Great Savings 2 – Seek The Help Of Others


Great Savings Tip #2: Seek The Help Of Others.In our original Great Savings Tip Series, our second tip was to “Develop A Sense Of Self-Discipline.” We’re changing that tip. While self-discipline is a critical component to improving lifestyle, it’s hard to go it alone. That’s why our second tip is now to seek the help of others as you go to improve your financial situation.


Here's a sad duck.

I don't know which way to turn. Can anybody help?

Sooner or later most of us struggle with the following issue:  While we may know “life” isn’t working out the way we expected, if we’re honest with ourselves, we have to admit we’re the ones responsible.  We made certain choices, right? Some turned out bad or were self-defeating.  Others may have been okay, but the bottom line is there is an imbalance, we aren’t happy, and there’s really no one to blame but ourselves. Taking responsibility for our actions is both good news and bad. It means if we want improvement we have to dig ourselves out. At the same time, it implies we have a choice on how that happens—that’s the good part.


Let’s Do Something Different


Einstein's definition of insanity.

Are you doing the same old thing? Is it working for you?

Consider this: If we just do all the same old things that got us into trouble in the first place, what’s likely to change? Not much, right? Yet by reaching out to ask for help, isn’t it more likely we’ll start talking about new ideas we wouldn’t even consider trying on our own? This may seem obvious on the surface, but it often gets lost as we go to to admit we’re struggling financially to the ones we love.  Do yourself a favor. Take a first step toward a better future and be honest about your situation with the people who care about you the most.


There’s another issue here, too: Some days are just plain tougher than others. That’s why having people to turn to or listen when things feel hardest can help to stay on track.


Getting Started


So what’s the best way to find others willing to help improve your situation? Start by checking in with family and close friends. As you go about doing that, ask if they might help or if they can recommend others they know. Or find those closest to you who also want to make changes in their lives so you can go about doing it together.


As we are ultimately talking about improving overall lifestyle, finding people we trust is probably the most important thing to look for. However, finding someone who has a better track record handling money issues than we do may also be important. After all, if we trust a person, yet know for a fact they are struggling as much as we are, it may simply be harder for them to give us truly objective or helpful advice. This isn’t meant to dismiss the fact any friend can be of help just by offering an ear or some occasional encouragement.  Nor should it imply those who struggle hardest have nothing to offer. Sometimes a situation is unavoidable—say a chronic medical condition that results in huge bills or even bankruptcy.  Bottom line: It’s almost always better to share and get support from others, no matter their situation, than try to do it all on our own.


Friendship can take many form.

Support comes in all shapes and sizes. Are you getting help? (Click to expand)


Beyond family and close friends, look to others in your wider circle of friends and acquaintances for help. Ask around. Find out who knows about basic budgeting, writing good resumes, buying houses, what to look for in a good rental, the best and safest kinds of investments, retirement, social security, getting out of debt or otherwise.


You might also consider bending the ear of a successful business owner. Successful business people are often savvier with their money because they have to be—that is, if they plan to stay in business. And if it feels like there’s no one you really trust to help you, consider seeking out a personal coach or counselor whose track record indicates they have successfully helped others achieve personal goals and objectives.


We shouldn’t leave this topic without a warning. As much as most people have the capacity to be generous or help others solve their problems, some are looking for a quick buck or are just plain dishonest. For that reason, try to find more than one person to add to your new “financial circle”. Don’t be afraid to bounce ideas off several people before making any major decisions. And if anyone wants you to shell out money for a “sure bet” (i.e. investment, job-prospect, or otherwise), walk away until you’ve had sufficient time to do all the research and consult with others. There are far too many scam artists out there so don’t fall prey.


Action Item: Make a list of 3 to 5 family members or close friends who you think may be willing to support you as you go to improve your financial situation. Now, take the next step and talk them. Don’t worry if it turns out they are too busy or don’t feel like they can offer much help. The point here is to start a conversation and start developing a new circle of support. If your first list doesn’t pan out, keep at it. Eventually, you’re bound to find a number of people you can rely on.


We’re just getting started and there’s lots more coming your way. Our first two tips are more general in nature, but our next tips will offer specific suggestions to start saving money. Stay tuned.


Are you struggling with a mountain of debt?
Before you pay a dime for help getting out, check our post:
Debt Relief: Two Solutions That Work



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