The 7 Deadly Sins of Personal Finance
Being a little richer is not complicated, at least not in theory. It is enough to know how to spend less, and if it is not enough, to learn how to earn some extra money. But we are not totally rational beings, and we have to face our emotions and predispositions.
Let’s talk about what would be the 7 deadly sins for a person looking to improve their personal finances.
Lust (or daydreaming)
No need to think about sex. In the personal economy, the first of the 7 deadly sins are dreaming instead of taking action. Fantasizing about what you would do with more money, what you could buy yourself, and imagining yourself rich is a form of lust. Don’t waste time dreaming how nice it would be to have more money. Leave that to those who waste their money playing the EuroMillion, and take steps to reduce your expenses or increase your income. From now on.
Gluttony (risking too much)
This is what happens when you want to get things done in too much of a hurry. This desire for success can lead you to take too much risk, for example opting for investments with a high return (that is, a high risk), or putting too large a part of your personal savings in investing with strong leverage. Gluttony is wanting everything too fast. If you want to improve your personal finances, it is a background job, a marathon, and you should not try shortcuts otherwise you could have many problems.
Greed: one of the 7 deadly sins
Money is not everything in life. Going over with savings, thinking only about what your next move will be to get some profit is not going to make you any happier. Speaking of personal finances, greed is perhaps the worst of the 7 deadly sins, because it diverts you from what’s important in life. There is a very graphic saying, and if someone ever tells you that ” you are going to be the richest in the cemetery “, ask yourself if you are really being austere or if you have crossed the thin red line.
Leaving for tomorrow the decisions that you could have made today to improve your economy (especially cutting expenses or looking for a new job ), or dedicating yourself to doing only the part you like about the difficult things, are important risks. It is also a form of laziness to think that you will be able to pay tomorrow what you cannot today and resort to credit. Lust and laziness often go hand in hand in this of financial sins. Bad news: if you are not the heir of a very rich family, you will have to work if you want to achieve financial freedom.
Anger (hasty decisions)
Getting angry is usually the emotional response to the frustration of not getting what you want at any given moment. But getting upset is absolutely useless. Better relax, analyze what you have done wrong, and correct it. Anger is always a very bad counselor, and its effects on work or business can be devastating. Learn not to mix your emotions with financial decisions. We are emotional beings, and we make decisions believing to be rational when in many cases it is not true. Analyze yourself and learn to know yourself better.
Envy and the need to show others an image of social success lead to real catastrophes in personal finances. Focus on yourself, who you are, and who you want to be. Define your life goals and forget what others may think of you. If your neighbor has a better car and you can’t afford it without going into debt, be patient and save. Live according to your means. Spending-based social status is a fallacy.
Never believe that you are right about everything. The good results that you have been able to achieve so far do not imply that you will obtain them in the future. One thing is confidence in yourself (essential) and quite another pride. Listen to the opinion of others and learn. Being humble can often save you from a very bad decision. Remember that pride precedes the fall. Like anger, pride can cloud your judgment.
These are the 7 deadly sins for the saver looking to improve his personal financial situation. There are undoubtedly more dangers, but if you manage to keep these temptations at bay, you have a good chance of achieving your financial goals.
And you? Is there a cardinal sin that you think should be on the list? Feel free to share your opinions.