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Friday, October 26, 2012
People are Poor Due to Mindset and Lack of Education
I think that “poverty consciousness” really starts during early childhood and within the nuclear family. Your first learning experience with finances and how you think about money, originates from your upbringing. If your parents (or the person(s) that raised you) didn’t know how to manage money, then chances are, you were never taught during your childhood how to properly deal with money and finances.
If your family is like most families in the U.S., you were probably taught along the “collectivist” lines of getting an education and/or a job in order to be self-sufficient and pay your bills. There is nothing wrong with this, in and of itself. However, there is something very wrong with the type of education that children receive. Without giving it much thought, many people teach their children to be spenders (consumers) rather than savers and investors. Forget about relying on the public school system to properly train children about wealth, money and finance.
Also, many people have been brainwashed into thinking that there is something wrong with wealth and prosperity. They frequently misquote a popular verse from the bible saying that "Money is the root of all evil". No, this is far from truth and reality. People can do great things with money and help others in need. Evil people use money as a means to get even more money and power at the expense of others.
I think most (not all) Americans are materialistic and yearn to acquire stuff. We all want a piece of the pie and American Dream. There is nothing wrong with wanting stuff or material things. However, many of us have misplaced priorities. We can sometimes place our need for stuff above more important things in life. Some of us tend to think in terms of instant gratification, rather than delaying gratification to ensure a better future.
I know men that would spend more than $100 for a pair of Jordans before buying food. I know women that own expensive designer handbags, but don’t have a penny to put in those handbags. Without realizing it, people pay a "stupid tax" when they do this. I have been guilty of paying the stupid tax as well, so I am not being a hypocrite. You can learn from poor judgment.
Why not take the money spent on those expensive items and save it for an emergency or invest it in something that will generate income? Where is the sense (and cents) in overspending on things that will ultimately depreciate in value? Good luck trying to resell that stuff on ebay (or Craigslist, a pawn shop, a garage sale) for what you paid for it. Most buyers aren't willing to pay more than half of the original retail value for certain used items.
There is a good book that I recommend, which touches on this subject matter. It is called "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert T. Kiyosaki. I am not telling anyone to run out and attend the expensive seminars. I think that this book and some of the others that he wrote are worth your time, though.
I also believe that there is something deep down on the inside of many people that keeps them impoverished and in debt. It is a subconscious thing. If you don’t think that you deserve to be rich, you might not ever become rich. You might want to be rich or “financially comfortable” on a conscious level, but your subconscious thinking might also be repelling wealth. Your subconscious mind may cause you to act in such ways to keep you in a cycle of debt and poverty. If you ever have the good fortune to become rich, you might lose it all if you don’t have the proper mindset.
The United States would probably be better off if people were more financially savvy and learned to train their children the right way about money and finances. I feel very sorry for the future generations to come, because right now we are imbued in a culture of credit and debt. People are too willing to put themselves in debt to fund lavish lifestyles. If they want something, and don't have the money for it, they will just put it on a credit card. Our politicians can’t even get it right. That is why the U.S. deficit is astronomical. America might just be “Chimerica” one day, since we owe so much money to the Chinese government.
I didn’t learn how to handle money from my parents. I come from a poor family. My parents have a great work ethic, but they never taught me how to manage money. I have gained knowledge about money and finances, through my own reading and research. I don’t have any children, but if I am blessed to have some one day, I will teach them how to handle money and finances. If I could turn back the hands of time, there are many things that I would do differently. I never want my kids to make the same mistakes that I have made with finances and money. I would want them to have the ability to live a better quality life and attain financial freedom.
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