Financial Wellness @ Work

The Blame Game

In our office we have these fake motivational posters because we all have a very odd sense of humor (starting at the top I might add).  We don’t need the real motivational posters because our company hires motivated people. The one above the desk where I sit says, “The secret of success is knowing who to blame for your failures.”  I know.  It is hilarious. Different ones are all over the office all with beautiful pictures so they look real until you read the captions.

The reason this comes to mind is my caller last week, who had so many financial problems, didn’t know where to start and certainly had some people to blame.  I have heard the same thing from many other callers and it is hard to believe.  Her parents told her they would pay her utility bills for her and then didn’t.  The bills simply accumulated and then the service got cut off and guess what, she then had to move in with them.

This isn’t the only thing.  Her significant other was supposed to pay all kinds of bills – credit cards and medical bills that were all in her name. She gave him the money to pay them.  Well, guess what?  He didn’t.  Now her credit is ruined and she can’t even get a credit card.

This caller certainly didn’t have great money role models.  She could point the blame to everyone all day long, but really what good would it do?

I heard a saying once (that I probably picked up as a Mother) and it goes like this, “If you point your finger at someone else, you have three pointing back at you.”  Taking that to heart, if she were to do a little soul searching she could find a lesson here.  This lesson may not be easy but could be very freeing for her.

My question would be, would you give $1000 to a gambler on the way to a casino and expect him to return the money later?  Would you let your 16 year old son borrow your Lamborghini and expect him to drive the speed limit?  Would you give your teenage daughter a cell phone that only allows 100 texts a month and expect her to stay within those limits?

Don’t expect others to behave in a way that is financially responsible if they never have shown the capability of doing it.  Their behavior is not going to change magically overnight and if you want to be financially successful, it’s best to stop putting them and yourself in the position to fail.  Stop and think about it. Who is ultimately responsible for your financial situation?

When we each can look at the fact that we are responsible for our own finances, the choices become clearer and frankly easier!  I think we need a new poster with the caption,  “The secret of success is paying our utility bills”  Not quite as funny. I know but you have to admit, it is true.

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