themselves and others: “I don’t know about this personal finance stuff and I couldn’t care less.”
Thus, apathy goes far beyond ignorance.
An ignorant person might not know about a topic, but will take the time to ask a question and get the information from the right source. In my book, that’s smart.
But an apathetic person doesn’t even want to know.
Not only will he or she not ask a financial question, but if someone offered a helpful suggestion or volunteered an insight, the apathetic person would likely decline to listen or would simply let the advice go in one ear and out the other.
A wife who is apathetic about her finances might tell her husband “I don’t like finances, so you handle all the money stuff.” Again, this person doesn’t know what’s going on financially—and for whatever reason, doesn’t want to know.
Unfortunately, being mindless/clueless about one’s finances and turning a blind eye to fiscal matters has led to many people being scammed or financially mistreated. Such mistreatment can come at the hands of family members and loved ones, as well as strangers or so-called financial professionals.
The apathetic wife, mentioned above, might learn way too late that her dear husband—the one who is solely managing the checkbook, credit cards and all the household bank accounts—has a secret girlfriend and a 7-year-old kid on the side.
The apathetic man who abdicates all the financial decision-making to his stockbroker or financial planner may find that his advisor has made unsuitable investments or—even worse—has simply run off with the client’s money.
So as you reflect on these five deadly financial sins, consider the truth about your economic circumstances.
Even though most of us like to blame others for our money troubles (think: your ex who ruined your credit or the boss who laid you off from your job), in reality most of us suffer from self-inflicted financial wounds.
In fact, some of us shoot ourselves in the proverbial foot over and over again—either consciously or subconsciously, just by engaging in one of these five deadly financial sins.
It’s—as my husband Earl puts it—the equivalent of hitting your very own self-destruct button.
This list of five deadly financial sins is just a starting point. There are certainly more. And only you know the other financial transgressions you may be committing.
So the question is: when are you going to stop “sinning” financially and finally get on the path to economic “redemption”?
One easy step in the right direction is to simply re-read this article, share it with a relative or close friend, and then ask the person: “Do you think I’m guilty of any of these five deadly financial sins?”
Their answers may surprise and enlighten you.
This article originally appeared on AskTheMoneyCoach.com.