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119 The little known, easily fixable reason most people aren't financially free

February 12, 202013 min read


Do you spend time learning about, measuring and managing your money? Or do you (like most people) avoid it, because financial speak sounds like a foreign language to you? When it comes to money, the average time people estimate they spend on personal finances is one hour and 12 minutes a month.

And so, it isn’t surprising that, according to the National Treasury, 94% of people won’t get to living a retirement of an even similar standard. Most people find out too late how far short they are from their goal, and consequently will have to drastically reduce the quality of their lives, or face a difficult conversation with their children (who will have to support them rather than save for their own retirement).

This is easily fixable.

So put aside the notion that you’ll never understand money and listen to this episode for what you can do NOW to step change your finances.

Show Notes

  • [01.35] An eye-opening article in The Ascent ranked the attributes that best fit peoples definitions of success. Understandably, people feel happier and more confident when their finances are in order. The stats though reveal the discrepancy between the importance of it, and the effort put into learning about, measuring, and managing money.

  • [03.25] Succeeding in money is no different from work or health or sports.

  • [06.56] The challenge is, as Peter Drucker says "What Gets Measured Gets Managed."

  • [07.36] When something is important to you, you do the work. And the work starts with spending time understanding, tracking, measuring, and managing your money.

  • [09.45] Three things you can do to step change your money

    • Commit to spending one hour per week on your money

    • Find someone to learn from. 

    • Spend 15 minutes on your money each week.

Something else you can do is sign up for my free 6 Day Money Sprint. Each day for 6 days you’ll receive a training video – no longer than 10 minutes, and something to think about or do that will kick start you into sorting out your money and moving towards financial freedom.

Related posts and episodes

Quotes from this episode

"Most people find out too late how far short they are of their goal. Too late to change the path, too late to make better decisions, too late to take small steps to reach their goals forcing them to make drastic changes to their lives." - Lisa Linfield

"If there is something you want to achieve, you need to focus on it." - Lisa Linfield

"We don’t spend the time to work out how to make our pennies or cents stretch further." - Lisa Linfield

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Lisa Linfield  (00:22):

Hello everybody and welcome to today's episode of Working Women's Wealth. I'm so glad you're here because today we're going to talk about the little known, easily fixable reason that most people aren't financially free. Trust me, it is not the one we all know about, which is we don't save enough. This one is fixable.

Lisa Linfield  (00:46):

So this week, I launched my course, the Six-Day Money Sprint, and the feedback has been fantastic. Just today someone told me how she had started to be far more mindful of the money stories that she'd been told when she was little.

Lisa Linfield  (01:00):

Another person told me how little they knew about things that they needed in order to protect the life they've worked so hard to achieve and how easy it was to put them in place. It's free, it's fantastic, and I really recommend you go to That's the number six. Or sign up on

Lisa Linfield  (01:25):

The minute you sign up, you can start. You don't have to wait for it to start. This course just runs every single day for six days after you sign up. So go there because it's so easy.

Lisa Linfield  (01:35):

But when I was researching for the financial freedom part, I came across the most eye-opening article from The Ascent. I'll link to it in the show notes of this episode. It caused me to read more, source the original research, and think deeply on this topic.

Lisa Linfield  (01:53):

Northwestern Mutual's 2019 planning and progress study was one of the sources, and it asked people to pick the five attributes that best fitted their definition of success. So if you are successful, what five things would you include?

Lisa Linfield  (02:09):

The top answers for most of us are things that would resonate. Number one, or [type first 00:02:14], is spending quality time with family and being healthy, eating well, regular exercise, et cetera. In second place was having a good relationship with your spouse or partner. In third place was being financially prepared for the future. And in fourth place was having a good work-life balance.

Lisa Linfield  (02:36):

Now all of those seem intuitively as the five things that I would put on my list. They don't seem wrong. And so, what was the big aha? When I looked further, it was a question that said, "Nothing makes me happier or more confident in life than feeling like my finances are in order," and you could either agree or disagree with the statement. 92% of people agreed.

Lisa Linfield  (03:03):

So they agreed that we feel happier and more confident when our finances or money is in order. And we want to be financially prepared for the future. So one would think that if all these elements were so important to our success and happiness, we'd, therefore, put the effort in, wouldn't we? Let's take the type first of health.

Lisa Linfield  (03:28):

We spend time reading up on the latest health benefits of being alkaline or eating low carb. We sign up with gym memberships and set ourselves goals to run marathons. If we need extra help, we hire a personal trainer or consult a nutritionist.

Lisa Linfield  (03:46):

These are things we do to make sure that we can achieve that definition of a successful life. If we want a good relationship with our spouse or partner, we spend time on that. We put in the effort, and if it's not going well, we'll hire a therapist. We know that working it out is far easier and far less painful and expensive than getting a divorce.

Lisa Linfield  (04:10):

With work, we spend more than seven hours a day trying to be the best we can be at work. If it's not going well, we put an effort to upskill ourselves via a course or a degree, or we get a mentor or a coach, or we spend a lot of time and effort finding a new job.

Lisa Linfield  (04:27):

But here's the challenge. When it comes to money, according to the American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average time people estimate they spend on personal finances is one hour and 12 minutes a month.

