How well do you know your trusted peers? Lets be honest, you really don’t know them given the one thing not discussed in the workplace are personal finances. When was the time you shared your personal finance stories with a peer…. ya NEVER! Furthermore, why would you share personal information with a colleague?
The Smoke Screen
Everyday millions of Americans begin their day sitting behind a smoke screen of personal finance issues. Furthermore, many fail to do anything about it during their lifetime.
If you’ve followed my writings, you might notice this doesn’t seem to be a productivity topic, yet it truly is. Before I go further, let me state the following: “I am not a financial planner or financial coach”. I’m an individual who has taken the time to explore and learn how personal finances can have a big impact on daily productivity.
I’ve been one to be transparent and express my personal debt situation in my first book entitled, Tide Turners. In this book I share my story of turning the tide in my finances.
Have you every thought about why you or your peers don’t discuss personal finance? In my opinion, fear of judgement and shame enter into the equation, so why would anyone want to share that truth with their peers! Only the mirror and your personal net worth reflect the truth.
Do you recall the 1992 movie ‘A Few Good Men’, where Jack Nicholson’s character shouts, “You Can’t Handle The Truth!”?
Simply put, in addition to fear of judgement and shame, if personal finances were commonly discussed, many couldn’t bear to speak it.
As I mentioned above, I am not a financial wizard and do not claim to be, while I have found 10 financial facts readily available online.
Knowing these facts I’m hoping can shift your choices and behavior and your personal net worth, which will elevate your productivity.
Here are the 10 things, your peers will never share as it pertains to personal finance.
- There is a high correlation between personal debt, stress, depression and anxiety.
- Stress from debt can lead to mild to severe health problems such as ulcers, migraines, depression, and even heart attacks!
- Debt can lead to lack of sleep.
- The number one thing couples fight about, for those with $50K or more say money is top reason for arguments. Ever argue about money with your partner?
- Some states allow creditors to call at work and the disruption of work, reduces productivity. A study found that 50% of people who are distracted experience significantly less productivity!
- A study by Fidelity found a link between debt and productivity. Employees with the highest levels of debt have twice the absenteeism of those with the lowest levels of debt.
- The average American has $97,727 in consumer debt! Are you above or below this average?
- As of November 2020, the US consumer debt was $14.2 Trillion! (Did you ever receive a thank you card from your credit card companies?) ” Dear_______, thank you for carrying your debt with our bank, you don’t know how grateful we are to have you as a customer as we reached our highest interest income this year. Thank you for continuing to spend with us and by the way, due to your high balance we are taking up the interest rate. Thanks again!”
- Chase bank, the second largest credit card company made $51,660,000,000 in credit card interest income in 2019!
- Millions of individuals are living in debt denial and have the government can do it, “So can I” mentality. The US public debt in February 2021 was around $27.9 Trillion.
These ten facts can easily been found online, if you’d like to conduct a fact check. Please know no credit cards were harmed to obtain the above information and interest income will alway exist.
The data has shown carrying debt is impacting productivity and the wellness of individuals, yet people continue to do the same things and get further into debt and the cycle continues. George Bernard Shaw said, “Only fools repeat the same things over and over, expecting to obtain different results.”
Do you hold this mindset? “I’ll pay it off next month or I’ll save every month and pay it off in three months when its due?” Personally I held this mindset for a long time and I started off great and over time, the build of debt occurred like a train gains momentum and can’t be stopped.
Self awareness is the beginning of change. Here are four questions to ask yourself as it pertains to your personal finances?
- How much debt do I currently have, (not including my residence(s)?
- How much per month am I paying out to others for use of their services (ie Credit Cards, Loans, HELOC (Home Equity Line Of Credit, etc)?
- If I didn’t have any payments to make to these services; given all my debt to these services were paid off, what could I do with the money I was allocating to these payments? (Don’t limit yourself, truly think what you could do!)
- Do I feel it would be worthwhile to eliminate debt and live debt free?
Personal Finance GAME PLAN
If you are still reading, the above must have sparked an interest and you’d like to know the game plan. The game plan is SIMPLE, yet not easy to do and might sound a bit irrational. But wait, didn’t irrational get you in debt with your spending? It did for me!
Below are a few books and podcasts to help provide eduction and tools to help you move forward in your debt reduction journey.
Question For You
Imagine you begin the journey of living a life debt free, however it doesn’t seem possible but you forge ahead and in three to five years you break through the tunnel of debt. Wouldn’t you want to tell a trusted peer about your journey?
I would hope so! Individuals love stories that seem hopeless and somehow victory occurs. You see see this plot all the time in movies and books and it sells. We love stories like this, so why not share your story!
The Bottom Line: Debt does impact your productivity and having a plan to eliminate it will free you from more than just a number.
Will you live like the average or decide to live differently regardless of whatever range of household income you declared on your taxes?
ps. If you do work for a financial institution, interest income is safe given the majority will always have a credit card and merchants need your service. The above is an expression of free speech and the statement of facts found online.
pss. In the article entitled, “Five Reasons You Should Quit”, I discuss personal finance directed at throwing money away and when you should quit.