Monday, 9 June 2014

Learn to ignore the distractions on your financial journey

Like many of you, I am on a journey to achieve financial independence.  I slip up from time to time but for the most part I am disciplined and have a strategy to achieve my goals.  There are plenty of distractions along the way and some of them come from unexpected sources.

This post will cover one of the distractions that I received recently...and my tips for ignoring these impediments to achieving your financial goals.

My bank offered me a credit trying to guilt me about not spending 'on myself'

Recently I received the most outrageous letter from a bank.  In fact I honestly thought that banks were more responsible than this.  I have my home loan with a different bank to the one which has my transaction and credit card account.  In order to try and get more business from me, my home loan account bank constantly sends me letters offering me all kinds of products (including credit cards).  That is fine...that is the business they are in.  

However recently I received the letter below (along with a pre-filled credit card application form).  It was so outrageous I actually decided to copy the relevant sections

It is truly incredible that a bank would actually tell people to 'get in touch with their impulsive side'.  That they would discourage savings and people acting sensibly truly
boggles the mind.  Yes, it is true that if you save you avoid 'indulging' and avoid 'treating yourself'....but that's the point.  You are forgoing things now for what you perceive to be a better end goal.

It is worth remembering that companies are never acting in your interest

Commercial enterprises, not matter how much they claim to be acting in their customers interests, are always acting in their own interests.  Keep in mind that there are very few people who will truly act only in your interests and those that are working for a profit are rarely amongst them.

Your bank is attempting to generate profit and this isn't a bad thing.  They serve a purpose and you should use them where it is beneficial to you.  However you should never trust them and you should be outraged if they ever try and pull a stunt like the one above.

Ignore the distractions and keep working towards your financial goals

There will always be distractions around you.  Some will be obvious (like the letter above) but others will be more subtle.  Most of your challenges are actually going to be dealing with your own temptation but if I can offer the following words of support
  1. Remember why you set your goals in the first place
  2. If you are tempted to do something impulsive or if you want to 'treat' yourself...ask yourself whether this treat was something you planned for
  3. Impulsive decisions now need to be paid for later
  4. Achieving your goals has far greater long term benefits than the immediate satisfaction you will get now
Have you ever received a letter like the one I posted above?  Have you been tempted to stray or are you pretty good at ignoring distractions?

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  1. I feel you have a spammer there 90M..

    Back to the story though wow that is very courageous and callous for a bank to do something like that.. I am sure that ASIC would be highly interested in their behaviours. Even if this isn't illegal it seems pretty unethical for any financial institution to be doing this :O

    I agree though, keep clear goals on why and what you want to achieve is vital in avoiding distractions.. I will include on my career circle next week as this is a great and interesting post :)

    1. Thanks Jef. Yeah I try and catch the spam pretty early. Thanks for the heads up though.

      Agree with you regarding the bank practices though. The only bit I blacked out was the name of the bank. I considered keeping it in there but wanted to make a broader point so decided to black it out. It's a big bank so plenty of people would have received the same letter as me!