Hope, accountability and change. We’ve heard these words for a long time now when it comes to our nation and today, it all becomes a reality.
But have we made it a reality for ourselves? How accountable were you for your own money decisions during the past several years? How much change are you willing to accept to move forward financially? On a very important day for our country, I ask you to take your own oaths. Oaths that will serve to protect you, build you and bring us back as a whole to prosperity, solid prosperity. I take them along with you:
Accountability: Hold yourself accountable for your financial decisions. Understand the impact your choices have on your financial future and quality of life and embrace the price you pay for the bad choices you make. The reward is knowledge.
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Responsibility: Hold yourself responsible for your own financial education. Arm yourself and your choices with knowledge culled from various, unbiased sources—not just your bank, broker or financial institution, or only from your financial advisor, broker or brother-in-law. Know how your retirement investing should work—to the service of long-term plans, not immediate greed. Know that credit card debt is a tool, but one that used unwisely is insidious and a destructor of net worth. Know that protecting and building equity in your home is the cornerstone of your financial future.
Change: Make the good changes you’ve made in response to the recession stick. Spend less, save more. Consider embracing grand changes to adjust your monthly budget to fit all its demands, such as downsizing your home or cars. Embrace change and make it work for you.
Exercise your right to say “No”: As banks make their way back, inch by painful, pricey inch, shore up your ability to say no to financial institutions that try to sell you again too much home, variable rate loans, too much car, too much credit card debt, investment products with too many fees. We have the power and the ability to say no to products that don’t mean well to our own personal economies.
In the end, our choices and how we handle our own accountability and responsibility when it comes to our money may be the most powerful, positive economic change of all. Embrace it and prosper.