Do you know someone that’s a “yes” person? Someone that’s always saying yes to other people until they are completely exhausted? Most likely, if you’re reading this, that person is you. On the other hand have you ever known someone that’s a “no” person and everyone around them is afraid to ask for anything. In life it’s probably best to have a happy medium in this area and give what you can (when you can) and say no before you hit your breaking point. Saying yes to someone feels good and saying no feels bad. This behavior is wired deep into our brains and we hate telling anyone no. But what about personal finances? Well, we’ve been trained as consumers to say yes to everything. Would you like a mortgage? Yes, please. Student debt? Don’t mind if I do. New car? Absolutely. Consumer debt? Oh yeah. Shinny new iGizmo? Heck yes! Popular culture hates people that say no to all these financial traps. People that say no are labeled misers, penny pinchers, tightwads, and usually considered crazy to some degree. When everyone is drinking the kool-aid it’s easy to make fun of people that don’t have a goofy kool-aid mustache. But we know better. Being laughed at by people with dysfunctional brain wiring doesn’t seem so bad, especially in the long run.

Saying no takes courage and vision. Living in a house you can afford and driving a car that’s paid for isn’t glamorous. But either is feeding a fat little monkey on your back until your 70 and putting off retirement indefinitely (that fat little monkey is interest by the way).

Saying no means you’re in control. Instead of living paycheck to paycheck you control your money instead of your money controlling you.

Saying no means you stand out as a target for ridicule and as an inspiration to others. The more radical your actions the more people get nervous. They like the idea of them having everything equal as everyone else and acting differently means you’ve changed the rules and they can’t judge you easily, which makes them feel threatened.

Saying no means you get to spend your retirement doing things you love and doing it when you’re still young.

So dash that kool-aid to the floor and say no to senseless spending and mindless consumption.