Are Humans Programmed to Fail Financially?

by Jason on January 25, 2010

Technology is changing the world and personal finance at an unbelievable rate.

Remember when tracking your spending involved pen and paper, now we have website that does it automatically. It is to the point where we don’t have to do anything, but continue spending as we normally do.

But even with all this technology many people are still finding it hard to maintain a budget, track spending, and automate their savings.

I was talking to a friend last night about using a site like to help him manage his money. I asked why he doesn’t take advantage of something that does all the work for you and is completely free.

His reply was:

I’m too lazy

Too LAZY! Too lazy to do what? I couldn’t believe it. 

I spent the entire night (12AM- 5AM) thinking about what he said. It is amazing to me how human beings, the smartest creatures on the planet can be so stupid. My mother once told me “ lazy people work twice as hard” and he is living proof.

Managing your personal finances can change your life for the better.

I have never heard of someone going broke from practicing financial management. Have you?  In spite of all the technology out there, many people refuse to get their act together.

Why? I can’t figure it out.

Is the desire to buy things you don’t need that strong? Are advertisements that powerful? Are we brainwashed (just throwing that one out there)?

If I told you that personal financial planning is a surefire way to retire early with enough savings to live the life you want, would you practice it then?

Well, it is and it has a very high success rate. That is the reason you hear so many people preaching it.

If you punch your information into an Excel spread sheet or the Mint website and go over what you did with your money at the end of the month, most of you would want to kick yourselves for not doing it sooner.

The technology is there, all we have to do is use it. Don’t make laziness be the reason you are still working at 70.

This has been a guest post by Jay Scott.

Jay Scott is a personal finance blogger over at He uses is site to encourage others to start on the road to financial freedom.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan January 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm

It isn’t laziness – it is ignorance. Either your buddy doesn’t get Mint, or is too ignorant to care about his finances.
.-= Evan´s last blog ..The 241st Carnival of Personal Finance =-.

Kevin@OutOfYourRut January 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Technology is just a tool and so is! If he fails to manage his finances manually, he’ll have no better luck with a software system. In fact, the need to learn the software might itself become an excuse to resist.

My grandmother successfully managed her family finances for over 70 years using paper envelopes, and recording the transactions on the back. Motivation will enlist technology, but technology will not produce motivation.
.-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..Buying vs Renting a Home – Its Not All About Money =-.

Jason January 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Kevin, good point – I like that last sentence:

“Motivation will enlist technology, but technology will not produce motivation.”

J. Scott January 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm

@ Evan
I’m beginning to think it’s a bit both.

@ Kevin
I have to agree with you on both points, but I have to add… Technology by itself will not produce motivation, but he also has a need to get it together because of thing I can discuss.
It’s a mystery to me why it is so hard for some people to take a step in the right direction, when all the proof is right in front of them.

Dave Sparks January 26, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Its not laziness, its not ignorance. It’s fear.

What if you learn something, have to change how you spend your money – and it’s less fun?!

I’d rather keep doing what I’m doing and not have to be too hard on myself. Just gonna shoot out now and get something nice to eat from the shop. Maybe check out some new clothes too. Think about a new car.

Andrew @ Financial Services January 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm

A lot of people are just lacking motivation. If one is motivated to save and earn more, problem in finances in every household will be lessen…

Jason January 29, 2010 at 6:19 am

Andrew – I agree, a lot of times it just simply comes down to motivation – or lackthereof.

Sadi March 17, 2010 at 3:23 am

Technology is something made by people. How is it possible for a made thing to be better than the maker?

And also. If technology is better than people, we can conclude that people no more can improve technology. BUT there is still development and improvement going on in technology. And these are being made by people. So technology still fails while compared with human being.

Sectional Sofas October 7, 2010 at 12:19 am

For me Humans are not programmed to fail financially, because it is our choice on how to spend our money. Look at the China, Chinese people known when it comes to handling and saving money. Through this China is now next to US and slowly becomes the richest country in the world.

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