Personal finance is about 95 percent mental and 5 percent physical. Once you've put the right system into place, you just have to block out all the noise and plow ahead.
So as much as you may have been led to believe otherwise, the biggest thing blocking your success is you.
You are your biggest investment — and sometimes you make the wrong decisions. That's simply human nature.
The 7 Psychological Money Traps
Bankrate has a great story about 7 'psycho' money traps and how to beat them, highlighting how we cause ourselves problems.
Their seven mental money traps:
1. The lure of 'free'
2. The 'anchor-price' persuasion
3. The instant-gratification attraction
4. The dollars-to-donuts decoy
5. The separate-buckets blunder
6. The 'sacred-fund' slip-up
7. The lost-money fallacy
These are all great examples of how we naturally make poor financial decisions. You're not the only person who's ever made these mistakes. But you can easily overcome them.
Use Automation to Remove the Human Element
If you want to ensure that you aren't blocking your own financial success, automate the processes.
Want to save for a new car? Set it and forget it.
Working hard to time the stock market? Automate your investments and you'll benefit from dollar-cost averaging.
When you take the 5 percent action required, you've set yourself up for financial success. Turn around your bad habits and start to feel comfortable with your decisions.
When Technology Can't Help You
Online banking and the Internet can do a lot to improve your money management shortcomings, but they can't do it all.
No one's going to stop you from buying that videogame you don't really need.
No one's going to stop you from living beyond your means (except maybe the bank, and you don't want to go there).
No one's going to stop you from being lazy and putting off the process to your financial freedom.
You've got to be the one who steps in and makes smart decisions. The tools are all there, but you need to make it happen.