Three sure-fire ways to fail financially

Don't let common mistakes cause you to fail financially.

Paying too much for housing and accepting the status quo are sure-fire ways to fail.

The following article was written by Griff Hanning – the owner and founder of He has a passion for helping others attain financial freedom and maximize the amount of time and money they have to help advance God’s Kingdom.

1. Spend over 1/3 of your income on a house or an apartment.

Most people dream of living in a house with over 5,000 square feet and located in one of the nicest parts of town. I mean, who wouldn’t want to wake up every morning to a little bit of luxury?

The problem with living large is that money is usually in limited supply. If you are spending 40% to 50% of your income on your mortgage or rent, you’re not going to have a whole lot left over at the end of the month.

You may be thinking, “So what. I’m getting by just fine.”

OK, I have two issues with this kind of attitude. The first is about “getting by.” Do you really want to live life just getting by? Wouldn’t you rather be thriving? I would.

The second issue I have with that kind of attitude is that you never know what the future may hold. You may be making the payments just fine today, but what if you got laid off tomorrow?

Mortgages and rent are some of the largest stand-alone expenses for consumers. If you want to fail, choose payments that are more than 30% of your income.

2. Wait until tomorrow to make changes.

It doesn’t matter what good financial advice we are talking about here, if you keep telling yourself that you will start tomorrow, you’ll wake up one day and be a broke 70-year-old wishing you could start over. Don’t take my word for it! Go ask your grandparents what they wish they would have done better in regards to their finances. You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

I was sitting in a Bible study last year with Dr. Del Tackett, author of The Truth Project from Focus on the Family. We invited him to come share some of his wisdom with us “young bucks”, not knowing what he was going to talk about when he got there. He chose to talk about the difference between knowing and believing.

He used the coffee table and center-piece as an analogy. The coffee table surface represented our minds with all of our “nuggets” of knowledge scattered about. The small tea candles represented the nuggets of knowledge that we daily acquire and keep stored away. The center piece was a bowl-like decoration that he used to represent our heart- where we place the things that we believe.

As Del was talking he started taking some of the candles from the table and placing them in the bowl. He explained that the only way to move a nugget of knowledge from our minds to our hearts is through believing – and the only way to believe is to act on your belief.

This concept is convicting not only for living out your faith as a Christian, but also acting upon the good advice we know in other areas of our lives, like money. You may KNOW that saving money for a rainy day is a good idea, but do you BELIEVE it? You may know that investing money when you are young is extremely important, but do you believe it?

If you want to fail financially, keep putting off the things you know you should do until tomorrow.

3. Stay where you are.

I believe that financial freedom is attainable. I think this can only come through finding contentment with where you are at in life and implementing wise money-saving techniques. But I also know that you can always improve your financial situation.

An excuse I hear all of the time is, “Well, our needs are met, what more do we need?” Yes! These people are right. That’s a good place to be and an OK attitude to have. In fact, people like this are head and shoulders above others. But then I ask them, “Wouldn’t you like to maximize your financial freedom by becoming a more generous giver of your time and money than you ever thought possible?! Doesn’t that sound a little more fun than just being self focused and responsible with your finances?”

By staying where you are at financially, you may not fail in one sense of the word, but you may lose out on the extra blessings that are available while here on earth. At least that’s my opinion.

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