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Blackmail as a Financial Motivator

I read this on another site but thought it might fit well for folks that are thinking about setting up some financial resolutions for this year, and we are always looking for the best financial motivator.

What really motivates people to get things done, and to follow through on their plans? Some folks are self-motivated and have no issues getting things done once they set their minds to it (I call those people nasty names, but let us not go there today), but many of us have issues remaining finding the right financial motivator.

When I was in High School, I was a loud mouthed know-it-all (as opposed to now, where I am an old loud-mouthed know-it-all), and I guess my Grade 8 Math teacher really had enough of me, so one day he laid in to me. He told me I was useless at Math and that I would never succeed with Math.

I took this as a complete and utter insult, and from that point on I dedicated myself to working hard and proving this teacher wrong. In the end I did get a Mathematics degree, and many times I felt like I wanted to give up I remembered that teacher’s comments. This type of negative feedback is what motivates me (I will prove someone wrong).

financial motivator
Motivational Mantras

All of us have a friend, or a family member who you either really admire, or loath hearing their constant commentary on your shortcomings, and failures, and they can be an excellent financial motivator.

What if you told that key person in your life, your plans for the year financially?  They may act as your motivation to stay on track with your plan.

If you tell your Mother-in-law (yes I will go to that ham-handed comedic device) that by the end of 2013 you are going to save $4000 in your RRSP account and you will make extra payments on your mortgage of more than $2000, would that motivate you to get it done this year? If you see your Mother-in-law every week for Sunday dinner or something like that, I’ll bet you will be a lot more motivated to stay on track, in case she asks you how your plan is going, won’t it?

What if you told your Dad your financial goals for the year, would that help? If you look up to your Dad, maybe you wouldn’t want to let him down by failing, so you might be more motivated?

However you do it, figure out your financial motivator, and for the love of J. Paul Getty make some attainable goals or you’ll end up getting sarcastic about your goals (like some of us do).

Feel Free to Comment

  1. What if you wrote your financial goals down and put it up somewhere you can see everyday like on your fridge? That way, you are reminded of it even more frequently than if you told your mother-in-law or father. I personally put it in a book that was a gift beside my work station, so I am constantly reminded of my financial goals.
    It’s true that you wouldn’t want to let them down by failing your goals, but I would be just as disappointed if I knew I let myself down.

  2. I remember the head guidance counselor telling my mother, I was average. It stayed with me forever and probably influenced me in some way. This “average” person reached financial freedom at 38 years old. I would say, I was not average!

  3. Hah, yea I actually think for the first 80% of my life that was my sole motivator. I don’t know if I would call it blackmail per-se but it was definitely along the lines of proving others wrong and being “not worthless”.

    Definitely nothing wrong with whatever gets you going as long as you can achieve your goals. Maybe the better twist to the mother-in-law story is how you’re saving so much money that soon you won’t HAVE to eat with her because you can buy your own food 😉

  4. LOVE this advice! I’m like you in that area too: tell me I can’t do it? Watch me as I kick _____ all over the place just so I can prove you wrong :-).

    The take away I get here is, “Do whatever it takes to get motivated and get things done”.

    Great advice!

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