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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

Fixing Finances

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Sunday January 27th, 2013 – Pittsburgh, PA/Fox Lake, IL

   I knew I would have another long drive home today, but I was prepared. Some drives are more difficult and/or pleasant than others, and the drive from Pittsburgh isn’t that great. I purposely do all I can to avoid taking the I-80/90 route because of the massive amount of tolls that go with it.

   Maybe it’s my Wisconsin upbringing, but I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid paying one red cent in tolls if I don’t have to. I’ll drive over a muddy corn field in reverse if it saves a toll, and that’s been my mindset for years. Sometimes I get stung, but 99% of the time I choose another route.

   Getting home from Pittsburgh has three main choices. The toll road eliminates one with me off the bat, so that leaves I-70 or US 30. I-70 is easier, but it takes me a lot farther south in Ohio and Indiana than I need to go. It’s toll free, but takes longer because of the extra miles to be driven.

   US 30 goes through a lot of towns, and can tend to be a speed trap if one isn’t careful. I need to be extremely careful in that department, but that’s the route I chose today since it’s the best of all worlds. I would be free of tolls, and I also planned to scour some thrift stores to troll for trinkets.

   I also brought along a cassette series by Suze Orman I’ve been meaning to listen to for several years but haven’t gotten around to hearing. I need massive improvement in my financial results, and I have to start somewhere. Doing what I’ve been doing has not worked to my satisfaction.

   There were nine cassettes to plow through, but I found them both engaging and informative so it wasn’t a chore to listen to. I’ve seen Suze on TV and find her to be listenable and able to keep my attention and that’s a huge part of the battle for any speaker. Some people can do it and some can’t. Tony Robbins and Wayne Dyer I can hang with. Deepak Chopra and Zig Ziglar I can’t.  

   Suze Orman is now in the first category, and I thought this was a well produced program. What grabbed me the most was how she described money as being energy, and we all need to respect it if we want it to come our way. I guess I never thought of it like that before and it really hit home.

   She also talked about how our first experiences with money as children stay with us throughout our lives and shape our attitudes into adulthood whether we want to believe it or not. I absolutely believe it, and hearing examples of what other people experienced made my own situation feel a lot less overwhelming. I’m by far not the only one struggling with this, but I so want to change.

   I’m in an absolutely horrible financial situation right now, but again I’m not the only one. That doesn’t mean I’m always going to be this way, but if I don’t change my way of thinking that’s all I can ever expect. Changed results require changed thinking, and I got the wheels turning today.

   This is not going to be an easy undertaking, but I have few options. I could just give up and try to get on the government dole but that’s not how I operate. I got myself into this ugly pickle, and I have nobody to blame but myself. I’m going to roll up my sleeves and get to work transforming my financial self into what I know it can and should be. If I can pull that off, I can do anything.

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