There are a lot of commercials out there which attempt to position certain products and services as a substitute for discipline. Offering “fast and easy” solutions, companies will wrap your debt into a line of credit, negotiate a lower balance on your credit cards for you and help to reduce your payments.
These services are valuable but they are band-aid solutions which only deal with the symptom (debt) and not the root cause of the problem – a lack of financial discipline which created the debt in the first place.
Financial discipline is really the only permanent solution that will give you peace of mind and secure your retirement. Let me explain:
David Campbell, founder of Saks Fifth Avenue once said discipline is a matter of remembering what you want. Without it, you place more value on what you want now instead of what you want tomorrow.
In personal finance, for example, there is the working you, and the retired you. If the working you really respects the retired person you want to be, you will save to make sure the retired you is financially stable. Changing engrained habits is a hard task but staying focused on the future and your end goal helps. Remembering there are things you will want tomorrow is one way to keep from getting so easily distracted along the way. Getting a program and help will reinforce your focus as well, exponentially increasing the likelihood you will find your way (or way back) to a financially successful and sustainable path.
How can a Personal Financial Trainer help you?
Financial discipline doesn’t come in pill or product form and decades of disordered financial habits can’t be changed overnight.
Financial discipline is like a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger it becomes. The less you train it, the weaker it becomes.
Just as everyone has different muscular strength, we all possess different levels of financial discipline. Although some people can tell you how much they need and what they are actively doing to reach their goals, others don’t have any financial goals and can’t even tell you how much is coming or going from their accounts each month. Not everyone has developed their financial discipline to the same degree.
The way you build financial discipline is comparable to weight training – you need to “lift” within your abilities, especially at first, and then know when to rest. In a similar way, financial discipline needs to be developed slowly, using a simple and effective training program.