It is true that I favor many (not all) President-Elect Barack Obama’s economic policies. I’m not alone; I think many people voted with their wallets yesterday. Obama’s apparent focus on trying to help the middle class is one of the reasons (along with health care, education and energy) that I voted for him. But in his acceptance speech last night, something that Obama said struck me.
He spoke of how we must all work together. In fact, it has been the rallying cry of his campaign. And in my mind, speaking in those terms indicates that Obama recognizes that the government can’t do everything. While the government can support policies that can give us the tools to better help ourselves, ulitmately we have to take responsibility for our personal finances. The Money Hawk said it like this:
A thousand John McCains and a thousand Barack Obamas can’t do for you in a thousand years what you can do for yourself in ten.
And I agree with that statement. No matter who is president, it is up to you to take control of your personal finances and make them successful. No matter who is president, you still need to follow the basic tenets of good personal finances:
- Make more than you spend.
- Set money aside for the future.
- Spend money wisely.
- Get out of debt.
- Choose solid, fundamentally sound investments.
Honestly, no political candidate can ever do everything s/he wants to do or says s/he wants to do. I think Obama is going to try — but that doesn’t relieve us of our responsibilities to take care of ourselves. Wise decisions need to be made on our own.
Hopefully, Obama will be able to deliver tools for us to help ourselves. And hopefully, we will use them wisely to better our personal finances.