5 Awful Truths About Money

by Jason on November 3, 2009

Photo Credit: RCarr

What could be so awful about money?  The world runs on it, you work for it, you purchase goods with it. 

But you and I both know that personal finance isn’t always “pie in the sky”.  Money can be used for great things, but it can also cause tremendous heartache when misused and abused.

Here are five awful truths that – although annoying – can actually do us some good if we remember these in our personal finance adventures.

1. You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Did I cause you to break out into a little Rolling Stones melody here? 

OK – so if Mick Jagger knew there were limits to excess then surely we need to realize that we can’t completely over-spend  and live without personal constraints. 

The bottom line is that we can’t always get what we want and you know what?  That’s good.  It is perfectly OK that we can’t – occasionally we need reminders that it’s sometimes best that we don’t.

2. Personal Finance Is Your Responsibility

Aww man, you’re telling me that my personal finances won’t get straight by themselves?  Are you telling me that my parents, or the government or rich uncle Joe won’t always be here to help me out? 

Yes!  That’s exactly what I’m telling you.  Awful isn’t it?  The government is not meant to provide handouts to everyone.  Sometimes we need to hear the hard truths and realize that we should step it up and accept responsibility for ourselves.  

3. The #1 Enemy Is Yourself

We so often fall prey to thoughts like:

If my boss hadn’t glossed over my performance I would’ve gotten my raise and I wouldn’t be in this financial mess.


If that company my co-worker told me to buy stock in hadn’t gone bankrupt I would’ve been able to pay off my credit cards!

Or perhaps this one more recently:

If my credit card company hadn’t raised rates to outrageous levels then I wouldn’t have to skip this months payment and ruin my credit score!

Don’t fall victim to the mentality that your financial misfortune is caused by others. 

If we look at the root of why many of us never get ahead financially it’s because of US!  We are our own worst enemies and we so often make the same dumb mistakes over and over again. 

Realizing that we are public enemy #1 and not other people is helpful in getting ahead for good!

4. Managing Your Finances is Hard

Personal money management requires work.  There’s no simple way around it. 

But generally every good thing comes with a bit of blood, sweat and tears.  Most often the money we make without work is less satisfying. 

Managing your fianances is hard.  It will take some tremendous sacrifice, diligence and self-discipline to get ahead, but it is so worth it. 

5. Managing Your Finances is Easy

Wait!  What?  Yes, you read that right. It is hard and it is easy all in one and that’s what makes it an awful truth. 

The fact is that when you boil it down to the basics – spend less than you make, save money and give – it doesn’t get much easier than that.

The easy things are sometimes the hardest to do – and yet we know we should do them. 

Hopefully these awful truths serve as a great reminder that personal finance can be a frustrating and hard game, but one that can be one when we realize what we’re up against.

What are some other awful truths you’ve come to realize in  your own personal finance journey?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Miranda November 3, 2009 at 8:00 am

Don’t forget that one of the awful things about money is that often, we want more, even when we a lot. If we aren’t careful, money can be addictive, and begin to consume us.
.-= Miranda´s last blog ..Maybe the Recession Won’t Be So Good For Our Health After All =-.

Peter November 3, 2009 at 8:12 am

The awful truth – that managing my money is my responsibility. Unfortunately that is why so often it doesn’t get done when it should. Guess i need to step up and take responsibility! :)
.-= Peter´s last blog ..Wealth And Contentment: Two Peas In A Pod =-.

Jason November 3, 2009 at 8:36 am

Yeah Pete, It’s amazing how we can keep putting off the things we know should be a priority isn’t it!?

Jason November 3, 2009 at 8:37 am

You’re so right Miranda, if left unchecked it just fuels an insatiable desire for more – and it never completely satisfies.

Matt Jabs November 3, 2009 at 10:07 am

An awfully amazing thing to do is to give all our finances back to the Lord since they’re his anyway. That way we can always say, “Okay Lord… if that’s how you want to spend your money, it’s fine by me!”

We are our own worst enemy by not fully realizing that all things are for the Lord, not just our 10%… but all of it! :-) The sooner we realize this and submit to it, things make MUCH more sense.

.-= Matt Jabs´s last blog ..Tithing Our Time? =-.

Jason November 3, 2009 at 11:09 am

Well said Matt! It’s ALL His and you’re right, the sooner we realize that the sooner other things start to fall into place.

Paul @ FiscalGeek November 3, 2009 at 11:25 am

I think you’ve nailed it with Numbers 4 and 5. It’s hard to get going or start the discipline, but really it becomes easy and second nature when your instinct is to do the right thing. This takes some time to build it as a habit rather than a shot in the dark. A good solid 90 days is necessary to make any kind of longer term changes.
.-= Paul @ FiscalGeek´s last blog ..The A-Team talks about the Roth 401k vs. Traditional 401k’s =-.

Jason November 3, 2009 at 11:33 am

Good call Paul – the first step is always the hardest one, but once you get going it does become easier – and dare I say – somewhat enjoyable!? :)

Len Penzo November 3, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Nice post, Jason! May I be so bold as to add Awful Truth #4A (it was kind of buried in there, but I think it needs to be explicitly stated)…

Money really doesn’t grow on trees – it has to be earned. That is unless you’re lucky enough to be born into a wealthy family.


.-= Len Penzo´s last blog ..The Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance #8 =-.

Jason November 3, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Len, true – true. We do have to get out there and earn it. Again, it comes down to personal responsibility and realizing it’s up to us to get it done (earning, saving, giving etc).

Andrew @ Financial Services November 4, 2009 at 8:57 am

Managing one’s finances is hard, then easy. Of course it can be hard starting something that you’re not accustomed to but once you get the hang of it and especially if you’re beginning to reap the benefits of good financial management then it’s pretty much like clockwork from there.

401k plans August 12, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Great…Now I have to read your other posts. That means my afternoon productivity is shot…Thanks a lot. Nice post.

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