Lisa Linfield  (04:46):

So do you think it's possible to be fit, healthy, and in peak performance spending just one hour of exercise per month? It's better than nothing, but it's not going to give you that level of health that enables you to be with your grandchildren as they come. So for something that so fundamentally determines the quality of the life you will lead now and in the future, we can't be bothered to spend more than half a day in an entire year.

Lisa Linfield  (05:18):

If you look at it, in an hour a month, it's impossible to both track your money and know what you have, understand how your investments are performing and what you need, and learn more about money and the information that you need to make better decisions.

Lisa Linfield  (05:34):

What makes it worse is that that one hour and 12 minutes a month isn't average. The real picture is that only 3% of people acknowledge that they actually spend any time in their day on their finances. For those that do spend time, they usually spend around 52 minutes a day. So for the 97% of other people that don't spend any time or money, this is an even harsher picture in reality.

Lisa Linfield  (06:04):

Now we can debate the minutiae of any survey, its methodology, the things behind it, but the general direction echoes a previous survey that I read, which said that, on average, we spend four hours a year. So somewhere between four hours and 12 hours in a whole year is what we will spend on our money. Imagine only exercising four hours a year. If we sat or laid down for every single other day besides those four hours, we wouldn't be in such great health.

Lisa Linfield  (06:41):

So we spend so much time working so hard for the money we have. We spend time traveling, this is time away from our friends and family, yet we don't spend the time to work out how to make our pennies or cents stretch further.

Lisa Linfield  (06:56):

The challenge is, as Peter Drucker, the famous management writer, says, "What gets measured gets managed." So is it surprising that according to national treasury, 94% of people won't get to living a retirement of even a similar standard when people don't spend the time to learn about money, to measure or manage it. Most people find out too late how far short they are of their goal. Too late to change the path. Too late to make better decisions. Too late to take small steps to reach their goals, forcing them to make drastic changes to their lives.

Lisa Linfield  (07:36):

So if there's something that you want to achieve, you need to focus on it. If you want to be one of those 6% able to live the same quantity of life as you do now, you'll need to focus, lift your game, spend time mastering it. Succeeding in money is no different from succeeding at work or with health or sports.

Lisa Linfield  (07:59):

When people tell me about how they're eating a low-carb diet and enjoying the benefits of ketosis, or doing intermittent fasting, or having cold brew coffee because it has 65% less acidity than traditional burned coffee, I always giggle. I ask them, "Did you learn about ketosis as part of your high school biology when we were learning about the energy cycles of the body?" "No," they say. "I read up on it recently."

Lisa Linfield  (08:28):

When I ask them why intermittent fasting is beneficial, and they'll readily offer a ton of reasons, including the release of growth hormone, helping insulin levels, and allowing your gut biome to recover. I giggle and ask them, "Did you learn about that at university?" The answer is always the same: "No, I heard about it recently. I researched it further. Then I started implementing it in my life and saw the benefits that it made to me personally."

Lisa Linfield  (08:56):

Why do we do that? Because our health is important enough that we'll put aside the crazy thoughts in our head about how useless we were at science and biology. We'll put aside notions that we'll never be able to understand it. We have a goal to feel great and we'll do what it takes to reach it, even if it means shutting up the mean voice in our head that tells us we can't do all of this.

Lisa Linfield  (09:25):

So why don't we do it for our money? Why don't we take the time to read and learn, to find people to teach us in a way that makes sense to us? Why don't we ask our friends or people we know are good with money about what they do that's different? Like we'll ask someone who's looking great, what they're doing to lose all that weight, like you can't be healthy without doing the work, you can't do well in your career without doing the work, you can't be fit or run a marathon without doing the work, and you can't be in a better financial position without doing the work. And the work starts with spending time to understand it, check it, and measure it.

Lisa Linfield  (10:01):

So here are three things you can do. The first thing is commit to spend one hour per week on your money. Secondly, find someone to learn from. Download a podcast that you can listen to on the way to work or when you exercise, which means that it will take not one minute extra out of your week, and you can still achieve this goal. Subscribe to one so you can find it easily, download it, and plugin.

Lisa Linfield  (10:28):

Step three is to spend 15 minutes on your money each week. Track your expenses, do a budget, or understand the performance of your investments or the cost that you are paying of your date. Trust me, although it may all sound like a foreign language in the beginning, if you commit to do this one hour per week for three months, I promise you you'll begin to step change your money.

Lisa Linfield  (10:53):

Lastly, sign up for my free Six-Day Money Sprint. Each day for six days you will receive a training video from me, no longer than 10 minutes, and something to think about or do that will kickstart you into sorting out your money and getting towards financial freedom. Just visit or Working Women's Wealth and sign up.

Lisa Linfield  (11:18):

You can begin the first day's video today the minute you sign up. You don't have to wait for it to start. It's going and will start automatically as you log in and watch the videos.

Lisa Linfield  (11:31):

If you found this episode helpful, I'd greatly appreciate it if you would recommend it to one person you think it can help. My goal is to teach a million women about money, and I can only do it one woman at a time by each of you bringing one more person into this inner circle.

Lisa Linfield  (11:50):

Financial freedom is something that not only us, but each person we love needs to work towards. I'm Lisa

Lisa LinfieldChristian MoneyPodcastEntrepreneurretirementlearning about monrychange your money
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Lisa Linfield

Lisa Linfield is on a God-given mission to free 1 million women from the weight and stress of money. She's a CFP, founder of a wealth management business, and podcast host of Working Women's Wealth

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