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The financial habits of losers

Financial habits of losers

There's plenty written about the financial habits of the wealthy but losers have tell-tale financial habits as well. So I thought I'd list some of the lame beliefs and actions that keep poor people poor.

If these are similar to your own habits, then it might be time to reflect on how you spend your money. Everyone can make changes for the better.

Banking on the lottery: Buying lottery tickets is no crime. Believing that you'll win and it will be the answer to your financial future is. The lottery is the opiate of modern-day poor people and stops them creating their own future.

Blaming others: Losers make excuses and winners make it happen. When did you last hear these excuses for making bad choices: "it's my boss's fault that I don't get ahead", "it's my wife's fault we've got no money", "it's the government's fault", "it was my parents' fault", "I was born poor"? Excusitis is alive and well in the comments on MSN NZ by losers who take no personal responsibility for their actions. Blaming others stops you making plans and goals.

Worrying what others think: It's your money so don't worry about looking stupid by bringing your lunch to work or drinking water at the pub. If you fear other's judgements then you're unlikely to dig your way out of poverty.

Mistaking wants for needs: There is very little we "need" in life more than food, housing, and human contact. If your rewards are pushing you along the path to financial ruin, then they're not rewards.

HP is for losers: Wealthy people pay less for the things they buy. That's because they pay cash up front, rather than taking out high-interest HP deals laden with fees. Paying for goods from savings costs less in the long run and waiting sometimes obviates the desire to buy.

Lay-by sucks: By time you've paid off your lay-by, whatever you're buying has been discounted anyway. So you're often paying full price for sale goods. Likewise Christmas hampers, another form of lay-by, are for losers. You'll end up paying at least 20 percent over the price people who buy their Christmas supplies at the supermarket do.

Paying bank fees: Banks make a killing from losers' bank fees. Losers spend more than they earn or simply mismanage their accounts — leading to honour and dishonour fees — in some cases amounting to hundreds of dollars a month. All for nothing. Monthly fees aren't even necessary. I know I stopped paying them a few of years back. All I had to do is change my behaviour and my accounts.

Envying friends and other people: Your successful friends and neighbours got there through their own hard work. You can too. I've met single parents such as Jill Baker of the Manawatu Property Investors Association who've started with nothing and built their wealth singlehandedly.

Thinking there is no hope: Despair and hopelessness just make your financial position worse. Plenty of people have dug themselves out of enormous financial holes. Some resorted to bankruptcy first to clear their existing debts — but make this decision lightly.

Believing you can get rich quick: It's often people who can least afford to lose their money that grasp onto straws. They believe the salesmen that cold call them with the "secrets" of how to get rich through property or some other investment. They buy into Ponzi schemes and other scams instead of developing the financial smarts to get ahead.

Finally, if you're finding yourself justifying any of these actions, stop, take stock and be honest with yourself rather than putting up another wall of excuses. Change can be good.

Your say: Do you live by the financial habits of losers?

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User comments
Thanks for your comments Ana. I would love to know which agency you work for. It sounds like you're doing some really good work. The reason for entitling this blog "losers" is really to awaken those people who need to be awoken from their dream world. I based the thoughts in this article around people I have actually met, not those that I haven't that may be doing their best. Also, a number of people who post on here regularly and have a cup half empty mentality. It's those people who need to know that their habits are the habits of losers. If your people are seeking out help and doing their best then they're definitely not losers.
Diana - Re " Thinking there is no hope" Have you ever volunteered your time in a low socio economic area like South Auckland - where we teach mums a myriad of ways to cook mince and 2 minute noodles, as an overall part of managing their below the poverty line disposable incomes? The real evil isn't the loser mentality but lack of jobs, and an education system that only favours and supports academic or sporting ability. True, there have been people who have risen above their impoverished circumstances, but they are few and far between. What I would like to see are more apprenticeships, cottage industry grants, and a change in the education system that rewards teachers by way of bonus for results. We also need to include revenue creation in the syllabus that can extend to the community at large. What we don't need more of are the financially savvy and affluent calling those with limited capacity, opportunity or whatever - losers. You don't know the full story of their lives.
Good, sound financial advice for the upwardly mobile, Diana. The sort of hand-me-down wisdom that has stood the test of time. But tell us, how many children or other dependants are you supporting on your single income? And what about those fixed outgoings like the mortgage, rates, insurance, utility charges, school fees and sundry school expenses? For those people struggling on declining real incomes your advice has as much relevance as that proffered by any well-intentioned budgetary counsellor. Absolutely zilch.

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