I absolutely love this debate. I love it because your response tells me all about you. If I could have it my way, I’d help everyone and anyone that needs help with their money. But the simple truth is, I can’t be more determined than you. Let me explain.
Money & Emotions
It’s here again. It’s Christmas time. And once again, you’ve hit the same wall.
“That is it this time! I am DONE feeling like this! I planned on putting money aside and I just didn’t do it. I’m getting help TODAY!”
This is pure, raw emotion. This is a cyclical trend you do every year. So, what happens? You start searching for what is out there to get in control of your finances. You go to Pinterest for budgeting ideas, you ask friends what they do, you use Facebook connections, any idea that you could try to make this stop. You are reacting emotionally to a one-day event looking to squash years of habit has now resorted to finding a quick fix. As of right now, all you know is that you don’t ever want to feel like this again. So, you know what you don’t want, but what about what you do want? Do you know what is going to be required of you for the things you, in fact do want? Do you know what you want?
When I was younger and would research a way to fix something in my life, I would get so frustrated because I searched to fit a price I had in mind. I put a price on something I couldn’t do myself. How in the world could I possibly put a price on something I knew nothing about or how it would improve my life? I look back thinking how many valuable opportunities I could have encountered if I did it differently.
Value vs. Price Tag
When I talk to my clients, I ask them about their ah ha! moments and what they did. How they had researched answers to their problems and what they liked versus what they didn’t like. Many of them state that it is frustrating when everybody has a “free consultation”, but don’t list their costs. My response is bittersweet because I do understand why some choose to do that. Many financial counselors choose to want to talk to you because they want to know how you view what you are about to embark on. They want to address your mindset. The reason you are where you are when you first reach out to a financial counselor is because you are not in the right frame of mind. Let’s look at it like this.
How many times have you purchased something you desperately wanted, knowing you did not have the money for it? Yet, you managed to find a way to get it. How did you accomplish this? Did you just put it on a credit card? Did you ask friends and family for money? Did you choose to not pay a bill that month? The overwhelming need took over any clear thinking and you just wanted it NOW! So, you got it. Usually, the things that we must have now provide no value to us down the road. Can you think of anything that you wanted that paid for itself and then some, after you bought it? Did it provide educational value or a way to solve a problem, or help someone else out of a bind? If it did, then congratulations, because THAT is value. But if it didn’t, this is what financial counselors are trying to make you realize.
Value the Skills
What a financial counselor can do for you is provide you skills. Skills that can get you off your emotional roller coasters. Skills that can once and for all get you out of the hole that you are in. Skills that you can emulate to your family and friends and change your family dynamic for generations. These skills are valuable. These skills will pay for themselves and then some in your future. Take the time and worry about finding the right person to help you learn them. There are thousands out there. And they want to help you. Stop buying things because of their price tag and start buying what can provide value to your life.
So, the next time you are searching for a financial counselor, and they do not have their costs visible, don’t let that be an automatic sign that they just want to get you on the phone and waste your time. They just want to talk to you. Their time is precious just like yours. They chose this profession to help people like you feel accomplished and in control of their money. And if you can and have the time, ask them why they got into their profession. Many of us have our own story that is near and dear to our hearts and that is why we do what we do.
For the financial counselors that do expose their costs to future clients, this is a completely personal decision that works best for the type of clients that they want to work with. These financial counselors want you to be committed and already want you to be in the right frame of mind. They want you to already express that you understand the value that they can bring and do not want to spend time trying to convince you if you are just not ready. But when you are ready, reach out. I guarantee what you’ll get in return is priceless and will pay for itself in the future. Start buying value.
You’re worth it.