By Alwyn Beikoff
What is financial responsibility? Is it making money, being thrifty, having a budget, paying bills on time, getting a job? Or is it much more than this?
Responsibility as defined in the dictionary is – being the primary cause for; accountability for your actions.
When someone is said to be responsible with money they are generally thrifty, pay what they owe on time, save money and maybe even work to a budget.
Is this all the money responsibility that's needed in order to get ahead?
Maybe. But these traits alone are unlikely to bring you great wealth. They might be good for keeping you out of trouble so you meet your basic needs and keep hungry creditors from bashing down your door.
Really they are just the starting point.
Real financial responsibility requires you to set goals, learn new skills and become independent – financially independent. That means getting to the point where you have enough money invested in some way that it is actually earning sufficient funds for you to live on in the lifestyle you desire without having to go out to work.
There is a plethora of information around on setting goals. The new skills you will have to learn will depend on your interests and the activities you choose in your pursuit of financial independence.
But the challenge of financial independence will demand much more of you than goal setting and action plans.
Your responsibility is much more than saving, managing and growing your money. In fact the major obstacle to your accumulating the money you'd like has nothing to do with actual money or financial skills.
By far the biggest and toughest responsibilities are overcoming personal doubt and fear, the criticism and negativity of friends and family, and eliminating self-defeating habits.
It's often tough to face the truth about ourselves. The truth is that our reaction or response to the criticism of others is our choice. However we respond is contingent upon our inner beliefs, particularly our beliefs about ourselves.
Lack of belief in ourselves will cause our confidence to wither like a vine in the desert when we are subjected to criticism and negativity from others. We can soon lose our power and enthusiasm for our project when a skeptic, cynic or otherwise uninformed but probably well-meaning person dampens our parade.
When we react with hurt and feel discouraged the chink of fear appears in our armour and the doubts set in.
Personal doubt is fear-based. Fear is driven by underlying beliefs that result in the self-defeating habits that keep us stuck. These habits keep us from accumulating the wealth that is rightfully ours and that we all have the potential to acquire.
Before you can have that financial wealth you have to exercise that financial responsibility. Before you can practice financial responsibility you have to work on the beliefs underpinning your reactions to others and your own personal actions.
The beliefs you hold lead to the actions you will take that will determine the money you get.
About the Author
Al Beikoff is an educator, investor and writer whose newsletter, Money Ideas, focuses on the thoughts and ideas we harbor about money. His tips, strategies and ideas on changing your thinking will help you change your world financially as well as in other areas. He can be contacted through his website http://www.best-offshore.com about investing safely offshore.
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