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    What Is the Price of Fixing Your Financial Report Card?

    Excerpted from
    Rich Dad's Guide to Becoming Rich... Without Cutting Up Your Credit Cards
    By Robert T. Kiyosaki, Sharon L. Lechter C.P.A.

    I often hear, "I don't want to learn about accounting. I'm not interested in keeping an updated financial statement." When I hear comments such as these, I agree that it is a person's individual choice to learn what they choose to learn. At that point I often repeat a saying from rich dad, "Accounting leads to accountability." In other words, one of the benefits of studying accounting and continually striving to improve your financial statements is that the process improves your accountability to yourself. And being accountable to yourself is the price you need to pay if you really want to be a millionaire.

    After I lost my first business, rich dad said to me, "When your car is broken, you take it to trained professional mechanics and they fix your car. The problem with your financial problems is that only one person can fix those problems and that person is you." Explaining further, he said, "Your financial situation is much like your golf game. You can read books, attend seminars, hire a coach and take lessons, but ultimately, only you can improve your golf game." One of the reasons so few people attain great wealth is because when people get into financial trouble, they do not know how to get out of trouble. No one has ever taught them the basics on how to diagnose the particular financial problem they may be in. As a result, many people know they are in financial trouble, but since they do not know how to read a financial statement, or how to keep accurate financial records, they do not know how serious their financial problems are, let alone how to diagnose the problems, or how to fix them.

    Facing my ruined financial statement was a painful experience. Yet, facing the problems was the best thing I could have done. By facing my problems, rather than spending my time pretending I had no problems, I gained the best financial experience of my life. By facing my financial statement and facing my problems, I found out exactly what I did not know as well as what I needed to learn in order to fix my financial situation.

    Watching me groan and moan as I faced the financial train wreck, rich dad said, "The good thing is, when you make mistakes, you make big ones." He also said, "If you are willing to face the truth and learn from your mistakes, you will learn far more about money than I could ever teach you." He went on to explain, saying, "When you face your own personal financial statement you face yourself and your own financial challenges. You begin to find out what you know and what you did not know. When you look at your financial statement, you become accountable to yourself. Just as a golfer cannot blame anyone else for their bad scorecard, once you look at your accounting records, you become personally accountable." As I said, facing my financial problems and solving them was the best education I could have received because by facing my mistakes, I became accountable for my own shortcomings. By facing my financial statement I found out that I had failing financial grades. I realized that I was not as financially smart as I thought I was. By improving those grades, I learned what I needed to learn in order to become a millionaire... and that is the price I paid. I paid the price because I really wanted to become a millionaire.

    There are many ways to become a millionaire. One way is to cut up your credit cards and live cheaply. I chose not to do that because the price was too high. Another way is to marry someone for his or her money. And again, I could have done that, but the price was way too high, although it is a popular way to get rich quickly. Another way is to get rich by being a crook, but to me, that price is definitely too high. And another way to become a millionaire is to improve your financial literacy, your financial intelligence, and be willing to be accountable to yourself, your results, your continuing education, and your personal development in becoming a better human being. To me, that was a price I was willing to pay to become a millionaire.

    Before finishing this book, I ask that you take one more look at a financial statement, as a reminder of what my rich dad pointed out as important.

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