Today Is The Day To Stop Making Excuses

Take a look at the following and see if you can answer what they all have in common.

  • Members of the City Council of Detroit blaming the state of Michigan for revenue shortfalls that have left the city with several hundred million dollars of budget deficits.
  • The Republicans in Congress blaming their Democratic counterparts across the aisle (or in the Oval Office) for having waited until the last minute to avert the end-of-year Fiscal Cliff disaster which, as I predicted, would drag out until the very last minute.
  • A girl (or guy) who seems to date only losers blaming their ex’s for their failed dating life.
  • A person with massive amounts of debt blaming the institutions which provided them the debt.

In all of these cases, I hope that the common theme is this: Excuses.

The problems aren’t actually being addressed, but instead the people involved are pointing fingers, assigning blame, and making excuses.

What aren’t they doing?  Well, they aren’t taking the responsibility for the problems in question at all.  They are shouldering none of the blame for the predicament that they’re in.

The political excuse merry-go-round

The City of Detroit is seen as an absolute mess by just about everybody.  While there are some great things going on in the city, and there are a few who are pouring millions of dollars into the revitalization of key areas, the fact is that most of the world, and even us folks close to the city still see a big lack of progress, and for those closer, it’s perfectly obvious that the lack of progress has to do mostly with a city council who points their fingers at the mayor and the state, a mayor who blames the city council and the state, and a state government who pretty much is afraid to get anywhere near the rat’s nest, but at some point will have no choice.

All the while things make no progress toward getting things resolved.  Streetlights stay out, people keep getting murdered, houses keep burning down, and once proud neighborhoods fall into further decline every single day.  The fundamental truth is that these things happen because nobody accepts responsibility, but instead just plays blame.  The great things that are happening downtown and in parts of the city will continue to be dwarfed by the problems until such time as someone accepts the responsibility at which time they will become more empowered and more engaged to take action!

It sounds so simple, yet the blame game gets worse and worse every year, it seems.

How frustrating!

The bad-luck dating friend

Everybody who is at or recently part of the ‘dating scene’ has a friend who does nothing but complain about the problems that they’ve had with their dating life.  From dating loser after loser to not being able to get past a good first date, or getting no calls back from people that they thought they hit it off with, everybody knows one of these people, right?

(Hint: If you’re single and you don’t know one of these people, there’s a good chance you might just be that person!)

Time after time, you hear these people complain, and I know you burn on the inside, wanting to scream:

“It’s YOU! You’re the one that keeps dating the same losers.  You keep turning away the nice people and dating the bad boy/girl, so what do you expect?!?”

Sound familiar?  Again, it’s a case of the person not taking responsibility for the position that they’re in.  They prefer to make excuses and deflect the problems onto someone else.

Making excuses instead of money

Making excuses happens all the time in government and in relationships, but it also happens way too often when it comes to your money.  Any of the following sound familiar:

  • I’m in debt because my credit card companies kept raising my limit.
  • I am not saving enough because I didn’t get a raise last year
  • I lost money in the market because my adviser told me to buy this fund that later tanked

I’m sure there are a million of them.

The truth is that, again, they boil down to the idea that people are willing to blame others and make excuses for problems that they have with their financial situation.  Whether it’s getting a handle on their debt, or not making money that they feel they want, having a strong investment portfolio, all too often people are willing to deflect the blame.  This in turn, leads to a huge problem.

Nobody else cares.  See, the number one problem that making excuses leads to is that nobody else but you really gives a darn about the problems you have.  Sure, close family and maybe really close friends will care, but even then, nobody cares as much as you do.  In many cases, people that you complain to, they don’t care at all!

Which leads to inaction.  Making excuses and placing blame leads to inaction, and since nobody else cares as much as you do about your money, progress is stalled.

Only you can do something about it.  The only person that can truly make changes to your finances is you.  As it should be!  After all, you’re the one that cares the most about your money.  Not your boss.  Not your friends.  Not your financial adviser.  Not even your family. You and you alone have the most at stakes when it comes to your money.  It’s time to realize this!

Take action! 

Kick yourself in the pants!  Once you’ve accepted that you are the one who cares (or should care) the most about your finances, this should excite you to get going. Give yourself a kick in the rear and get going!

Take stock.  Many times, people don’t want to know where they’re at.  They go through day by day watching their credit card balance creep up but they figure by not knowing, they can put off the problem.  That ends today!  You have to take a baseline of where you are and only then can you start making progress.

Accept responsibility.  No matter what happened or who you might think helped you along to your money issues, wipe it aside.  Take responsibility.  Take ownership.

Make a plan.  After you spend some time understanding where your money problems stand, it’s time to put together a plan on what you want to do about it.   The bad news is that you might never have done this before.  The good news is that’s OK!  You don’t have to create a full plan.  Even if your plan is just a couple of steps of things you can do and changes you can make, that’s perfectly fine! In fact, if you are really just getting started for the first time, this is actually preferable.

Celebrate achievements.  If you make a small milestones, celebrate them.

Keep planning.  After you hit a couple of your small achievements, plan the next ones.  This time, you might find that you can look further ahead.  Keep repeating this and guess what?  It will get easier.  You’ll find that you’ll make progress.  You’ll get a clear head.  You’ll put more effort into tackling your issues simply because you now have taken full ownership.

