January 15, 2020

New Year's Resolutions - Knowledge

By Barry Rudesill
Last week, I started talking about New Year’s resolutions and why they fail. I explained that many of us base our resolutions on Information – we hear that something SHOULD be done. But, no matter how positive the behavior is, because it doesn’t affect us deep down inside, it doesn’t connect with us, we don’t continue to change. The resolution fails.
So, how do we not just start something only to fail? Well, we need to take the next step and turn the Information into Knowledge. As we say in The Trek, Me + Information + Action = Knowledge. In other words, I have to do something with the Information before it becomes meaningful to me.
Going back to our examples from last week, let’s talk about finances. According to a 2017 survey by the website CareerBuilder.com:
  • 25% of Americans do not set aside any savings
  • 75% of workers say they are in debt
  • 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck
According to most financial experts, many American families are just one emergency away from total financial collapse. These can include: layoffs, unforeseen bills, death in the family, or even an economic recession.
Now, if you’re like most people you probably have been told that you SHOULD put money into savings; you SHOULD build an “emergency fund”; you SHOULD cut back or eliminate credit cards; you SHOULD look for a “side hustle”; you SHOULD… Yeah. How many people do you know that are doing all of these things? Why, with all of the Information we have, aren’t we?
It’s because it’s Information, not Knowledge.
We haven’t researched it. We haven’t done any of the work. We haven’t taken any action. While it may be something that interests us, without the personal involvement, it can’t change us. So let’s talk about some interesting facts:
If you have substantial credit card debt, especially at higher interest rates, you may be able to get a “Credit Card Loan”. These are fixed-interest, unsecured loans that can cut your interest payments by up to 50%! In other words, if you’re paying $300 in interest each month, with a Credit Card Loan you could end up paying only $150. How many of you want someone to hand you an additional $150 every month? (That’s an additional $1,800 each year!) If you want to learn more, search for “Credit Card Loan”.
If you have are like most people, you don’t have much – if any – savings. It’s just so hard sometimes to make the intentional choice to put money aside, especially when there is so much that it can be spent on now! That’s why many banks now offer programs like “Round Up Savings”. When you go to the store to purchase something, you can choose to round up the price to the nearest dollar and have that extra change put into savings. In other words, if you are going to pay $21.18, the bank “charges” you $22.00 and puts the extra $.82 into your savings. While that may not sound like much, one company claims that by doing this they can help you set aside $2,500 each year...just off your “spare change”. If you want to learn more, search for “Round Up Savings”.
So, now how many of you want to think of ways to protect yourself and your family financially? How many of you are going to pop open a new browser window and start doing some research? If you do, you’ve taken the step of turning Information into Knowledge! Why? Because you are acting on the information provided! It really is as simple as that…
However Knowledge, while it CAN lead to longer-lasting change, is not the end of our journey. Next week, we’ll talk about what it takes to make any change permanent.
We hope you enjoy your journey!

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