I can smell a gimmick from a mile away, but I still make dumb financial choices. Unfortunately, the world is full of costly gimmicks.
Have you heard about the new pill? It will help you lose 25% of your body weight in 25 days. Best of all, it’s been scientifically proven to work. For four easy payments of $29.95 you can get a one week supply of the pills.
Why are there those types of ads on TV?
BECAUSE PEOPLE BUY THE PILLS!
My only source of proof that these types of gimmicks work is that I keep seeing them on TV and advertised in newspapers or magazines.
What is a gimmick?
1. A gimmick promises unbelievable results.
I learned the other day that I could earn a 100% return in the stock market – GUARANTEED. I found out that I could slash my debt in half without increasing my payments or filing bankruptcy. I was told that if I gave to this organization God would return those funds 10 fold.
2. A gimmick doesn’t require you to change a habit in order to get the promised results.
Those who are susceptible to get rich quick schemes love these gimmicks where you get to accomplish all these great things without changing a thing about how you spend your money.
3. A gimmick promises quick results.
Why wait? You can do this within 90 days. Double your money in a month. Get out of debt in six months. All gimmicks.
Habit: The Only Remedy for Gimmick Avoidance
Here’s a good biblical teaching about finances and gimmicks:
Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow. Proverbs 13:11 (NIV)
The Bible teaches that the tortoise does win the race. Healthy finances are the result of wise and disciplined financial decisions over a long period of time. The hares are those who are going to chase every gimmick at every corner. Those who desire to get rich will often look for short cysts and seek a way to get an instant influx of wealth. Some simply are not satisfied gathering little by little.
Why Habit Trumps Gimmicks
I hate to be the herald of harsh truth, but here it is: you can’t change your financial situation without changing your habits.
It’s hard. It requires work, planning, and adjustment.
Any financial program you look at that you think is a really slick solution to your sticky situation is probably going to leave you disappointed.
It focuses your attention in the wrong place.
Your financial problems didn’t come about because you missed the memo on how to double your investments in an hour. Your financial problems most likely are the result of you making bad decisions.
Habits focus your attention in the right place. Habits teach that change is required in order to get better results. Habits teach that effort is required to get better results.
What habits do you need to change or establish? What activities and decisions continue to result in financial hardship for you and your family?