Is it too Late to Improve Your Finances?

Last Updated Jun 2, 2011 3:05 PM EDT

Is it ever too late to improve your finances? I think the simple -- yet unpopular -- answer is yes. I feel unpatriotic just writing this because it seems to go against our collective "can do" attitude. This country was discovered and explored by folks who looked danger in the eye and laughed. Cross the Rockies on a horse? No problem! (Side note: I was in Vail recently and I had trouble DRIVING through the Rockies -- how anybody walked or rode a horse through these mountains is mind-bending.)

We live in a society where nothing is impossible. We root for the underdog and love to hear rags to riches stories. But I think our bravado comes at a cost . . .

We think we're invincible and we think everything will work out, but it might not. It's usually rags to rags. My passion is to inspire those who feel stuck and without hope to change how they think about and invest their time in order to live a richer life. So why did I go from the "other 8 hours" guy to the other 8 ways to depress and uninspire guy? Well, to inspire you of course.

For most of the people most of the time, it's not too late to take action to improve their finances. But you can't be so lackadaisical (gotta love spell check) about it. I think I'm going to start saving more next paycheck turns into I think I'm going to start saving more next month, next summer, next blah blah blah.

Whether it's your finances, your relationships, your health, your life, or whatever, stop assuming everything's going to be alright. It won't. It won't unless you do something about it. Not next week. Not tomorrow. But today.

Here's the good news. All you have is today, and what you do today will determine your tomorrow. We've been a pretty lame bunch when it comes to thinking about and planning our finances. If there is any silver lining to this recession is that it has caused a lot more people to realize things don't always work out well. This has driven more people to take a closer look at their spending and their retirement. How do I know this?

I turned to the good folks at Financial Finesse. They provide unbiased education and guidance to over 500,000 employees in various industries across the country, and they publish a fantastic quarterly report that provides a snapshot of what their clients are doing (or not doing, as the case may be) to improve their finances.

Guess what? According to Financial Finesse CEO Liz Davidson, "Employees are showing a greater commitment towards improving their finances, and are taking steps to cut expenses and build savings. For the first time ever, budgeting and savings calls nearly equaled debt calls as employees reigned in their spending and began to improve their money management skills." Hallelujah (again, thank you spell check)!

Sometimes we need a kick in the behind to get moving, and maybe we needed the Great Recession for us to focus on our finances. Let's keep our optimism, but let's not forget that we have to take action. If we didn't, we'd all be living East of Denver.

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  • Robert Pagliarini On Twitter»

    Robert Pagliarini is obsessed with inspiring others to create and empowering them to live life to the fullest by radically changing the way they invest their time and energy. He is the founder of Richer Life, a community of passionate people who want to learn and achieve more in life and at work. He is a Certified Financial Planner and the president of Pacifica Wealth Advisors, a boutique wealth management firm serving sudden wealth recipients and affluent individuals. He has appeared as a financial expert on 20/20, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew's Lifechangers and many others.

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