I have an honest question for you…Are you the type of person who blames bad things that happen to you on something or someone else?
I’m not just talking about your finances, but everywhere in life. Some people can always find a reason for why things didn’t go right, and the reason has nothing to do with themselves. If you want to pinpoint the habits keeping you from financial freedom, you’ll have to be open minded.
While some things are totally out of our control and can force us into a worse-off spot, the reality is that WE are in control of our situation. We can put the pieces in place to ensure that no matter what “out of our control” scenario comes up, we can bounce back.
Before you can get to that place, though, you’ll have to recognize the negative habits and mindset that is holding you back. I’m sharing 6 habits keeping you from financial freedom. Once you recognize these habits, you can start making changes to turn things around.
Habits Keeping You from Financial Freedom
Ignoring your situation
This is a habit I commonly see in new or potential clients. They schedule a free consultation with me and can’t answer general questions about their financial situation. They don’t know how much debt they have. They don’t know how much they’re spending on non-necessary things. They don’t know what their credit score is.
They are completely ignoring their financial situation because it’s too scary, embarrassing, overwhelming, insert any other negative feeling. While I understand that it can be hard to face the music, it’s an absolute necessity to changing your situation.
Imagine if facing the truth about your finances meant you could start making smarter decisions right now? If that was the case (and 9 times out of 10, it is), then ignoring your situation delays you making the smarter decisions to get out of the situation you are in. All that means is that you are doing it to yourself. It must stop!
Not taking responsibility for yourself
The honest question I asked above, how did you answer it? If you are constantly blaming other people, the universe, or anyone else for your situation, you’re never going to get where you want to be. You have to start taking responsibility for your situation.
As I said before, certain things happen that are completely out of our control. I get that more than anyone…Remember, my dad was suddenly killed by a drunk driver and it forced me to move from Los Angeles back home to Austin (where I never thought I’d be). If anyone gets it, it’s me. However, you can control how you react and respond to whatever scenario turned your world upside down.
I could have used my less-costly situation as an opportunity to spend my money on anything I wanted. I didn’t have as many expenses, so why not? However, I took the situation I was forced into, into my own hands. I didn’t spend a dime. I paid off debt. I budgeted and saved. I made the decision to do the right thing. THAT is taking responsibility for yourself.
Whether you’ve lost your job.
Whether you’ve been dumped by your partner whom you lived with.
Whether you are forced into a situation that increase your expenses.
You can take control of how you react and respond to those (or any other) scenarios. You must take responsibility for your actions, especially in your finances, if you want to get to a place of financial security.
Spending when you know you shouldn’t
This should seem like an obvious habit that would negatively affect your financial situation, and it is. However, just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean it’s easy to fix! Spending is one of the hardest areas for my clients to fix, and that’s why they seek the help of a financial coach like me.
When you are constantly spending money that you shouldn’t be spending, you are putting yourself further behind from reaching your goals. Please understand that I’m not saying that you shouldn’t spend any money whatsoever. I’m saying you shouldn’t spend money you KNOW you shouldn’t be spending.
Ideally, you would have budgeted a reasonable amount for things you enjoy doing. Anything in excess of that is money you shouldn’t be spending. If you can’t control yourself, then you don’t have enough accountability. You need someone to help you through the initial stages, so you can get to a point where you know the long-term value of saving, versus the short-term value of spending.
Surrounding yourself with broke people
Now here is a not-so-obvious habit that keeps people from financial freedom. Hanging out with broke people will most certainly keep you broke, or foster a “broke” mentality. You aren’t challenged to think differently. You aren’t challenged to set and reach goals. You are listening to broke people complain about how broke they are.
A wise man once said “you are the average of the five people you hang around most”. If the five people you hang around have credit card debt, have no money saved, spend then complain about being broke, you are likely one of those people.
It’s time to change up your environment! Stop listening to the concerns of your broke friends, and start consuming content that inspires you to get to the next financial level. You don’t have to go find new friends, but you do need to change what you listen to. Read books. Listen to podcasts. Join a virtual community (the City Girl Savings Facebook group is wonderful).
Procrastinating getting started
Some people know that their situation is bad. They know that they need to change their habits and do things differently in their finances, but they are putting it off. It seems like too much work to deal with it. It’s going to be hard.
Of course, it’s going to be hard! If it were easy, no one would be in debt!
Just because it’s hard, or scary, or time-consuming, doesn’t mean you get to put it off. The longer you procrastinate getting started, the longer it will take you to reach financial freedom. You have to make the decision to get started and do what it takes.
All of my clients were ready to invest in themselves because they KNEW they had to make a change. They had to do things differently, because what they had been doing was no longer working. If you are putting off getting started, it may be worth investing in a coach, program, or product that will help you get going.
When we invest in ourselves, we take it much more seriously…no matter what the task is. If you are ready to invest in yourself and turn your financial situation around, schedule a free consultation with me. I will help you get there!
Not taking it seriously
And finally, the last habit keeping you from financial freedom is not taking your financial situation seriously. I can guarantee you this – if you don’t take your money seriously, no one else will. Only you can be serious about your situation. No one is going to be serious about your finances for you.
This goes back to taking responsibility. When you assume responsibility for your finances, you start taking it very seriously. No more playing around. No more pushing out doing the right thing.
Another thing I can guarantee you – the minute you start taking your finances seriously is the when you’ll start seeing the changes.
What Your Next Step Should Be
If you have recognized that any or all of the habits above apply to you, face it head on. Why do you ignore your situation? Why do you spend when you shouldn’t? Why don’t you take it seriously? Get to the root of what is keeping these negative habits alive. When you can pinpoint the true driver, you can make conscious choices to fight it.
I would also recommend you schedule a free consultation with me. We can talk about your situation and the best steps to take to move you forward.
Related: 10 Steps to Financial Freedom
The beauty of financial freedom is that it can be achieved by anyone. Anyone who is willing to put in the work, no matter how hard, can reach whatever goal they set for themselves. I know you can do it, but do you know it? Have you recognized having any of the habits above? How did you break through? Post a comment below to share!