I remember a time when I use to not ask enough questions. And even if I did, I would eventually accept an answer, even though I still did not understand. I did not want to come across like an idiot or continue to waste another moment of that person’s time. Thankfully I became self-aware and made a change. But when it comes to your finances, I plead for you to act like a child. Ask why. Ask why a million times. Ask why until you yourself understand and can explain it to a 5-year-old and they understand it.
Know You & Be You
The reason why I say to ask questions is because this will tell you a lot about who you choose to trust. Don’t get me wrong, I do go by my gut often, but if someone comes across wanting to help me, then that person will have the ability to explain what they can do for me so that I know it is of value and not a display of how much they know. If a professional cannot explain to you what they know and how they can help, their credentials and education are of no value.
When you make the commitment to change your lifestyle and take control over your finances once and for all, it can be daunting finding the right program, app or counselor that fits your needs. Do you ask around and get a referral because your friend is making progress? Do you do a search online and read reviews? Do you try going it alone countless times because you feel that this time is it? It can be incredibly frustrating to take on such an enormous change. Quite frankly I do not feel any client that I have had truly grasps how much of a change it really is, and to choose to take it on yourself is brave but can be incredibly challenging and at times feel bleak.
The first thing I look for in a client is how self-aware they are when it comes to their financial behaviors. You don’t want to know the real you. You don’t want to admit failures and attempts that could have worked had you completed the program. It’s frustrating to know that you are in the same spot 5 years later. I get it. But it is a MUST! I must hear you take responsibility. Life happens. Life is going to continue to happen. It’s how well we are prepared. It is flipping the switch to being proactive instead of reactive. It is the start of changing purchasing power to value instead of the price-tag.
That is why you need to commit and trust the right person that can help and wants to help. Did you ever think that it may be your lack of discipline and not you’re spending or love of material things? Have you ever wondered why no number of programs, apps, or counseling sessions have worked for you? Maybe it’s who you are instead of the ample amount of tools that you have in your arsenal? I once had a client that told me all the tools that she had access to and none of them worked. Not one single thing worked for her. All of them she had partially completed. Had she have taken all that work and put into just one of those tools, she may have made progress, reached some milestones, and continued the journey. But how did she know which tool was going to get her through?
You have to make it happen.
I say this because it takes patience and understanding in knowing where to start to take on great change. Money problems can be such a tough and painful subject for many, and we tend to not go deep enough. Understanding you and what kind of person you are takes deep acceptance and understanding. Accepting you cannot do it alone tells you that you need someone or something to keep you accountable. And that is okay! Just make sure that program or person fits YOU. Do you have the discipline and consistency to keep up with analyzing your own expenditures? Know when to make less or more restrictions? Is that person asking all the right questions? Are you getting a cookie-cutter program? If that individual cannot explain things in layman terms, don’t feel like you’re the dumb one. Move onto the next who is willing to help and makes you feel comfortable. It is your money problems you are trying to change. Your financial experience is original, and it should always be treated as such. What works for one does not work for all. Your commitment to your financial change starts by you doing your due diligence in finding the right help. If you are at this step in finding the right help, if you already are committed to change, do the work, find the right person, and make this attempt your last.
You’re worth it.