Individual Responsibility - a challenge

The whole idea of individual responsibility is melting away in America like a pat of butter in a hot fry pan. It's being replaced by thinking and behavior that emphasizes blame, dependence, and being a victim. It's eroding the very thing that makes us strong - self-directed thinking and action - people being responsible for their own lives, affairs and actions.

When we make a decision to engage in frugal living, we're taking responsibility for ourselves by making a decision to act.

Specifically, we're deciding to act in a certain way, a way that's in our best interest. When we make a decision to be wise in the area of personal finance, we're taking responsibility for our financial well-being.

Being responsible is being achievement oriented. I'm not talking about the "over achievers" out there. I'm just talking about people who get things done, make it happen, act instead of talk, and stay focused on success. And, they enjoy the rewards of their responsible behavior.

The flip side of individual responsibility is being irresponsible. That's not something I recommend. The rewards of a low achievement oriented lifestyle and lack of individual responsibility aren't very appealing at all. They suck!

I'm not insensitive to people's situations. I know that some people have it hard, and some misfortunes can't be blamed on anyone or anything except bad luck. Nevertheless, I need to borrow a concept from one of my doctors because I think it holds true here in the world of personal finance and individual responsibility...

of all the folks you run into that are really in tough financial shape, if the truth be known, you're likely to see that 1% of them are misfortunate, and 99% are misbehaving.

Perhaps those numbers aren't exactly correct, but I'll bet they're not far from the truth. So, what does it take to make an individual responsible? Well, one of my friends says that a key characteristic is "what you believe," especially when it comes to believing in yourself.

Let me introduce Brad Chaffee, the author of Enemy of Debt. The name says it all - Enemy of Debt. I think Brad has the right attitude. He may come on a little strong for some folks, but that's what I especially like about him. He's in your face with a strong (yet polite) message that we're sabotaging ourselves with our own negative thinking.

See his What you believe is what you achieve article and get to know a man that is on your side. He has to be on your side - he's an enemy of debt. We're talking about unnecessary and unwise debt, not just any form of debt.

So, Brad identifies our "beliefs" as a key to success, a key to achieving our goals through individual responsibility and deliberate action instead of simply floating along, letting things happen to us and responding as we may.

What other traits might we seek to have if we want others to know that we practice individual responsibility? Here's my list:

The last item, "believe in yourself" is really believing in your planned approach and your methods for obtaining what you want. Our systems of belief are often more powerful than anything else in the world. That's why it's so important to examine closely what it is we believe, and why.

Believing in yourself is a different way of stating Brad's message of "What you believe, you achieve." He's out to wage war against unwarranted debt, and I'm going to help him.

I applaud Brad for showing us a healthy dose of individual responsibility and tenacity with his frank examination of his past and what he's done about it. Good fortune to all my frugal living friends that value and practice individual responsibility in all that they do. And a special salute to those that feel the way I do - debt be damned!

Done with Individual Responsibility, take me to Mindset of Frugality

Done with Individual Responsibility, take me to Managing Money

There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.

I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.

If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.