5 Reasons Why Some People Never Get Ahead Financially (And Others Do)

by Jason on November 23, 2009

Photo by: Sherwoodsf

Meet John.  John’s a nice guy, has a stable job and is making a good income.

He’s got a good marriage, has two kids and a dog.  He drives a newer car, lives in a nice neighborhood and plays golf a couple times per week.

From the outside, it looks like John is living the ultimate American dream.

But a quick peek under the hood will reveal that things aren’t always as they seem.

He’s got some credit card debt – “Nothing major”, John would say about his $5,000 balance.  “That’s less than the average right?”

He also has a mortgage and a Home Equity Loan he took out to pay off some earlier debt.  In fact, he and his wife are upside down on their new house since home values dropped.

Against the advice from a friend, John took out a loan from his 401k for a down payment on their new car.

The car is financed at 0% and I’m paying myself back at 7 – It’s a no brainer!

John says as he flashes a smile like he just got away with something he shouldn’t have.

He’s also lost a lot of money in his 401k becuase he kept putting off a review of his funds and allocation.

John and his wife are getting nowhere fast.

Ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels when it comes to your finances?

You’re not alone.  Why do some people get ahead while others seem to barely squeak by?

Identifying the reason can help you get on the right track.  Here’s five reasons why some people never seem to get ahead:

Laziness or Procrastination

Most of us put off the things we don’t like to do and we are very eager to do the things we love.  If you’re not a big fan of dealing with your finances, you might find yourself putting things off that need to be done.

Things like 401k reviews, starting a budget or getting a plan in place to pay off credit cards may not sound like fun, but the longer you put them off the worse your situation can become.

Not Taking Advice

For whatever reason, some find it difficult to take advice – or at the very least they find it hard to implement.

Seek good advice and put it into action.  If you don’t agree with the advice, that’s one thing.  It’s quite another to agree and simply ignore it.

I’ve seen many examples of people not taking advice and continuing down the path of least resistance and never getting ahead financially.

No Self Control

Do you consistently spend more than you make?  You need some self control.

It takes a lot of effort and discipline to say no to the things you want to have – especially when you’ve been used to buying whatever you want.

Learn to say no to those things.  Discipline and self control will go a long way towards helping you get ahead financially.

Not Specific With Financial Goals

If you are constantly talking in generalities, you will rarely reach your goals.

Folks who don’t specifically state what they want to accomplish are less likely to achieve what they’re hoping for simply because they lack clear direction.

Get serious about turning your “I should’s” into “I will’s” and you will start seeing progress.

Bad Things Seem to Always Happen

Some people never get ahead because it always seems like something is going wrong.

The car breaks down.  The roof starts leaking.  Family members need financial help.  Or any number of other things that could go wrong do go wrong.

This is why it’s vital to have an emergency fund, which can help soften the blow that these bumps in the road will have on your situation.

What to Do About It

The reason some people seem more successful at getting ahead is because they recognize these areas and take action to overcome their obstacles.

Once you’ve identified the reason why you’re not getting ahead financially it becomes much easier to work at overcoming them.

If you’re falling into one of the categories listed above, sit down and write out an action plan of what you will do to help yourself overcome and get on the road to financial health.

Tell someone you have a close friendship with who can help you stay on track.

What about you?  What are some ways you’ve overcome some of these obstacles?

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