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No is the magic word

No is the magic word

When it comes to succeeding financially, it seems that no is the magic word much of the time:

No, I won’t get that shiny new car right out of school with car payments.
No, I won’t increase my spending because I got a raise.
No, I won’t buy my child the latest gadget.
No, I don’t need a PS3, an XBox, and a Wii.
No, I won’t eat out every day.

No no no no…

The thing is, it’s hard to say no at times. But it helps to realize that saying no is not depriving ourselves or our family of things, it’s actually enabling them to have real financial security AND some cool things now and then.

Because it’s not always no.

It’s yes, you can retire comfortably.
Yes, you can go to college.
Yes, you can live in a house free of financial stress.
Yes, we can go out to eat now and then and you’ll really enjoy the experience because it’s not an every day occurrence.
Yes, you can get a game system after you have saved up the money for it.

It’s yes with appreciation, commitment, and a sense of well-being. It turns out that no is the magic word that gets us to yes.

View Comments (6)
  • Thanks for this post. I’ve been having a heck of a time lately convincing my partner that NO, she does not need an iPhone! She is dead set on getting one when our cell phone contracts are up in the spring. It seems like such a waste of $200 when we could put that into savings, toward repairs for our house, or even toward retirement (she hasn’t set up a retirement account yet, at age 29). But I’m fighting a losing battle and starting to feel like a mother chastising her kid! Sometimes it’s easier to say “yes, IF” (if you save the money for it, if you work extra hours, etc) than to say “no.”

  • I agree except the PS3, that system is incredible.

    But besides that I agree with you. Things shouldn’t be looked at in a negative manner but a positive one, not just financially, but everything. It’s not no I can’t do this. Spin to be yes, now I can do this, or have more time for this, or make it easier for this, etc.

  • The single most important I’ve learned when it comes to managing finances (and in life) is to say NO.
    If you don’t say no, people will try to take advantage of you and you’ll end up broke.
    BTW, I want a PS3, too, but have decided to NOT buy one and spend the time learning about investing and put the money into savings.
    How about a PSP …?

  • Great advice. So many people just can’t say no. They have the mentality of “keeping up with the neighbors” Oh, my neighbor got a BMW, he must be so rich! But on the other hand, that neighbor is probably 50k in the hole hating life.

  • That’s the problem with “no,” it’s so strong! When someone else tells me “no,” I want to do it even more. So I guess it’s about having the power to, as you say, tell yourself not to do this stuff.

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