I have Google Alerts on almost every aspect of personal finance (PF). So on a weekly basis a lot of PF articles and blogs posts come across my screen. Some are written by experts sharing their money management perspective and tips; others, by non-experts sharing the lessons learned from their personal financial journey.
As I read a blog post this afternoon, my response was, “Ugh, this is so obvious!” After rolling my eyes, I refocused on the page and scanned the piece hoping the writer would tell me something I didn’t know or provide me with a new way of looking at what I already believe I know. No. Such. Luck.
This is not a tirade against the author. In fact, her tips were excellent and someone will read her piece and get immense value from the advice she shared.
My sentiment is more a reflection on the industry.
It is one that I know can you help you achieve your life and financial goals and dreams and solve some of your problems; one that I love; and one whose good intentions get overshadowed by inundating you with personal finance information that is as dry as hell!
Because it’s easier.
It’s far easier to tell you, “save more, invest better, spend less, earn more,” in a hundred different ways than it is to challenge you to go deep and tap into the “why” behind the financial choices you make and actions you take.
It’s far easier to get you to pay attention to the part of the equation that contributes the least to your financial success. Despite research that proves otherwise.
So what if the easier how-tos cause you to tune out and feel disconnected from your money.
But what’s easier for the industry actually makes it harder for you to make smarter money decisions.
“Do” Money, Differently
Do you only pay “real” attention to your money when you’re low on cash; fighting about it with your significant other; having a little (or big) problem that money could actually solve, but it isn’t; or growing frustrated by something not working the way you expected?
And when it’s time to address what’s going on do you default to the usual how-to knowledge of “save more, spend less, etc,” – believing that will help you make smarter money decisions? If so, you might want to shift your focus to increasing your financial insight or financial self-awareness.
By doing so, you’ll get to know the behavior and habits that shape your money strengths, your money style and your money personality. Otherwise known as all the elements that make personal finance – personal, to you!
But here’s the thing: you probably can’t even recount your money strengths or describe your money style and personality. Am I right?
Yet, this self-knowledge is precisely how you convert generic, one-size-fits-all how-tos into personalized ones. It’s how you manipulate the dry mechanics of money to ensure you avoid making poor financial choices and don’t take misguided actions. And, in the end, it is how you end up getting so much more from your money.
p.s. Find Your Financial Sweet Spot will run again starting in September. If you have an interest in being part of the next group – in discovering that special combination of financial and non-financial factors that will put you in the driver’s seat controlling your money, click here.
p.p.s. Got the hutzpah to pitch your financial fitness? (Think “Shark Tank” for your money.) Well, I’m one of the panelist for PITCH YOUR FINANCIAL FITNESS: Five Women. Five Pitches. One Evening of Sound Financial Advice. The casting call is open until September 10th. If interested, click here to complete the application.