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[The following is a partial transcript of this episode of The Scott Alan Turner Show. Listen to the full episode to hear this story, listener questions, money hacks, and inspiring stories of people that are changing their financial lives. Subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes or Google Play]
One of the biggest problems people have is not even knowing they have a problem. Normal is average. Average is $0 savings and living paycheck-to-paycheck with no budget and no plan and no retirement savings, and a $400/month car payment for a car the bank owns. That’s normal.
What do you think would happen if the economy crashed again tomorrow and you lost your job?
How would you feel if you’re income got cut in half?
If you’re like me you would get this uneasy feeling.
Tish, a 72-year-old widow wrote in to the show and said:
I thought all was going OK. I also thought I lived on less than I make … I recently learned that was a lie I told myself. I’ve been a money manipulator for so long that I’ve learned to believe my distortions.
Those are some powerful observations.
Several years ago when I bought my first house for 5% down, I had a mortgage, car payment, no-no-no furniture, and no-no-no savings. That’s when I heard something on the radio from Clark Howard I had never heard before. Some strange words (Klingon, perhaps).
- emergency fund
- put more money down when you buy a house
Those were all things I should have done before!
I realized I had some bad spending habits and was in a hole. It was as if I had for the first time in my life read an article in a health magazine about how if you drank soda every day and ate sugary cereal like Cinnamon Toast Crunch it’s bad for your health. I grew up on that stuff, we didn’t know!
There are people that would say having a car payment is normal, judging by the fact 99% of new cars are financed. But everyone knows that just because something is normal, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
It’s the same thing as people who think:
- It’s normal to watch 5 hours of TV today, but it’s not good for productivity
- It’s normal to trade in a car every three years, but that will cost you hundreds-of-thousands of dollars over your lifetime
- It’s normal to eat out all the time, but it’s not good for your health or your wallet
- It’s normal to stay at a job we don’t like and just complain about it, but it’s emotionally draining
- It’s normal to be overweight, but it makes people tired
So you think about all those things that are normal, which make people average, and that stops you from seeing if there is something else. The good news is once you realize there is a problem, then you can start working on a plan to fix it and you’ll know exactly where you’re going.
I’m not sure if it’s for you, but what about NOT being normal and being a bit of a rebel in life.
- I might lose a few of my friends, but I’m probably going to find people that lift me up instead of drag me down
- I might lose some of my free time now, but I’m probably going to 10x my free time when I’m not saddled with debt and stress
- Or, you know what, I’m not going to have as much fun now eating out, but I’ll be able to travel the world some day or take six months off and I’m focusing on those experiences.
What happens when the average mind starts asking the question, what if? It answers with something to lose. What if this thing happens. We create these images in our heads of what if and it keeps us from thinking about what we could have.
You’re better than this, and I hope, one day, I get to meet YOU and hear your story.
Once you understand all the things you gain, you get the momentum going. That momentum will help overcome your existing money beliefs and spending patterns. More importantly the momentum takes you from ok with average to financial independence and winning at money.
So today might be a great day to sit down and say,
- What do I really want in my life?
- Why have I not been winning at money faster?
When you think about those questions you might discover the problem is realizing there is a problem, average is broke, and staying the same is harder than changing.
You know you can then focus on the solution, not being average anymore, and what your life could become. When you start doing that you’ll be fine because you are fine instead of thinking everything is fine when it’s not. You’ll find yourself happier than you’ve ever been, and you’ll have more than you’ve ever had.