Three Reasons You Aren’t Handling Your Personal Finances

by Kevin on February 3, 2010

Everyone has their reason for why they aren’t taking care of their personal finances but I think there are three main reasons why most people don’t:

1. Procrastination – You tell yourself you are going to sit down and take a real serious look at your personal finances and come up with a plan to handle them but you never get around to it. Work, kids, life…they all take up a precious commodity called time, which you don’t have enough of.

Problem is, your finances keep getting put off. As the saying goes: “Time is Money.” The longer you wait to take control of your finances the more it could be costing you in the long run. Set aside a block of time and take steps to get cracking. If you have to, write out reminders to yourself to start.

2. Fear – You know you need to do something about your finances, those credit card bills aren’t magically going away, but when you think about doing them something prevents you. You know what’s right but you can’t commit to it. You are afraid! You don’t want to see how bad your finances are or what sacrifices you may need to make in order to get your personal finances straightened out.

You’ve been living a lifestyle that, while it’s stressful come bill time, you have become accustomed to. You may be afraid to see how bad things really are or you don’t want to give in to the I-told-you-so’s when you realize your spending has gotten out of control.

Look, you’re not alone. You made a few mistakes. But you can get a handle on your finances if you get over the fear of what you actually got yourself into. Knowing what the damage is and starting a plan to get yourself out is a liberating experience.

Even more liberating is the day you write that last check that gets you out of debt!

3. Cost – Hiring a professional is too expensive. Software is expensive. I can be doing other things with my time. You think there is too high a cost to figuring out your personal finances.

Truth is, the cost is higher if you don’t take care of your finances. Credit card interest grows and grows. Time spent without saving for retirement can’t be regained.

Yes, there is a cost for your time but it’s well worth it in the long run to take control of your finances!

You may have a situation where seeing a profession financial planner is just what you need to make a real financial plan. There are some great pieces of soft ware you can buy to handle your finances but there are also ones, such as MINT, which are free. Your time is valuable but by not taking care of your finances you may be wasting both time AND money!

It can be scary finding out the full story of your finances. You may have to sacrifice and change your lifestyle to live within your means. You might not like what you find out. But it’s all worth it! Knowing your financial situation and developing a plan with short term, intermediate, and long-term goals will actually free you in the long run.

Are you taking care of your personal finances? What’s your excuse?

This is a guest article by FFB of Free From Broke, a personal finance blog for regular folks. Subscribe to the Free From Broke RSS feed for more articles like this.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken February 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm

We have a written budget but we have been finding some unaccounted for expenses lately. I have been tracking spending for a week trying to find these areas. I guess ours is under construction.

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finance February 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm

That’s quite practical reason why we handle poorly our finances.Sometimes we think too much and end up not focusing on things we should be prioritizing.

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Evan February 15, 2010 at 10:19 am

I just started taking care of my finances about 18 months ago, and I can say the 2 reasons I didn’t start prior was, fear (on your list) and no accountability (not on your list).

I would start and stop and had no one to really answer to – that was until I started my blog and got married.

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Financialbondage.org May 20, 2010 at 9:58 am

Most people wont get on a budget for fear it will restrict them. Guess what? It will! It will show them where they are doing stupid things in the area of finances. You cant fix the problem until you know that you have one and where it is.

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