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(Part 1 of 2)

Last week we talked about the importance of being clear about our priorities, what is most important to us. This is part of a larger topic that I want to touch on this week and it is about self-knowledge, that includes our needs, goals, desires, habits, the way we react to different stimuli, etc.

We already know that each person is unique, some of us are methodical and structured, others messy and that is why the advice that works for some does not work for other types of people and that is fine: we have to find what works for us. But for that we have to start knowing ourselves, which is as important as acquiring financial concepts that are universal.

Let’s start by understanding how we perceive ourselves. It is difficult to accept it, but there are many people in the world who simply do not believe they have the ability to change their situation, to get ahead and build a good heritage. She thinks she is doomed by the environment. It has been convinced that living with debt is not only “normal” but “the only way” to get ahead or build something.

It makes me sad to meet people who think they’re not good enough because they don’t even give themselves a chance to start. We are all capable, as I have written many times in this space, of implementing small changes that can have a significant long-term impact. Remember: wealth is built over time and this is a much more important factor than money.

How do you perceive yourself? To find out, I suggest you answer these questions in writing. Do it in a notebook, do it in your own handwriting, believe it or not, it is very important:

1. How do I see myself, in relation to my ability to generate income and be able to achieve a reasonable net worth? If you feel limited, write down why and also how you could break those barriers.

2. How clear are my priorities in life? Which are? Do not necessarily think about material things, but about what is really important to you (it could be, for example, your health or the safety of your family).

3. How do you visualize your retirement? How much importance have you given in your personal finances to saving for retirement, to having an emergency fund to help you when things go wrong, or to get out of debt? How much do you think about the future and protecting what is important to you?

4. How do you make your financial decisions? Do you ask other people for their opinion or do you let them influence what should be a personal decision (or as a couple)?

5. Do you think you are in control of your money, or that money controls you? In that case, what changes would you have to make to reverse this situation?

6. Do you recognize negative habits in yourself? Which are?

7. What changes would you have to make to change the way you relate to money?

Remember to do it in writing, in your own handwriting, because writing helps organize ideas and also makes them more tangible. Knowing yourself is the starting point for any path that involves personal and financial growth. In the next installment we will talk a little about how to start changing the way you perceive yourself.

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Joan Lanzagorta

Personal Finance Coach


Senior executive in insurance and reinsurance with strategic business vision, high leadership, negotiation and management skills.

He is also a Personal Finance columnist in El Economista, Personal Finance Coach and creator of the page

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