We all make promises to be better, to make a change, or to take advice, but far too often we don’t actually practice what we preach. We tell our friends one thing and then go home and don’t do it ourselves. We read about what experts think, but don’t take their advice.
Here are a few examples. Do any of them resonate with you?
We know not to be emotional about the stock market. Everyone knows that the first rule is to buy low and to sell high. We know that buying high and selling low is a losing proposition. Then why did so many people pull out of the stock market when the market started tanking (after losing 25%) and are only now getting back in (when the stock market has doubled in the past two years).
Still, most people don’t practice dollar cost averaging. They let their emotions get involved in their business decisions.
We pretend we have budgets: do they own us or do we own them?
For some people, even if they have budgets, when one category starts getting a little bit too close to the limit, we can simply ‘adjust’ and increase it, so while we are technically staying within the budget, we’re really breaking with what we originally scheduled to spend. Tricking yourself into thinking you’re keeping a budget doesn’t account!
We pledge to use credit cards less: Credit.com thinks otherwise! While lots of people say that they want to decrease their credit card debt, they rarely do. According to a study, 69% of Americans said they were going to spend at little as possible on their credit cards this past Christmas, the results were that Americans actually spent more with credit cards than last year! We just can’t control our spending even if it’s something we pledge to do. What is going on?
Take Action and Follow Your Own Advice!
It’s not easy to be perfect all the time. But we must learn from our mistakes. Here are 3 quick tips for how to avoid being a hypocrite:
1. Make it Automatic
Unless you’re an active trader, make automatic investments in your investment plans. Don’t simply follow the hot stocks; instead invest regularly and you’ll come out ahead in the long run.
2. Set Small Goals
Give yourself some room in your budget by adding a ‘miscellaneous’ category. Once you get used to consistently staying under budget, you can adjust and tighten up. The encouragement will keep you going and help you achieve your budget goals!
3. Hold Yourself Accountable
Instead of vowing never to use your credit card, try only using it for necessities. For ‘fun’ purchases, pay in cash and you’ll feel the pain of handing over a wad of cash. Maybe you’ll think twice about that sweater!
Readers, how else do you find yourself being hypocritical? How do you put a stop to it?