Reality Check: Financial Freedom Ain’t FREE

A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.

~ Proverbs 22:3

I am often amazed at the number of people who complain about their financial position, want help, but then refuse help when it is offered.  This week has been a busy week talking with a lot of people about The Money Book for Teens as well as our new Coaching program, My Money Coach.

I receive phone calls frequently asking for advice on how to handle money matters and what to do in certain situations.  This week was no different.  In fact, I received a call this week from a person who is facing bankruptcy due to some financial problems this person is facing.  When I offered our coaching program to help with the situation, the initial response I received was, “Yes, I absolutely need that.”  Then the next day, “Not right now, but maybe later.”

What?  My question is simple.  If you’re facing bankruptcy and you don’t know how to avoid it, when would you like to start?  Perhaps sitting in the bankruptcy court is a good time to start trying to avoid it?  The Proverb is clear.  If you see danger and do nothing, “Suffering, next exit.”

We are at a homeschooling convention this week talking with parents about their teens and money.  I get a lot of people who stop, talk to us, smile, and tell us, “This is such a great idea and I’m so glad you’re teaching this.”  Well, then they leave feeling good about themselves without investing in our class for their kids.

I’m confused, if you’re not investing in the course, who is teaching your kids about money?  Let’s see, the banks who are selling their ‘smart money programs’ that have helped so many families remain broke while they get rich, the stock brokerages who invest our hard earned money in the investment vehicles they create that have lost money in the last 10 years while they continue to get rich, or the insurance companies who sell life insurance and an investment vehicle rather than the death benefit that it actually is.  Better yet, why not take advice from the advertising companies who are marketing 24/7 to get you to engage in financial ruin.

The message is clear.  People are trapped in their own lack of ‘prudence’ and passing it on to their kids.  I see this every day when I’m out there.

Smart money managers sell ‘Retirement‘ packages.  Guess what folks, retirement is not the norm.  It is an institution that was a political move that started 130 years ago.  The social security system everyone is so upset about is only 70-80 years old.  Last year 87% of the people polled about being prepared to retire said they don’t have enough money to retire on.

There’s a real problem happening in the world around money.  It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.  Unless you do something different, you will get the same miserable results you’re not happy with today.  I don’t know how to break it to you lightly.

Dealing with years of financial mistakes is not going to be a pleasant experience.  It is going to require work and there will be a degree of pain associated with it.  Unfortunately, short term pleasure is more desirable.

Surprisingly, many people gain pleasure from inaction and remaining stuck in the painful situations they are complaining about today.  Remember all the Israelites who complained about taking over the promised land only to wander in the desert dying over the next 40 years.

Choices are all around us.  In order to achieve financial freedom, work is required.  Financial freedom requires sacrifice.  Financial freedom requires making new and uncomfortable decisions to move forward.  God’s ways may not be comfortable, however they bring about blessings.  Change requires a course correction.

To all the folks I’ve spoken with this recently, if you want real sustainable change you will have to actually take action.  You can trade some short term discomfort today for a life of comfort later, or you can continue in your current state of discomfort for a lifetime of wandering in the desert.  The Promised land is just on the other side of the River.

God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  NO discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

~ Heb 12:11

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