We are living in the age of blame.
It’s not the form of blame that leads to uttering words like, “my fault” or “I take responsibility.”
We have become a world that has found comfort and power in finger pointing and targeting others for the source of problems.
The denizens of our government have become the poster children for a culture that rejects an “I got this” mentality.
Instead, too many respond to a situation by saying, “It’s the other guy’s fault!” or “If ONLY the other person/party/group/organization/religion/fill-in-the-blank would shift their thinking and behavior, the world would be so much better!”
One of the biggest results is the stealing of our personal power to effectuate change. After all, if it’s THEIR fault, you can’t do anything about it.
This kind of behavior has become imbued in our thinking and unfortunately, it has become normalized.
Well, guess what? It’s not normal. And more importantly, you do not have to acquiesce to these abnormal norms.
When it comes to your money life, in order to create well-being and financial happiness, the perfect place to start is by rejecting these behaviors.
The act of declaring these thoughts “abnormal” is a positive step to building security and a reclamation of your own personal power to impact your life.
In order to take back your power and set yourself on a path towards financial well-being, consider the following.
1. Separate and understand what you actually control and what you don’t. Examples of what you can’t control:
The stock market (sorry!), and interest rates of economic cycles.
What you can control: Your spending on full and partially discretionary items, and the construction of an emergency fund to provide a cushion in case of unexpected occurrences.
You might not be able to fund it fully on day one, but you can create and control a plan to fund it slowly and steadily.
If you work for a company, you might not be able to control whether they lay you off.
But you can do everything in YOUR power to be productive, positive, and valuable.
2. Communicate with all stakeholders to create a mutual understanding of the hierarchy of your values.
In other words, what do you both believe are the most important goals you can both work on to accomplish?
If there is no agreement, it is somewhere between exceptionally difficult and impossible to reach your goals.
Create responsibilities and boundaries on which you can both agree.
For example, you might decide that any expenditure greater than $X needs to be discussed. Or, you might create a bucket for discretionary spending each month that is transparent.
Make a statement such as, “we will set aside $X for entertainment per month and will not exceed that amount.”
3. Establish a system where you can discuss differences without blame and shame. It starts with an understanding that we are all human and we all make mistakes.
By creating a regular schedule of reviewing and discussing financial matters, you avoid finding out too late that something serious has occurred.
Fluid, easy conversation is a long-term strategy for financial happiness and a strong relationship with a partner and money.
Slight course corrections are much easier than having to make significant change, especially if one is steeped in panic, blame, anger and frustration.
Your monthly discussions should include:
a. Appreciation for each other’s efforts
b. Review of results and any difficulties experienced
c. New information or transitions that might necessitate changes to spending/saving
d. Check in for any potential changes in big goals
4. Celebrate your victories.
Accept failures equally.
It would be lovely if life was perfect and no one ever suffered from loss, but that’s not the real world.
Our failures or obstacles provide us with the raw materials for growth. When those down times occur, you need your “I got this” attitude to help you overcome and transform the situation to something better.
During difficult times, we need to maintain kindness, understanding, and patience; we need to flex our resilience muscle.
Blaming others will not bring you one step closer to solution.
Blame is a useless waste of your time, energy, and focus. Instead of falling in the abyss of bad feelings and associative finger pointing, consider what you can control and focus on your values.
Leave the blame game to others who make their living from such preposterously juvenile activities and devote your energy to building a better life for you and those you love.