Great Savings 21: Take Responsibility For Actions


This Great Savings Tip is from“He wouldn’t give me that promotion. They keep upping my monthly fees. The bank interest rates are ridiculous. What’s the point of saving?” Do any of these sentiments sound familiar? We can blame others for the things they do or don’t do, but when it comes to saving money and building wealth we need only look in the mirror to figure out who’s ultimately responsible for the amount of  money at our disposal.


Great Savings Tip 21 - Take responsibility for actions.Yes, some people make more than we do. Yes, we can point to others who start out better off in life. There are also many who seem to get lucky breaks or are unusually gifted. Sadly, some people are dishonest and will try to cheat us. The truth is there will always be reasons we can blame others for our misfortune. Sooner or later, however, we start to ask if this blame game is really working and if we’re honest the answer is no. Thus, we end up with a choice: We can take charge of our destiny, or we can continue to whine over everything we lack by blaming our situation on anyone and everyone but ourselves. In the end, saving money or spending less of it is about the choices we face and what we do with them. In other words, it’s about accepting responsibility for the role we play in all the things we do.


So what does personal responsibility imply when it comes to money and finances? The answer is just about everything. After all, whether we’re influenced by others to spend money or not, we make the final decision to hand over our cash. We write the check or pull out a credit card. We decide what looks nice or appeals to the senses, what doesn’t, when to buy, whether to spend frivolously, who to trust, and so on. We also decide how much to save. We decide whether to buy insurance, invest in the stock market, put away money for retirement, pay for our kids education, etc.



A beach full of rocks is like a life full of decisions.

Every decision we make adds up into something bigger than the sum of its parts.  It’s just like this beach. Why should we expect a bunch of rocks be part of something this beautiful, until we see them  from the proper angle? 


Personal responsibility is all about making better choices over the long haul to build a better life. For example, if we know our credit cards are already maxed out, it would be silly to ignore we have an inability to manage debt. Not taking responsibility for an issue like this one could look like blaming the bank for giving us so much credit in the first place, or perhaps applying for another credit card we can’t possibly pay off. Taking responsibility might look like developing a plan to get out of debt by adding to our income, cutting expenses, etc. It’s important to understand that we continually make choices and those choices have consequences that add up over the years. Ultimately, they determine whether we end up putting money aside and accumulating wealth, or whether we continually struggle to get by.


If you’re still confused whether you’re taking responsibility for actions, ask these two questions: 1) Am I blaming my problem or situation on someone or something else? 2) What’s my part or role in causing a particular problem or situation? These are very telling questions, and answering them honestly is the way to take charge in life. When we decide to be responsible for the circumstances or situation we end up in we suddenly have the power to change them. Alternatively, when we blame others we give our power to those we blame, and then we have to hope and pray they’ll somehow go away. It’s rare when they do.



A fall is not a leap of faith.

Constantly blaming others without looking at the role we play is a little like sleep walking. We never know where we’ll end up next.

It’s often true that taking responsibility for a financial predicament is harder than blaming the problem on others for it can mean accepting we’ve screwed up. It can also imply we need to work harder and build a true a sense of commitment to looking at the problem differently. Yet the ultimate reward is to feel we’re moving toward clear goals, we’ll have funds available when and if we need them, and we are doing our utmost to build long-term wealth. Truly understanding the powerful concept of personal responsibility is the key to a better life. When we quit blaming others, we quit wasting precious life energy on things we have no power to change. Why not spend our precious time and effort on the things we can?


Action Item: Write down a list of three ways you blame someone else for your financial woes. For example, “My boss never gives me a raise.” Now, decide what steps you can take to change things for the better. For instance, you might seek out a different employer who pays a higher wage, find out from your boss what it will take to convince him you deserve a raise, or take on a second job to raise more cash. The bottom line here is you want more income, so take the steps to go after it. Remember, you’re ultimately in control if you take responsibility for your actions.


If you’d like to see how adding just a small amount of extra income per month can help over the long-term, be sure to check out Great Savings 18 – Maximize Your Income.

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