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06 September 2008

What You Want Doesn’t Matter Until You Can Afford What You Need

What You Want Doesn’t Matter Until You Can Afford What You Need
I gave a seminar recently on the importance of financial literacy. It wasn’t the first time I have presented this particular workshop and it certainly won’t be the last. But something was different about this last time I gave it.
When I give my workshops, there are those who are keenly interested in what is being discussed and there are those who fade in and out of attentiveness. That’s par for the course for a professional speaker and trainer. It goes with the territory, so to speak.
I was absolutely astonished at the shear number of interested faces I saw the last time I talked about financial literacy. It seemed as if everyone in the audience was listening–and listening intently with the objective of learning something. Maybe it’s because the economy is going through a rough patch right now. Maybe it’s because people are losing their jobs and homes in record numbers. I’m not sure what the reason is behind this renewed interest in financial wellness, but I like that it’s happening!
I love giving this presentation because the importance of being financially literate in today’s marketplace cannot be overstated. Simply put–if you are going to survive–you must learn how money works and must learn ways to make money work for you. Period.
Ask any wealthy individual or read any of their books or articles they’ve written–there are common traits among them. Almost without exception, there is some mention that one of the ways these folks have been able to amass their wealth is that, at some point, they learned how money works. They know about finance. They know about investments and compound interest.
They know all about how money can work for them.
Ask yourself this question–how financially literate are you? If you don’t know much about how money works and have never put any effort toward learning about it, is it really fair for you to complain about your financial condition? The answer is no. If you want to improve your financial condition, you have to take full responsibility for changing it. That means learning more. If you want to achieve financial stability or financial independence, you need to stop waiting around to hit the lottery or hope that money just falls into your lap. It doesn’t happen that way. Rather, you need to come up with a plan to improve your situation. Don’t just talk about it or wish that it will happen! Make it happen by working your plan!
I wanted to say a little more about the title of today’s article. It basically means that if you are having trouble paying for basic necessities, you really shouldn’t worry too much about buying things that you just want. That’s how people have gotten themselves into thousands and thousands of dollars in debt! So when you are thinking about making a big purchase, think about this first, “have I covered all of the things I need at this point or will buying this item put me into more debt?”
By becoming more financially literate, you will be able to identify those things that you need versus the things that you want. It will help you understand how money works and how you can earn more of it. It will help you understand that money can work for you rather than against you.
But you have to put in some effort. No one else will do the work for you. Take responsibility for your own financial well-being. Take action.  Start now.


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