Personal Finance: The Betrayal of Form over Substance

By Susan Boskey

I know that I am a lone voice in the wilderness when debunking conventional thinking about how best to earn, spend, save and invest based on hard facts (public domain information) of how the system of money actually works, and the negative impact it has on wealth building. Then again, perhaps somebody needs to represent reality no matter how “old school” it might seem at first blush.

Though I’ve tried to help people see the forest for the trees regarding the truth about money, most ignore my message due to what I believe are society’s demands of peer pressure. Unlike big corporate businesses, I lack the marketing budget that might encourage people to consider that what I am saying may, in fact, be for their benefit. So those with the biggest marketing budgets win the day.

The problem as I see it is that most people have no idea of the degree to which they are manipulated emotionally by the marketing schemes of big corporations, the banking industry, in particular. Millions of people being marketed to, unwittingly “buy-in” to thinking about their life and money in a prescribed way per a calculated and very expensive marketing campaign; one launched by a bank to convince you of their version of financial reality, how you should think about money and what you should do.

The commercial hooks cast to catch you are almost always emotionally-laced and subliminal. They prey on the normal and natural human needs to be loved, appreciated and respected – personally, socially and at work. If you buy-in to their marketing suggestions of what will give you the emotional rewards you seek, you just might end up as a customer for life! Think: Chase Bank’s “Chase Freedom” campaign.

Like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, we’re somehow supposed to just agree and never admit that the emperor is butt naked. However, this sort of going along to get along is exactly what will get you in deep trouble with your finances and eventually betray you like a cheating spouse. In this case, you are led down the primrose path of happy consumerism and easy credit to a life of debt-enslavement. All along, you thought you had done everything the way you were supposed to. But, alas, you learned the hard way.

Commerce and humans are like apples and oranges.

Commerce has the corporate mandate of a profitable bottom line if to stay in existence. You are their potential revenue unit. Yet humans are non-commercial flesh and blood entities and have the innate ability to discern the Emperor’s New Clothes if they so choose. With such discernment, the dust on your spectacles falls away and you are able to see manipulation for what it is. Your awareness provides an even greater range of choices than those prescribed by those who would benefit at your expense. Additionally, such discernment might interest you to advance your financial IQ, and also to learn the “people’s” (not the banking industry’s) approach to wealth building and management.

Please note: I am NOT saying that spending money and all that it can buy is bad. The nature of business is that it will always seek new and repeat customers. But it is virtually impossible for commerce to deliver on any of its subliminal messages of emotional and personal fulfillment in the long-term. What I AM saying is that it seems to me that most people, when it comes to responding to what is important in life, have given over the critical-thinking ability of their mind to the world of commerce with often disastrous results.

Susan Boskey is author of the book, The Quality Life Plan®: 7 Steps to Uncommon Financial Security. This book not only exposes the bottom-line of why more and more families need credit each month just to make ends meet, but also provides practical and transformational strategies, tactics and templates. By their use, you can reverse the downward trend of credit and debt while learning how to establish a long-term, debt-free lifestyle; one allowing you to genuinely build wealth despite the challenges of today’s economic environment. To learn more or to purchase the book, visit her website at

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2 Comments on "Personal Finance: The Betrayal of Form over Substance"

  1. I have often mused that soldiers will spend years living away from friends and loved ones in dreadful and dangerous conditions, when a few hours of reading or documentary-watching could teach them what a crock war was and they should stay home. This essay from Susan Boskey has made me realize for the first time that debt and consumerism are driven by the same type of passive ignorance that lets young men and women go to war when it’s against their best interests.

    As an example, film director Adam Curtis made a four-hour documentary called “The Century of the Self” (viewable online for free) that explains in detail how we came to have the modern consumerism/debt driven society that manipulates human emotions to feed corporate profits. Watching it can teach a person how they’re being manipulated and teach them to avoid the consumerism/debt trap. But how many people will sit still for a four-hour documentary? Yet the same people who won’t spend four hours learning to avoid the trap will work the equivalent of half a day, four hours, EACH WEEK — ten percent of their income — to pay interest on needless debt.

    I’ve long said that if you think you can’t afford to pay cash for something, you definitely can’t afford to buy it on credit, which will be the purchase price PLUS INTEREST. As a result, I’m 100% debt free, have been for most of my life, and can see now at my age that my entire life savings could have easily been eaten up over my lifetime by interest payments.

  2. OratorImplored | July 21, 2015 at 10:47 am | Reply

    The root of every problem in this reality is viewer-based. What was made perfect, was then convincingly portrayed as inadequate. Legend though it’s simplistic Beaty was abundant, cunning men spoke persuasively enough to change that by honing in on the fundamental deprivations we humans feel. After long enough time of men coming and going, living then dying, it is understandable then that we have forgotten, that we are but sojourners in this world. Especially with all the building men have constructed for future generations to marvel at, and then attempt to surpass, one could come to believe that our lives continue simply as a way to aqcuire more possessions before death.

    A thought I shutter at, if only men knew how ownership is a two way street. In order to own one must have put in some significant time dependent relatively to the item one owns and how humanity currently values it. Though we are sojourners, even possessions can slow us down, some to the point of death. We are not naturally mortal, but only the unnatural which kills men. We are our own worst enemies at times, and technology is currently the nuke poised to transform the world back into a slave like planet.

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