“Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t skip a step and learn from the mistakes of others.” ps!
Self-defeating behaviors are easy to fall into because they often seem very logical, however following them can make it difficult for you to ever reach your goals. So be aware, self-defeating behaviors can be very dangerous to your wealth. The good news is, you can avoid many of them by just being aware that they exist.
To help you learn to recognize them, here are five common self-defeating behaviors to be on the lookout for:
- Counting on future earnings to pay present debt. We all expect to earn more money in the future so the self-defeating behavior here is that we trick ourselves into believing that the debt we rack up today doesn’t matter that much because we can take care of it in the future when we are earning more money. The problem is, if you don’t change your spending habits now, a bigger paycheck will only lead to bigger wants and needs, and you will end up with even more debt in the future.
- Using feelings versus reality to make spending decisions. Emotional spending can get you into trouble. One of the best ways to keep yourself firmly planted in reality is to plan your spending based on your priorities. Creating a budget that includes ’mad money’ that you can spend anyway you like and money for your goals as well as household expenses is a great way to create flexibility in your budget and stay on track.
- Trying to keep up with the Joneses. Sometimes having more stuff than someone else is about winning or being better, and sometimes it’s about feeling that you deserve to have whatever you want because you work so hard. Whatever the case, if you can’t afford it or if it comes at the expense of other goals you really want, learn to let it go.
- Thinking you are too busy to M.I.N.D. your money. You work hard for your money and not paying attention to your finances is a disaster waiting to happen. Instead remember to:
- M – Manage your money: Take responsibility for your financial future and take the time to manage your money. Once you set up a system, you can do a good job of managing your money in just a few hours a month.
- I - Invest in things you know and things that grow: There are no quick fixes so stay away from the ‘hot tips.’ Do your research and look for investments you understand, and make sure you know the costs, and the risks before investing. Work on building your wealth by investing in assets that you believe will increase in value over time. (Note: That doesn’t include shoes, but it might include shoe companies.)
- N - Never give up your power: Since you will have to live with the result, always be an active participant in financial decisions that affect you. It’s okay to have advisors or other people to perform many of the tasks associated with managing your money, but you should always have the final say.
- D – Don’t stop learning and educating yourself: Things are always changing and the more you know, the easier it will be to manage and grow your money. Plan weekly activities you can do to continuously upgrade your skills. Participating in money-related activities such as attending classes, watching TV programs, or reading books, magazines, and newspapers is an easy way to grow your skills.
Stop and recognize the importance of minding your money today so that YOU, and not someone else, will be in control of your future!
- 5. Ignoring your goals, or worse yet, not setting any. Believing that you have plenty of time to save and prepare for the future is both dangerous and wasteful. This type of thinking puts more pressure on you to do well in the future. And it is a simple fact that the earlier you start investing, the less money you need to reach your goals. For example, if your goal is to accumulate one million dollars by age 65 for retirement, and you start at age 20, you only need to save a little more than $200 a month if you earn just 8%. But if you wait until age 40 to start saving, you will need to save more than a $1,000 a month to achieve the same goal because you will have less time to take advantage of the power of compounding.
Always be on the lookout for self-defeating behaviors. They can pop up when you least expect it. If you find yourself falling into one of them, don’t hesitate, take steps to get out immediately! ps!