One of my favorite financial bloggers, Carl Richards at Behaviorgap.com, recently wrote an article called “The Assumer”. His whole premise is that the financial planning community needs to change their process for financial planning because they assume too much, I agree. Financial planning is a process, it is not a one and done document – hence the family CFO approach to financial planning that I am so fond of.
While I was thinking about “The Assumer” this week , I started to think of a different disease I like to call “The Blame Shifter.”
A Blame Shifter is someone who always attributes financial success to their personal great decisions and financial failures are someone else’s fault. I am sure you are picturing someone who fits the description.
They have large credit card balances because their spouse spends out of control – No, it’s because they don’t have a budget.
They paid their bills late because their employer doesn’t pay enough – No, it’s because they live outside of their means.
They made a bad financial investment because their banker/advisor told them to do it – No, it’s because they didn’t surround themselves with the right resources.
They “just found out” that they have past due bills – No, they just decided to wake up and get involved.
and my favorite, most common Blame Shifting excuse:
I am just unlucky, that’s why I don’t have any retirement savings – No, they don’t have any discipline, they didn’t create artificial discipline and they didn’t bother to ask for help.
Are you still reading? Did I get your blood pumping – me too!
Here’s the deal, we are all Blame Shifters at one time or another during our pilgrimage. The place where you will determine success or failure is at these moments. Let’s face it, each and every one of us can think of a financial setback; that’s because sometimes it rains and sometimes it pours! It is pretty darn easy to blame those setbacks on other people or the circumstances but that doesn’t help you learn. The only way to climb the tall mountains is to arm yourself with knowledge and understanding. When you make a mistake try to understand where you went wrong and how to avoid it next time. Sometimes you might need help, ask for it!