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Common finance excuses you will not hear from successful people.

I am blessed to have the privilege to speak and observe many financially-savvy people and one thing they have in common is that they are not fond of making excuses. Here are five excuses you will never hear from them:

Excuse #1 - 'I don't know where to start.'

With the boom of the internet, information is more accessible than it has ever been. A simple online search will give you the exact information you need. A person can spend hours on the internet each day. Why not allot a little bit of it to become productive?

The solution: Simple searches such as 'how to save my income' or 'what is a good investment' are a great first step. The internet is a place that seems to have an answer for everything.

Are you planning to open a bank account to stash your savings? Check the websites of different banks before going to local branches. Are you planning to apply for a mortgage to buy your first home? Use comparison websites, such as, to learn a little more about home loans before you settle for one.

Excuse #2 - 'I'm busy.'

We all have 24 hours a day, but some people seem to get more things done than others. It's about prioritization. When you say 'I'm busy,' this means you're not prioritizing that particular task.

The solution: To start, write down one financial goal you want to achieve per month. This can be tracking your expenses or saving X percent of your salary. Afterwards, write down specific steps you can do to achieve that goal. Now that you've written the steps, it's time to prioritize them. If you want to save 10 percent of your salary, you would have to prioritize this over buying that artisan coffee or trying the new speakeasy bar that just opened up.

Excuse #3 - 'It's difficult.'

Doing what is right is usually difficult to do. A specific example is buying a new pair of shoes. It's much easier to do that than to open a bank account. When you buy shoes, you have multiple payment options: Cash, debit, or credit. When you open a bank account, you have to fill up and submit forms, IDs, and what have you. There's no argument as to which one's easier to do; however, what is easy isn't always what's right.

The solution: Start small so that the action doesn't seem so burdensome. Do you want to save a percentage of your salary? Why not start with saving 5 percent first? Five percent of a P18,000 salary is only P900. Do you want to start investing? Why not read 500-word blogs about it first? The more you get the hang of a particular action, the less difficult it becomes.

Excuse #4 - 'I don't have money for that yet.'

This is definitely one of the most common reasons why people forego financial planning and management. There's a misconception that it takes huge amounts of money to start wealth-building.

The solution: As mentioned earlier, start small and shift your priorities. You can open an investment account with P5,000 or P10,000. The amount doesn't matter at the start; what matters is you take the first step. Couple that with a changed mindset-prioritize saving over spending. If you put saving first before spending, you're going to be saying, 'I don't have money to spend.' That's much better than saying, 'I don't have money to save'.

Excuse #5 - Y.O.L.O.

You only live once. So why save for the future and live a miserable present? However, you can find a balance. YOLO doesn't mean you quit your job, travel the world, and figure it you. Why not travel and work at the same time? You can save your vacation leaves to travel or take part-time work in whichever country you're in.

The solution: Find the balance between fun and practical. This can be hiking during the weekend to explore the outdoors instead of spending it in the mall. This can be having a potluck dinner with friends instead of dining in a restaurant with outrageous mark-ups. The key is to find a balance. Be practical and have fun at the same time. Save for your future self without sacrificing your present self.

Financial planning and management: It's a daunting task, but everyone needs it. Taking the first step is always the hardest, so why not start by changing your mindset, slowly but surely.

Say 'goodbye' to the excuses above, and challenge yourself to reach your money goals. Sooner or later, you wouldn't believe the excuses you used to say because you've already gotten used to financial planning and management that it becomes easy and automatic.

Stop with the excuses; there is simply no room for excuses if you really want to build your future.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jul 19, 2017
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