As I write this post, I feel it important that I be held accountable for what I advise. Many authors just pop-off and do not offer solutions, only problems. I have done this. I don’t mean to short-change the audience, but often I am limited on space or time so I don’t complete the three-step system to really add value to you, the reader. So, here is the system by which you can judge any author’s validity in what they say:
- They must clearly spell out the problem and predict what will happen in the near-term and then add how it might evolve over the long-term.
- They must offer role models who can create new strategies and solutions to these problems.
- They must provide specific direction, tools, and resources to help anyone who wants to succeed in the face of these problems.
So, following this formula, first, here is the problem with personal finances in America and my predictions about what will happen in the future:
- Our nation will continue to over-spend. We will erode our currency to the point our confidence in our government will be shattered and we will completely distrust elected officials. Here is why: Ninety percent of all workers do not track their income and expenses. The amount of money being placed into savings is negative. The average retiree is totally dependent upon a welfare system established in 1935 called Social Security. Unsecured debt has only increased and only 28 percent reconcile their bank statement. Since most people over-spend, and then some of those get elected and represent us in Congress, how can we expect anything different than this over-spending, both at home and in Washington?
- We will continue to act spoiled and entitled. As a nation we have become spoiled brats, meaning we want things the minute we want them and we will do whatever it takes to get them, by credit or in any other way possible. Examples are all around us. For instance, I was standing in line at the grocery store and a mother with two children was in front of me also waiting. One child reached up and grabbed a candy bar and said, “Mommy can I have this?” She was quick and emphatic that he could not, because dinner was soon and he had already had too many sweets. I counted the number of times this child asked his mother for the candy bar before she finally agreed, and it was five times. Unfortunately, this mother has taught her child that he can get anything he wants. This will translate to over-spending in the kid when he becomes an adult.
- Taxes will become too heavy to bear. Over the last 4,000 years taxes have been with us and will continue to be with us, but what I predict for the future is that they will become too burdensome to handle. The amount may increase or not, but because we do not track our income and expenses it will become increasingly hard to pay taxes.
- Retirement income will not keep up with inflation nor provide enough to quit working. The length of time we are employed will continue to increase. Again this is a simple observation, but what I predict is because we do not track our income and expenses, we cannot predict when we will be able to retire, if ever.
Notice that all of these financial problems stem from how we spend, both as a nation and individually. We create our debt because of how we choose to spend our income, but the reason we over-spend the way we do is because we cannot see the full impact of that spending. For example, if we could see at the very time we buy a new computer that it will cost us three more weeks of full-time employment to make that purchase, we might not buy the new computer in the first place. The problem is, we are so used to having needs and wants gratified instantaneously that we don’t see how much things really cost us in both time and lost money. If we could see that when we choose a new car, over a used one, for instance, it will force us to work full-time for an additional year we might make different choices. Because we have been so conditioned to get what we want, when we want it, and have the available credit to do so, we do not give any reasonable thought to the spending decision and how it may affect us over the long-haul.
Now, for some role models and specific direction, tools and resources that can help solve these terrible financial problems plaguing Americans today:
- www.moneymastery.com. Specifically, get on this site to learn 10 time-proven financial principles that if applied will get your spending in immediate control and help you find at least $150 you are wasting each month that could be applied to debt. The easy-to-follow system taught through the Money Mastery programs promises the following:
- Get spending in immediate control and find extra money you didn’t know you were wasting that can help you establish savings and start paying down debt.
- Get out of ALL debt, including your mortgage, in under 10 years.
- Save for emergencies, emotional wants, and retirement using a predictable system for short- and long-term savings.
- Reduce taxes by at least 50 percent ethically and legally so you can have more money to build retirement and security.
In addition, here are some other Web sites and resources that can help you in our efforts to solve financial problems and get in control of your money so you can build wealth.
I have listed some predictions to watch and follow. Now it’s your turn to be held accountable. The best program in the world will mean nothing if you don’t do something. Please hold me accountable for what I have predicted, but in return hold yourself accountable to get a system of control so you can predict monthly spending, debt elimination, and long-term savings.