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I sent an email out the other day to a list of folks who’d inquired to learn more about The Money Love Course that I teach, and it rumpled a few feathers.

The gist of what it said is that it drives me bonkers when people use the phrase, “I can’t afford that.”

The truth of this statement is that it’s just not true.

When we say we can’t afford something, we’re actually saying one (or more) of the following:

  • “I don’t want it badly enough to do what I would need to do to get it.”
  • “I’m choosing not to spend my money on that right now.”
  • “I don’t think I deserve it.”

In my email, I only mentioned the first of these three options, because I think that pretty much covers it most of the time. I got a few emails back from people who were deeply offended by what I’d written. Being the sensitive soul that I am, I asked Mike not to read any further replies to me. But for the past twenty-four hours, I’ve been thinking non-stop about the people who wrote the ones I did read.

In the email, I also stated that saying, “I can’t afford that” is an easy way to remain complacent, as though we have no control over our financial lives. Not sitting down in the driver’s seat and buckling your seat belt like you mean it in your financial life is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make when it comes to their money.

And sometimes when I talk about the lack of responsibility people take for themselves and their financial lives (or lives in general), I get downright passionate. And apparently, sometimes I also offend people.

Here’s the thing: I wouldn’t get so darn fired up about the topic of getting it together around money if I hadn’t made so many mistakes in this area myself over the years.

I get wound up and intense because I want to save you some of the heartache, time, and energy I spent being in debt, having my head in the sand, and not taking loving responsibility for myself financially. I considered writing apology letters to the people I’d offended. I considered editing what I’d written and re-sending a watered-down version to the whole list.

But here’s what I know:

The more we put ourselves out there and tell the truth, the more we piss people off.
@KateNorthrup (Click to Tweet!)

We can either sit on our hands, bite our tongues, and politely smile with closed lips, or we can say it like we see it.

So I may have a soapbox moment or two, and I may even offend a few people. But that’s just because I’ve got some truth to deliver.


Kate Northrup is a professional freedom seeker and creative entrepreneur and mentors entrepreneurs in creating their own financial freedom. She created financial freedom for herself at the age of twenty-eight through building a team of more than 1,000 wellness entrepreneurs in the network marketing industry. Her philosophy is that if you free yourself financially, you can be fully present to your purpose on the planet. Find out more and take her free Money Love Quiz to find out what your relationship with money says about you at KateNorthrup.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.