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I wrote an email yesterday that rumpled a few feathers. Here’s what it said . . .

I sent an email out yesterday to a list of folks who’d inquired about learning more about The Money Love Course, 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.

And, being the sensitive soul that I am, I asked Mike not to read any further replies to me. But for the past 24 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.

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.

I certainly don’t know everything, about money or anything else for that matter, but I do know a thing or two.

And one of these things happens to be 5 money mistakes that people make REALLY often.

One of those is using phrases like, “I can’t afford that.”

Tomorrow I’m teaching a free webinar called:

The 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When It Comes To Their Money . . . And How To Fix ‘Em

You can register for it by clicking HERE.

I will tell you what to replace “I can’t afford that” with. I’ll also reveal the 4 other big mistakes and their solutions.

I gotta tell you, I’m pumped about this one.

There may be a soapbox moment or two during the free session, and I may even offend a few people. But that’s just because I’ve got some truth to deliver. And I’m only sharing it because it helped me out in the past (or it has helped someone else out).

But, I can also promise heap-loads of love, compassion, and fun on the webinar. ‘Cause that’s just my style.

I hope you’ll join me so you can continue getting your financial duckies in a row.

I bet you’re going to be surprised by some of the 5 mistakes. I’m psyched to reveal them.

Register for the free webinar by clicking HERE.

See you tomorrow night!


  • Rowena

    Hello Kate,
    Totally agree with you: The further up the ladder you get, the further your ass sticks out, as I like to say.
    And eventhough at times I am struggling with deservedness, the whole “I can’t afford it”-syndrome is sometimes just used as an excuse!
    It’s like when people say: “It’s too expensive!” (another annoying one in my opinion! ~ Compared with WHAT?
    BRING ON YOUR SOAPBOX moments! Nothing I enjoy more, than to see someone passionately expressing themselves!
    Looking forward to your webinar!
    Rowena xoxo

  • Brilliant Kate….. I can totally relate.

    Keep spreading the light and the great heartfelt information. The ones that get helped and hear the message are oftentimes those that are most quiet

    Onwards and Upwards and regards to Mike


    • Kate

      Hey Tom! Thanks so much for commenting. So great to hear fron you and that’s so true about the ones who get it are often the most quiet. Love that reminder!

  • Deney

    Well done Kate, I totally agree. Tell it like it is, you are more than likely going to upset someone, but you could really make a difference to someone else.


  • Julie

    I really do appreciate the strength & empowering paradigm shift of your message. I imagine folks might wonder how empathic it is to the 50 million Americans (15%! of our citizens) living in poverty who truly “cannot afford” many things. I suppose it depends whom you imagine your audience is & whether or not your are speaking to them, their friends or family. I do so very much love the intent of your message but perhaps it is more compassionate to acknowledge that many Americans truly cannot afford things & it’s not just because they don’t want to prioritize. Thank you so much for your work! It IS empowering, pet peeves or no!

  • Geraldine

    The previous commentary does bring up an important reference that is not negligible – poverty in America (and elsewhere). Recently Russell Simmons published an interview about his entrepreneurial successes alongside his yoga practice and one of the key point he recognized is that there is real disenfranchisement in impoverished corners of America (he was referring to NYC). This resource that promises clarity around the topic of money is emotionally loaded for anyone who comes across it who may be actually dealing with poverty (which now even affects the educated in America). Russell Simmons also noted that the gap between rich and poor is widening drastically. Instead of surrounding himself only by those who earn similarly to him and closing off to state of the rest, he address real poverty and provides solutions. While debt isn’t really a class issue, per se, sometimes having the security of family with resources as a safety net can make debt and financial instability more of a pride issue rather than a matter of survival. Having residual incomes allows you to be in a head space where real issues of poverty and survival is not going to occur. Of course any forum you are offering must be another form of income for you, so the price of your course (even before vetted) may be higher than some may be able to “afford” given that there’s no transparent evidence that there will be an equivalent amount of value. You come across as a very warm and compassionate person who has made close friendships with those you interview, however many of whom are far removed from poverty and who may never encounter real ‘affordability’ issues. As the commenter stated above, the audience you are aiming to reach may not be those who are dealing with poverty. It would be quite difficult and disillusioning to hear that “you can’t afford this because you don’t want it badly enough or think you deserve it” if you were already dealing with other issues that come along with being poor. I honestly believe you have the best of intentions, you probably want to use a bit of psychology to get people over their hesitance to purchase your course and you may simply not have had close contact with those who actually would have genuine obstacles paying for such a course. I believe you are brave for putting yourself out there. I also believe your commenters are also displaying bravery in addressing these real issues. It is a way of bridging the compassion gap.

  • Deney

    Maybe Kate is targeting a slightly different demographic. I’m guessing the people who are living in such poverty probably do not even have access to her free content online and would have different means of money education perhaps available? I am unsure as I am in New Zealand, here we have free Budgeting and advice services. But I think the message is relative to the individual and could even be applied still to those in poverty stricken circumstances.

    • Kate

      It’s true. Only 30% of the world even has access to the internet. Most of the people who have been discussed in the previous comments are not those people. I am aware that there is profound poverty on the planet and I so appreciate the work that people do to alleviate that sort of suffering. I am targeting a different audience, people who have access to the internet and are living in more developed places. But everyone raises good points here. Thanks for your two cents Deney!

  • geraldine

    I believe one of the points a previous commenter (and Russell Simmons) was making is that poverty and difficult circumstances also exist in places like New York City, where there are public libraries with internet access. These kinds of offerings would be tempting for those people too, yet still “unaffordable”, even if they take themselves seriously and believe deep down that they deserve access and financial security. It’s clear that this is a complex issue and sometimes the reasons for not being able to afford something may not be clarified with simplified claims. Considering that you had disgruntled readers on this topic, it might be useful to genuinely open up conversation with some of your wider audience to see what their real reasons are for believing they can’t afford your offerings. I’m sure there is still a lot of diversity even amongst those with more resources at their disposal. Using their own words may open up more people’s hearts and pocket books to what you have to teach. We all have challenges along the way, hope this one provides you with some valuable insights to help your teachings enhance the lives of your audiences.

    • Kate

      Hi Geraldine – thanks for your perspectives on this. I do appreciate some alternate insights on it. I actually didn’t intend to speak to people specifically who say they can’t afford my offerings…I’m well aware that a price point of $197 is too high for many people. In fact, I’ve told a few people who’ve emailed and told me about their financial situations and asked if they thought the course would be a good fit that they shouldn’t sign up for it and that instead they would do well with taking my book out from the library. What I’m addressing isn’t our international problem of poverty. That is outside my skill set and knowledge base and I applaud those who are taking it on. What I’m addressing is a poverty mentality. And I know people who are millionaires who have it just as much as I know folks who are scraping to get by. Anyone can benefit from replacing “I can’t afford that” with “I’m choosing not to buy that” in their thoughts and words. That’s all I’m suggesting. Thanks!

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