The Enemy is Us
Many things can hamper our efforts to build wealth. Low salaries, costly benefits, costly taxes, astronomical medical expenses, and the list goes on. Many of the problems that we face are within our own psychology. The first thing that you absolutely must do is take full control of your financial life. I refer you back to my first book in this series Fundamentals of Personal Finance. In that book, I compiled what I believe to be the best advice for getting your financial house in order, including determining your values, setting goals, establishing a budget, and maximizing your income.
The most common reason that I hear that people do not invest for retirement and other future goals is that “I just can’t afford it. I barely make ends meet as it is.” This sentiment usually results from a lack of facing reality and a lack of planning. You cannot live above your means, and you cannot afford not to save. Errors in your thinking about money got you into that place, and failing to fix those errors will result in a lifelong spiral of debt, distress, and relative poverty.