The Definition Of Insanity Applied to Family Finances

shopping-cartI’ve been told that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result can be used to label a person as insane. If that were truly the case I suspect that more than half the population would qualify. We are creatures of habit after all. What that means is we often learn to do something one way and continue to follow the routine even if it harms us. That’s not so much a definition of insanity as it is the embodiment of laziness. We seldom review what we do for effectiveness.

Hard Time Saving for the Future?

I occasionally wonder why people have such a hard time saving for the future and seemed fixed on the present and instant gratification. The reality is that people have learned to live that lifestyle and haven’t really considered how it impacts their future. Unfortunately consumer groups promote and encourage such behaviours. When everyone around you is behaving the same way it seems natural to follow.

The catch comes when you expect to live that lifestyle and still get the desired outcomes such as retirement savings, an emergency fund, and no personal debt. People who believe they can get these results are truly doing the same thing and expecting that different outcome. They are wandering very close to the definition of insanity.

This mindset of expecting different results without the effort comes with a mountain of denial. Somehow it will all work out, I’ll get out of debt and be fine, my retirement will get funded. I’ll figure it out when I’m older, money will just come when needed, and so on it goes. The reality is a financial plan doesn’t just magically appear. Expecting a different outcome is really possible by doing the same thing over and over isn’t realistic. You have to make it happen, and that means doing things a bit differently.

The biggest lie we tell ourselves is that we are not overspending, but rather are underearning. Very few of us will ever afford everything we want. We need to plan our expenditures to match our income. Read our great article on two couples approach to A Step by Step to Managing Your Money Like a Pro.

Sensible Savings for the Future

It’s really quite sensible when you think about it; if you don’t save some money today how can that money grow and compound into a retirement fund? The good news is you can control your future outcomes; you just have to allow them to happen. How do you do that? Well it starts with setting a percentage of your earnings aside for the future, learning how to invest that money safely for the long run, and living sensibly so your personal debt doesn’t crush you.

Small Changes for Big Results

When you make a few changes to the way you are doing things today it is more than possible to expect a different outcome in the future.

There’s another saying I prefer which states “if what you’ve been doing isn’t working, do something different”. That’s not insanity at all; it’s common sense.

Water BarrelThe BalanceIn my E-books (“Water Barrel” and “The Balance”) I discuss simple methods to live sensibly for today, take charge of your financial affairs, and invest safely for the long term. For more information please visit David Penna Amazon.

As always, I am not a qualified financial advisor. I just relate financial management to my own experience which may not resemble yours at all. Advice is frequently worth exactly what you paid for it. Most of mine came from expensive experiences.

Leave a comment