Monday, December 04, 2006

Wishing for More Money

Stop wishing for more money and start managing the money you have. Write down how you will spend (or save) your next paycheck—every single dollar of it. Become a skillful manager so that when more money flows into your life, you’ll know where to put it for the greatest benefit.

The preceding words of flat-out, kick-ass wisdom are brought to you by Mary Hunt, Financial Author Extraordinaire and the Big Cheese behind Debt-Proof Living, whose article "Money Myths That Empty Your Wallet" I would like to photocopy and pass out to a whole lot of people I know.

If any readers caught the December 1 episode of Oprah, which covered what happens to your average Joe and Jane Sixpack when they hit a financial windfall, I'd like your comments. Personally, I found the discussion of Reversal of Fortune (a Showtime documentary that details what happened when a homeless man was given $100k) to be particularly prescient. At this point, I'd love to watch the documentary itself, rather than just see it encapsulated into a 15-minute daytime segment. Alas, I'm not a Showtime subscriber.

Suffice to say that the homeless gentleman turned out even worse off after the $100k than he was before he'd received it. For instance, he had no debt before the $100k came into his life — but he did have debt after it was gone. (I'd say that I'm sorry for ruining the movie for you, but you had to see that coming, right? The odds of a setup like that having a happy ending are ... uh ... miniscule.)

We're not all homeless, of course. Or alcoholics. And I'd like to think that a majority of us can manage to grab a shower more than once every two months. But I suspect there are some serious parallels to be drawn here between the homeless man and the rest of us. How he handled his money (and, I might add, who he blamed for his lack of failure with it) just isn't all that different from how many non-homeless people treat their finances in their own lives.

Everyone tends to think, at least at some point in life, that "more money" is the answer to his problems. But it never is. If you couldn't manage your money when you made $15k per year, you won't be able to manage it when you make $50k per year. It will leave your hands just as fast. When the dust clears, you'll probably be in even worse shape.

This "If I just had more money" myth has to be one of the easiest Money Traps to fall into, and it's a killer.

It's a lot like Joe Dominguez says about having it all:

Unless you act to make it otherwise, 'more money' is what you'll always need.


— Posted by Michael @ 1:08 AM


I was not lucky enough to see the Oprah episode you meantioned, but it totally makes sense. There are MANY people out there making well over a 6 figure income that are living paycheck to paycheck, just like their 30 or 40k neighbors. I found that until I started tracking my spending to the penny, I had a hard time as well. If don't know where your existing money is going, then any more will be gone just as quickly. It all goes back to educating yourself I think.


This can also apply to lottery winners. Their money habits really are put on display. They buy expensive homes and seem to want MORE, MORE, MORE. Some say that they STILL buy lottery tickets. It was a one way ticket to LOOKING nice but they are still stuck in their old money ways, they just have more of it.


The costliest thing available on earth is advice.I do agree.But what is the common sentiment at what what ever position one is or what ever one is earning?Even rich or the richest strives for more,forget common people and persons who do not have a fixed pay check per month.Every one whishes for more money and it is a common human behaviour.


I also watched Oprah and I was fascinated with the homeless man. I don't have show time either. I know I would watch the documentary too. I have read all the Mary Hunt books and I have read Money or your life. I read alot about money although we don't have much. We are getting a large inheritance in less than a year and believe me I am scared to death about getting the money. We can't handle money! I am praying that we can sit down pay off bills and save the rest??

Blessings to all,

** Comments Closed on this Post **

Thoughts on my personal finances, goals, experiences, motivations, and accomplishments (or lack thereof).

My financial life began turning around when I took responsibility for it.
— Dave Ramsey


Start (2005-12): ~$21,900
Currently: $0
[About Our Debt Paydown]


Savings Goal: $15,000
Currently: ~$15,115
[About Our Liquid Savings Goal]