Financial Accountability

Humberto Cruz has written an interesting article that discusses the relationship between a lack of savings and your spending habits. He explains that many families do not have money to save due to their lifestyles of living above their means but are unwilling to make the effort to track their spending and save money.

When I wrote about the importance of money management, I discussed the idea that often times people indicate that they cannot *afford* to save money when they are actually just doing a poor job of managing their money.

Be Accountable.
The part of Humberto Cruz’s article that really jumped out at me was the discussion on the *blame game* regarding the fees that many banks are now charging when customers overdraw their accounts on small debit card transactions. In the past, banks would deny these charges if the account did not have sufficient funds. Now the bank is permitting the charge to go through and then hitting the customer with an overdraft fee. Apparently people are not too happy about this change.

According to the article, 61 percent of people surveyed by the Center for Responsible Lending think the bank should deny the charge rather than approve it and then assess a fee if the account is overdrawn. Excuse me? When did it become the bank’s responsibility to manage my money?

It might be due to the fact that I am very involved with my personal finances but I always have a very good idea of how much money is in my account. If I were a person that wasn’t sure I had money in my account, I certainly would not be out making debit card purchases and expecting my bank to tell me when I was out of money. As a grown adult, it is my responsibility to manage my money properly and ensure that I have enough money *before* making a purchase.

Take Pride in Yourself.
Why is it that so many people are looking for someone else to take the responsibility for their actions? It is time for people to face reality and not spend money that they do not have. Don’t blame the bank when you receive an overdraft fee for buying that Starbucks coffee without knowing (or caring) that you only had $3 in your checking account.

In my opinion, trying to point the finger at someone else demonstrates a lack of self-pride. People are afraid to admit their mistakes and seem to feel better if there is someone else that can take the blame. Rather than trying to lay blame to someone other than yourself, embrace the mistake as a learning experience and vow not to repeat the same mistake.

When I nearly made a mistake with my BP Visa card, I didn’t blame my bank for changing the color of the card nor did I blame the bank for trying to impose a transaction fee. It was a mistake that I made with the card and I know I need to pay more attention so I will not make that mistake again.

When it comes to your personal finances, please do not expect a 3rd party to look out for your interests. Be accountable for your actions and decisions. Not every action or decision will work out to your advantage financially but those instances often provide a valuable learning opportunity.

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3 Responses

  1. Tech says:

    Great advice. We all need to stop trying to place the blame elsewhere.

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