Stop Whining And Take Responsibility For Your Situation

Photo credit: © Merce_2006

Yes, times are tough: people are upside down on their mortgages or even going through the foreclosure process, the banking industry is in turmoil, retail stores are closing at a record pace, jobs are being lost. It is certainly difficult to imagine that all of these events are happening all at the same time, but things happen that are beyond our control. Now, we have all these people across the country taking all this time to protest against the 1%, corporate greed, taxes, and other “important” issues. Everywhere you turn people are crying for help, and pointing fingers everywhere except for where they should be pointed. Here is a novel idea, though: take a good long look in the mirror and see who is truly to blame for you own personal situation: you!

 

For years, people have been worried about keeping up with the “Jonses”: their neighbors, family, friends, emulating what they see on entertainment tv programs. They go out and purchase cars and houses that consume most of their take-home pay just to say that they drive this car or that car, or so they can say that they live in this zip code or that city. They struggle to live paycheck-to-paycheck using almost every last cent to pay for the luxuries that they thought would bring them status, but only drive them deeper into debt. Did they not think that one day this would all catch up to them?

 

For years the national savings rate was at historically low levels under 1%. A majority of the country wasn’t concerned with saving, just outspending and upstaging the next person. Savings accounts? Emergency funds? Retirement savings? Most reports concluded all of those things were virtually non-existent. What happened once the ARMs started adjusting upward? Foreclosures increased. Defaults increased. Banks, which are not in the business of selling real estate are seeing their risky lending practices come back and bite them in the rear. Then the layoffs come, and there is no savings account, no emergency fund. What do people do? What else, blame everyone possible without taking personal responsibility for their own actions and decisions.

 

It’s really quite simple:

 

  • House in foreclosure? Blame the bank for giving you a mortgage that you swore you could afford 
     
  • Gas prices too high? Blame the oil and car companies for colluding to trap people into a dependence on both 
  • Car being repossessed? Again, blame the bank 
  • Job loss with no money in the bank? Blame the employer for making a rational business decision 
     
  • Credit cards maxed out? Blame the bank yet again for giving you a line of credit that you couldn’t use responsibly or society for making it so easy to spend. 
     
  • Credit rating in the toilet? Blame everyone else for expecting you to pay your bills on time and the credit agencies for calculating credit scores the way they do. 

 

Sometimes, people need a good slap in the face to wake them up to the fact that they are responsible for each of these situations. It’s not the banks who extended the line of credit. It’s not society (totally) for making you feel that you needed to keep up with those who actually have the means to afford their lifestyles. It’s not the former employer that had to let you go in order for the business to survive. Ultimately you are responsible for where you are right now. You decided to buy rather than rent even though you knew you couldn’t afford it. It was you who purchased a luxury car versus the affordable sedan even though the payments, insurance, and fuel costs would be stretching your budget. You are the one who made the decision to spend your bonus and/or raise rather than fund your retirement account, savings account, or emergency fund. It is all on you for living above your means, and you have no one but the person looking back at you in the mirror for where you are at this very minute.

 

Obviously this is not the same for everyone, but for the great many people who brought their current money woes upon themselves, this presents an excellent opportunity to learn something about yourselves and about money. Look back to see how you got to this point. See what you could have done differently, perhaps sought out a financial advisor, or read a book on money management. Sit down and make a plan, outline your priorities, just do something to come out of this situation a more informed, more responsible consumer.

  • http://knsfinancial.com/did-cablevision-really-sell-my-data/ Sher@knsfinancial.com

    Great article. As you said, this may not apply to everyone, but if many were honest they would accept responsibility.  I’ve been unpopular for sharing this point of view, but I always believe that helping one person at a time is worth it.

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall

      I may be opinionated, but I always keep an open mind, and if I get some backlash for the things I say, so be it if it get’s people thinking or being accountability for themselves.

  • http://www.carefulcents.com/ Carrie Smith

    Amen, amen, and amen. “Everyone loves to dance until it’s time to pay the fiddler”. Whining and complaining gets you nowhere, and pointing the blame just reveals your own lack of character. I completely agree with your point.

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall

      The only thing that whining and complaining gets people is a reputation for being a whiner and complainer!

  • http://twitter.com/onlyonecent One Cent At A Time

    very true, people should accept the fact honestly and work towards betterment. Its the power of brain, not every one is equal. I do want to ask questions to all those people who were in debt or are in debt…are you insane?

    Where is the common sense when people spend more than they earn? Many fellow PF bloggers boast of the fact they came out of debt.I always wanted to ask question “You are not reliable mate! at some point of time your brain wasn’t working”..

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall

      I have to disagree about the last part, my man. Sometimes, the most reliable sources of information are those that have been there and have first hand knowledge. True, at one point they were irresponsible with their money, but they turned the corner and have the ability to relate to others who may be in the same situation. The biggest thing (I think) that many people look for when seeking advice is someone with whom they can relate. Someone in debt won’t be able to relate to the silver-spoon, trust-fund brat who writes about money. they’ll go to the person who is just like them.

  • http://twitter.com/USMBlogger UltimateSmartMoney

    Nice post.  I see too many people being lazy when it comes to money.  We all need to be more responsible spender and take care of our money.  Be the ultimate smart spender so that you can save more.

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall

      It’s not just about spending or saving. It’s about being accountable for your own actions and their consequences. People can do what they please with their money or credit, just don’t start crying that the credit card issuer made it too easy for them to spend, or that the loan they took out for the house is too much to handle with other bills. People need to realize that nobody puts a gun to their heads when making these decisions, so there is no one else to blame, and that sometimes what may look good now won’t necessarily be good for them in the long run.

  • Untemplater

    People totally need a slap in the face with finance troubles. If you want to get out of debt playing the blame game won’t get you anywhere. We have to want to change and be proactive to make a difference. -Sydney

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall

      Oh, I know about wanting to slap people Sydney! It’s essentially a choice just like smoking or eating. If people want to improve their health (physical or financial) it takes a certain amount of effort and self-realization.

  • http://dailymoneyshot.net Jana @ Daily Money Shot

    Amen, Eric. One of my biggest pet peeves is the lack of personal responsibility that runs rampant. I see it everywhere and it annoys me to no end. It’s a topic that I frequently vent about and I agree with so many points you made, particularly the finger pointing and inability to look inward and assume ownership of one’s decisions. 

    I wish I could slap some people in the face. If nothing else, it would make me feel better.

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall

      You have my complete and total backing if you decide to start slapping people around Jana!