Dr. Phil was a re-run today, but he talked to a couple who has filed for bankrupcy but are right back in financial trouble. They have 5 phone lines, pay $159 a month for cable, 2 cats, 3 dogs, 1 lizard (100 crickets a week it eats) big house, etc. etc. Some of Dr. Phil's advice:Knowledge is power. Know how much money you've got and know where it's going. You can't make good decisions on bad information.Remember that nothing is sacred (nothing can't be eliminated).You don't solve money problems with money. If it's money troubles your encountering, having someone pay all your bills and give you some extra spending cash wouldn't fix things. You need to make bigger changes that prevent the same problems from re-occuring.The hardest thing to do is to admit that what you're doing is not working, and be willing to change it. Stop justifying! You either do or don't have the money for something. Little expenses add up, especially when that money doesn't exist to begin with. Decide what you want: to get your nails done and be bankrupt or to be financially responsible? Afford it first, and justify it second. Change your language. Stop using words like "have to" and "need" when they don't necessarily apply. Does your child "have to" have cable TV? Make decisions based on reality — not on guilt. If you can't afford (in terms of time or money) to take care of five pets, then even if your child adores them, one or more may have to go. You may really want to buy your teenagers name-brand clothing, and they may tell you what misfits they'll be without a label on their shirt, but if you can't afford it, you just can't buy it. It's that simple. Be willing to downgrade. You may have gotten used to a lifestyle that is not feasible. You may need to live in a smaller house, drive an older car, or change your budget.Be willing to challenge everything. "There are no sacred cows when re-engineering your life," Dr. Phil says. Recognize that your overscheduling and overpsending is hurting your family. Children learn what they live. Is this how you want them to live?Give yourself permission to slow down and take care of yourself. Do you really need to be at all your son's football practices? What if you used that time to take a bubble bath, or to lie down and read a magazine? It's not a gift to your kids to make yourself sick. Don't be a martyr.Have a family meeting about how things are going to change. Explain that you need to eliminate some of the moving parts. Don't be afraid of telling your kids that there will be some financial adjustments.Recognize that you're not in control of everything. You just don't have that power. When you stop expecting that of yourself, you'll make more realistic choices.
Make decisions based on reality — not on guilt. If you can't afford (in terms of time or money) to take care of five pets, then even if your child adores them, one or more may have to go. You may really want to buy your teenagers name-brand clothing, and they may tell you what misfits they'll be without a label on their shirt, but if you can't afford it, you just can't buy it. It's that simple. This is a great lesson. I used to get teased in grade school because my pants were always too short ("high waters!") or had patches on the knees. I grew like a weed & we couldn't afford to keep buying me more pants. Even nice kids asked me why I dressed like that, & I didn't know what to say. So I asked my mom, and she said "Tell them we're broke." Boy, did that stop them in their tracks!Protomolly.
Do you think Dr Phil secretly lurks on LBYM?PB
A great description of people who seem to have a problem recognizing that there is a problem.I know of a couple of people who fit that description, will seek advice from anyone and follow it from no one.It would seem that they are destined to be in debt and very unhappy for the foreseeable future.For me they serve as an example of how not to conduct their affairs.But then ----- That could be me!
That sounds like my parents. Refuse to admit that they can't afford everything. Until it got to be too late. Hiding the problem won't make it better! Figuring out what you can live without in order to make what comes in more that what goes out is the only way to make your life balance out and keep you from falling to pieces! It has taken me a very long time to learn how to budget, and to learn that just because I think I want it doesn't mean that I need it. Not only are they spoiling their kids, they aren't teaching them how to budget or make smart financial decisions of their own. Their kids are going to be in the same boat if they can't get themselves into some kind of financial balance, and figure out that you don't have to have every "thing" to be happy. I can't tell you how much better I am feeling seeing my total debt go DOWN every month, even though I am acquiring a lot less stuff, and don't do as much anymore. Much more rewarding not having to struggle each month, wondering where the money will come from, knowing I have a cushion, and an emergency fund, and not maxed out credit and an insane schedule and more than I can handle.Laura
My wife turned me on to Dr. Phil some months back; at first I completely pooh-poohed the idea that this guy could give decent financial advice. She related to me one particular show with a bunch of folks who had no business buying the homes they were about to buy, and the stuff that my wife said Dr. Phil said made me rethink my opinion. I had her tape the next show dealing with money issues so I could watch it for myself.At this point, I'm pretty much a fan. I've purchased two of his books and am about halfway through the first. Much of the advice he gives concerning general life issues can be applied to money situations as well; i.e., "There is no reality; there is only perception."Taken all together, his advice (financial and otherwise) does seem quite solid -- much sharper and harder-hitting than the stuff I've seen dished out from most other media personalities. And he does have a personality and stature that would probably earn him at least a bit of respect from most people. My only gripe is that he has a tendency to talk in generalities at times, and often gets bogged down in cutesy and pithy sayings that really don't add much to his "You'd better get real!" musings.If the guy ever writes a book focused purely on financial issues, I'll be a buyer.Later,Storyhttp://www.mdmproofing.com/iym/
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