It’s rather ironic if you think about it. When we are born until we leave home to go out on our own, it’s supposed to be our parent’s responsibility to teach us everything we need to know to be productive citizens of society. They teach us manners, right from wrong; they even give us the “sex talk,” the talk about how vital a good education is, and the importance of not drinking and driving.
Yet, there is one subject that the majority of parents tend to skip over in their lives’ lessons, and yet, it may be one of the most critical of them all…how to manage our finances. A lot of times parents bi-pass this important topic because they feel it’s a touchy subject that may open doors into their personal finances, which they may not want to share with their children. The problem with this is they are sending their children out into the world with no knowledge or skills of how the world of personal finances works. Because of this, a lot of people end up drowning in a sea of debt or, in my case, become a “financial fornicator.”
You see, when I was younger I didn’t really understand the value of my credit, how important it was, or how it would impact my life in the future. I wasn’t taught how to manage my cash flow. Money & credit management wasn’t taught in school, and it wasn’t a topic open for discussion at home.
I vaguely remember having the #SexTalk with my parents, but I don’t recall ever having the #CreditTalk.
Most of what I did learn about cash flow management was what I observed of my family and friends. Essentially by having minimal financial education, I learned how to be a Financial Fornicator.
“I learned how to be financially promiscuous by using multiple credit cards that I would use to buy stuff.”
See … What had happen was …
I had financial one night stands by buying “stuff” with those credit cards when I should have used cash. By living this way, I ended up with Financial STD (Substantially Tremendous Debt). I had so many financial diseases that it paralyzed my financial ability to live the life I was trying to buy with credit.
I realized how significant good credit was, when my bad credit limited my access to the things I needed and when it closed doors of opportunities.
“I should have saved my money and been responsible with credit. Instead, I abused it trying to get things to make it look and feel like I was living my dream.”
It can happen to anyone …
It’s so important that people understand that anyone can become a financial fornicator. For example; I was an financial institution executive. I was the one that helped people with their money management. What I realized was that just because I knew how to successfully run a financial institution, didn’t mean I was successful with managing my own finances. I was a great steward of other people’s money as well as corporation’s fiscal soundness, but not as great at being a steward of my own fiscal stability.
“I had to shut down my ego, humble myself and admit that I needed help.”
I hated Budgets …
Then there is budgeting, I hated budgets. But, Why? Most financial fornicators will rebel if you tell them they can’t or not to spend money. I realized that my distaste for Budgets was because I was never taught how to use a budget as a tool to get what I needed and really wanted. Once I learned that a budget is a road map to my desired final financial destination, I became hooked on naming my dollars and planning my spending.
Time for Financial Rehab …
Once my credit mismanagement caught up with me and I could no longer hide from the huge amount of debt I had incurred, I knew it was time for help. In order for me to move forward and overcome my financial challenges, I had to go through a Financial Rehab. My financial rehab program was so successful that it is now a staple in my business of helping other financial fornicators.
10 Steps to Overcoming a Spending Addiction …
Being a Financial Fornicator means that you have a spending addiction. A Spending Addiction is just as real and serious as a drug or alcohol addiction.
This 10 step program has helped my clients and me. It’s a quick yet challenging process, but it works.
Step One: Admit that you have a problem and that your finances have become unmanageable.
Step Two: Identify what in your past developed your financial value system. We spend based on our value system that develops over time.
Step Three: Take ownership and responsibility for your financial situation. It’s no one else’s fault but your own. You have to be true with yourself and understand that you have to own what you’ve done or allowed to be done.
Step Four: Forgive yourself. You’ve made a mistake. It’s Ok. Forgive yourself so you can move on.
Step Five: Get help. Seek help from a financial services professional, preferably with one that has professional and/or personal experience with dealing with and resolving financial challenges.
Step Six: Get educated. Improve yourself & your situation through information. Find out how to help yourself, as a spender.
Step Seven: Plan your prosperity by creating a finical vision map. You have to be able to see what your final financial destination is going to be. Develop your Financial GPS…Goal Planning System to create action plans.
Step Eight: Take action, you can plan all you want, but you need to take action.
Step Nine: Hold yourself accountable. It’s great to have accountability partners and mentors; but at the end of the day, even if they don’t call or you’re not around them, you need to hold yourself accountable. You need to remember your final financial destination and how important it is to you, which is your why you’re doing the rehab.
Step Ten: Reward yourself responsibly. When you’ve reached a certain goal, reward yourself, but be responsible about it.
Are you a Financial Fornicator, too?
If you are not sure if you are a Financial Fornicator, I’d like to share with you a few tips to tell if you may be one.
So, here goes … you may be a financial fornicator if …
- You use multiple credit cards to buy multiple things. You may have several credit cards or charge cards and they are either maxed out or almost maxed out.
- You “have” or feel the need to spend money, whether it’s on food, alcohol, clothing, shoes or whatever. If something makes you sad, you want to buy something. If something makes you happy, you want to buy something.
- You’re not answering your creditors’ calls because you may be late on your loan payments.
Credit is Not Bad …
Just keep in mind that Credit is not bad. Credit is meant to be a tool and leverage, not a anchor or lifesaver.
Credit is like Sex. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. And if you do, use Protection – a Budget!
I’m proud that I am beating my addiction and that every day I manage to keep fighting. I encourage you to keep fighting for your financial freedom. For more tips on how to cure Financial STDs, read my book, “Financial Fornication.”