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
32. “Most people don’t have that willingness to break bad habits. They have a lot of excuses and they talk like victims.”Carlos Santana
33. “I attribute my success to this:—I never gave or took an excuse.”Florence Nightingale
Again, we must remember that excuses don’t help us, regardless of validity.
34. “Do not make excuses, whether it’s your fault or not.”George Patton
35. “Don’t bother explaining—I’ve heard all the excuses and the trouble is most of them are true.”John Brunner, Children of the Thunder
36. “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”Benjamin Franklin
37. “It is wise to direct your anger towards problems—not people, to focus your energies on answers—not excuses.”William Arthur Ward
The excuses must stop. Once they stop, you’re ready for financial change.
38. “Maturity is when you stop complaining and making excuses, and start making changes.”Roy Bennett
39. “People with integrity do what they say they are going to do. Others have excuses.”Laura Schlessinger
Dumping the excuses isn’t enough, but it’s enough to get started. To succeed, you’ll need to have a vision for your financial future — a vision so strong nobody can strip it from you.
Develop your financial vision — with your spouse if you’re married. You should have a vision for every important area of your life, including your children’s financial future. Rarely will the vision be the money itself, but rather, what you’re working towards. The money will follow.
40. “Chase the vision, not the money.”Tony Hsieh
Having a vision means being intentional, and when you’re intentional, you’ll see the vision come into reality.
41. “Make your vision so clear that your fears become irrelevant.”Anonymous
42. “A man without a vision for his future always returns to his past.”Anonymous
43. “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”Helen Keller
Tying it together, you need the information, direction, and time first. But then you must act, based on your vision.
44. “Vision without execution is hallucination.”Thomas Edison
When you combine these things, financial change is possible. It’s not difficult, but it requires perseverance, drive, and most of all, action.
45. “Success is not as easy as winners make it look nor as hard as losers make it sound.”Orrin Woodward
If you’ve struggled with financial change, it’s time to do the work to make the change.
You can be the change for generations to come.