I guess you must be wondering what this message has to do with personal finances and budgeting. You might even be asking “What is a Lemming?”
Short Answer:- It’s a long haired rodent about the size of a mouse, found in or near the arctic regions of the northern hemisphere.
I was taught in school that Lemmings would commit mass suicide by jumping into rivers and lakes to drown themselves when the population of their colony grew to be too large, a kind of voluntary culling if you like.
When I started writing this post I still believed that what my grade 6 teacher had taught me back in the 1960’s about Lemmings was actually true.
I therefore came to the conclusion that Lemmings and Humans must be the only living creatures on the planet who deliberately harm themselves!
However when I started doing some research I found that since I was in Primary School scientists have decided Lemmings don’t actually commit suicide, it’s just that many die of exhaustion while swimming to a new location.
That information actually made a lot more sense to me and it reinforced my message for today.
Lemmings and Humans actually have very little in common and this new information leaves humans as the only living creatures foolish enough to deliberately harm themselves.
Cigarettes, drugs, junk food, alcohol abuse, body piercing, self mutilation, suicide and more! It is pretty sad but it is true. Humans can get so messed up that they will do all sorts of terrible things knowing full well that it is causing them harm. It does not make any sense but it is a fact!
Yet when it comes to finances I think it would be fair to say that nobody deliberately messes up their finances!
So the question is this. If nobody deliberately sets out to mess up their finances, why is it that 90% of people end up broke at retirement?
The way I see it there are many specific reasons fir this but if you boil it all down they pretty much all fit into three main categories.
- Lack of information
- Lack of self discipline
- Lack of time
Lack of information is huge! If you don’t know the rules you simply can not play the game!
Imagine not knowing it was possible to invest money and earn income without actually working for it. Imagine not knowing you could borrow money to buy a house or a car. Imagine not knowing you can insure yourself against loss of income.
These are very simple examples but they demonstrate my point. Without the right knowledge you miss out on opportunities.
Lack of self discipline is seriously not the issue people think it is. You can’t really blame lack of self discipline if you don’t first have the right information to apply. That’s like saying “I can’t make myself do good” when you don’t know what good actually is!
Lack of time is really a problem of not knowing what to do in a time efficient manner. If you take a number of hours each week to ‘manage your finances’ you are never going to get on top of things and you need a more time efficient system.
It’s ironic that you could try to justify the hours you are putting into your efforts, thinking that more time must mean better outcomes when it is possible to do better in less time when you have the right system.
I had a financial planner call me just the other day asking how to make adjustments to the budget he had created using Simply Budgets when expenses do not turn out to be exactly the amount you have allocated.
He was stuck on the idea that you have to tediously record everything you spend your money on in order to ‘manage’ your budget plan.
I had to explain there is a much simpler AND more powerful way of doing things that takes less than 5 minutes a week once set up.
To help people overcome the issues I have spoken about above I am running a series of workshops.
If you attend one of these ‘Succeed with Money’ workshops you will learn time tested, powerful information that I have found works wonders AND you will get to spend ‘hands on’ time applying that information before you leave.
I call it a workshop because you have work to do on the day! I guide you and you participate! It’s not me just talking at you all day!
That is really important! You learn more when you get to apply information.
Sydney and Melbourne are filling up nicely, If you haven’t booked in for Brisbane it is almost too late to book so be quick. For Perth you still have time to procrastinate before bookings close but don;t leave it too long!
Check out the details at http://www.simplybudgets.com.au/financial-education/succeed-with-money-2/
I am really looking forward to these events. They are practical, ‘hands on’, logical and empowering. Attendees will come away with real strategies to apply and a system to follow.
That has to make life easier, less stressful and much more enjoyable for years to come!
Now for something really exciting!
You may be aware that in two months of every year you get an extra payday if you get paid weekly or fortnightly. E.g. 5 weekly pays rather than 4 or 3 fortnightly pays rather than 2.
You should be excited to learn that August this year has 5 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays so if you get paid on a Friday, August will be one of your favourite months this year.
Oh and by the way, apparently that phenomenon won’t happen again for another 823 years!
That’s all for now.
Please don’t be one of the people I referred to above who deliberately does yourself harm and if your finances are not going how you want them to maybe I’ll get to meet up with you soon to help you improve things.