You’ll get things under control!

All because you stopped making excuses and took control!

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29 thoughts on “Today Is The Day To Stop Making Excuses

  1. This is a great post. I goes right to the point. I think many people including your examples give excuses because they don’t know how to fix their problems. They also don’t want to fix their problems. People love normalcy. If they can continue to do what they have been doing, then they are good, but if they are required to change, then they go kicking and screaming.
    Debt Roundup recently posted..Global Investment and the Fiscal Cliff – The Markets PerspectiveMy Profile

  2. I am a big believer in taking accountability for yourself, actions, comments, relationships, and even your status quo. Although you can’t control every situation you find yourself in there is always a choice on what you do, say, think. The power of changing ones’ perspective is in your own hands. The question is what do you do with it?
    Julie recently posted..Insert Fun Here….My Profile

    • Very true, many people are all too willing to pass the buck for aspects of their lives that aren’t working as well as they’d like.

  3. My parents never accepted excuses because they didn’t! I do not accept them either. I can do a great deal to change anything into success without blaming others for my lack of effort. Successful people never make excuses!
    krantcents recently posted..I Will Never Retire!My Profile

  4. This is one of those posts that I’m going to have to forward along to those people in my life who can’t stop complaining. I’m not sure it will help, but it will make me feel better.

    We all have rough spots in our life. But those who whine less and persevere more will be able to extricate themselves from the rough patches and hopefully wind up better off in the end.
    My Financial Independence Journey recently posted..Norfolk Southern (NSC) Dividend Stock AnalysisMy Profile

  5. I try and take responsibilty for all my actions and only fall in the pity party -why me hole a few times each year.

    I am Canadian and I am shocked by the way your politicians are behaving. It is like the republicans are already campaigning for the next election. Don’t they know the election is over and they have to start working and quit whining? Do the republicans want your country to collapse so they can feel superior to the democrats?

    I am trying to understand but your economy effects my economy so could your government please stop pointing fingers and get to work.
    Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle recently posted..What If I Have To Buy A Newer CarMy Profile

  6. There is a big difference between a reason and an excuse. Too many people (or government entities) fail to learn the distinction between the two. Unfortunately, this manner of constantly making excuses and pointing fingers has become a part of society from politics to sports to media down to the individual level. It’s sad, really, how people who are supposedly “leaders” in all areas are worse than 5 year-olds who when it comes to so many issues.
    Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity recently posted..Identity Theft Prevention Just Takes A Little EffortMy Profile

    • I think sometimes the 5-year olds at least know they’re being unreasonable, which sadly gives them the edge over many of our ‘leaders’ :)

  7. Yay – I love kick-in-the-pants posts. I am a procrastinator and whiner at heart but dang it all all, I can’t handle people passing the blame. If my life isn’t going the way I want, only I can really change it. Just like only I control what I eat, what money I spend, and how I handle other people…
    Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter recently posted..Are You Financially Ready For Kids?My Profile

    • I see myself a lot the same way, I p*ss and moan probably more than I should, but when it’s all said and done I try to take charge of making things the way that I want them.

  8. This is a really great post! I think excuses and people not taking responsibilty for anything, is problematic of our society. “It’s not my fault!” gets said one too many times. When people say that, I want to say “Well, who’s fault is it then?”
    Mackenzie recently posted..So, I Knew This Girl…My Profile

  9. I like this, but I think this fails to address the main issue with people who make excuses – they LIKE playing the victim. I’m not one of those people, so I have a hard time understanding it, but we all know them (you can identify them through their Facebook statuses!). LOL
    Lena @ WhatMommyDoes recently posted..Spring Playdate Ideas for 2- to 5-Year-OldsMy Profile

    • That’s true, you get the feeling that a lot of people who complain about life are happy because they complain so much!

  10. You nailed it dead on! I personally know a few people who need a swift kick in their butt because they constantly present excuses for why things are just not going for them. Certainly some things are out of one’s control but for the rest that isn’t, do something about it! Okay I’m off my soapbox now :)
    K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! recently posted..What Is Your Debt Holding You Back From Doing?My Profile

    • Unfortunately, it’s the people that make the excuses most often that are the ones that don’t realize they’re doing it!

  11. I’m an excuse maker. Always. But it’s not my fault! (I kid, I kid.)

    Knowing that this is an issue for me, I’ve been working on correcting it.
    What helps me is identifying what’s an excuse vs. a legitimate reason. As does little self reminders like “Stop making excuses, Amanda!”, a Pintrest board full of similar inspirational quotes, and post like these!
    MissAmanda recently posted..I’M GOING TO QUIT MY JOBMy Profile

  12. As someone who grew up in Detroit my heart aches for that city, even though it’s been years since I’ve lived there. The people are so nice and have so much pride and faith the city will turn around some day, but the progress has been painfully slow. I also remember that the city itself has stunning architecture, but is hollow and abandoned (like the beautiful old train station). Anyway, I hate excuses as well, or people who play the victim. You can’t move forward in life unless you start taking responsibility for EVERYTHING that happens to you either good or bad. Good post!
    Budget and the Beach recently posted..Link Love/Week in Review 2/1/13My Profile

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