Happy day to you. This is Ken Kaufman, and I’m thrilled you’re here for episode number 75, frustration and confusion. Now these are two words that don’t evoke positive emotion, generally speaking. None of us like to be frustrated. In fact, it’s frustrating when we feel frustrated, and none of us like the feeling of being confused. And yet when I talk to different people about…you know, people I work with or people I go to church with or friends or family, I often hear them expressing, when it comes to their personal financial situation, either frustration and/or confusion.
And I go back to…I can’t remember who I first heard say it. Some people I work with right now will use these phrases sometimes, and I want to present to you why frustration and confusion in your personal financial planning and investing strategy actually can create better outcomes. It can actually put you on a better track than where you’re at currently.
The two sayings are frustration leads to breakthrough and confusion leads to learning. So if you feel confused about your situation and about what to do next with your financial situation or critical financial decisions you have in front of you, confusion can motivate us. It can motivate you to do a deep dive and get in there and figure out what it is that you need to know and understand.
We have at our fingertips literally the information of the world, and if we want to learn something, we can and we have the full capability to. I hear people say, “Well, I’m not good with numbers, and I don’t understand those things, and that confuses me.” I have to be honest with you, even if you aren’t great at math or you didn’t get great grades in math, financial planning is addition and subtraction, and sometimes there’s a little bit of multiplication and division. This is not complicated.
In fact, I feel like the financial services world purposefully tries to overcomplicate these things and throw too many numbers and ratios and metrics and different software and all of these different things. This is a simple addition and subtraction problem when it comes to our finances. And again, occasionally, there’s a little multiplication and division involved, but that’s it. Honestly, personal finance is not complex. How much money do you have coming in? How much money do you have going out? It’s a subtraction problem. And if you have money left over, you got savings. And you can put it into savings or go invest it or go buy that thing that you’ve been waiting and saving up for to buy.
If what comes in is greater than or, I’m sorry, is less than what goes out and you’ve got a negative number down there, then it’s telling you, “Hey, I’m sorry. You spent more than you brought in.” Sorry, I’m trying to just simplify this and help everybody understand that the confusion you have toward personal finance, it’s actually not confusing. It’s very simple. It’s very simple math. And if you apply yourself, look at that confusion you feel as an opportunity to learn and to grow.
I’ve laid down 75 podcast episodes. Now there’s plenty of things you could go and listen to. Hopefully you might learn a thing or two in the process. There are books, there are experts, there are financial advisors you can hire to help. Although sometimes they may add to more confusion initially with the way they explain things or portray things, but look for an advisor that helps you learn and removes your confusion. That might be one interesting barometer or test when you’re looking for a financial advisor. Do you walk out feeling more confused or do you walk out feeling like you’ve had a breakthrough in learning?
And then the second saying, this one of how frustration can actually lead to breakthrough. Same thing, you may be very frustrated with your current financial state and situation, you may be frustrated with some part of it, all of it, with what your spouse is currently doing or the way that your kids aren’t following the things that you’ve taught them when it comes to how they should be thinking about their money. Whatever that frustration is, understand that if you sit in it and you work on it, it will motivate you and drive you to breakthrough.
Another favorite saying that I’ve heard often, and it’s attributed to, I think, Benjamin Franklin and others, I can’t remember who it was initially attributed to as I’m sitting here talking and I apologize for that, but the saying is, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Meaning when we’re in enough pain and we have enough challenge and problem in front of us, we start to get creative about how to get out of that pain, about how to solve the problems in front of us.
This concept of frustration leads to breakthrough is the exact same. Use that frustration and leverage it to get a breakthrough in what your next steps are to make the next incremental steps of progress in your financial plan or in the way you’re communicating with your kids about their finances and trying to teach them some of those, you know, just sound basic principles about good financial management and everything that goes along with that.
So this is it. I just wanted to let everybody know, if you’re having these negative feelings of frustration or confusion toward your finances, there’s actually a happy ending to that story if you let it play out. Let the confusion motivate you to learn and let the frustration motivate you to create a breakthrough and a next step where you can start making progress and feel better about your situation. Many, many thanks to you for joining today. This is a wrap for episode 75. Happy day.