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The Maui Millionaires’ Dirty Dozen


I recently reviewed The Maui Millionaires (affiliate link). In the book, they discuss the Dirty Dozen. They are the 12 most damaging Negative Wealth Beliefs. I was originally going to discuss all of them, but I decided to discuss one of them, even though it is going to be hard for me to do.

Here’s the Dirty Dozen:

1.) It takes money to make money, and I don’t have any.
2.) I’m poor, always was, and always will be.
3.) I’m middle class, always was, and always will be.
4.) It takes too much time and effort to be rich.
5.) I’m just not smart enough to become rich.
6.) Money is bad.
7.) Rich people are low down, bad people.
8.) To become rich, you have to take on huge risks.
9.) People won’t like me if I am rich, or worse – they’d like me only for my money.
10.) It isn’t possible for me to become wealthy.
11.) My spouse or significant other doesn’t support me enough.
12.) I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve it.

This isn’t easy for me to talk about, so please bear with me if some of my thoughts seem scattered. I’m just going to blurt it out and hopefully it makes sense because if I think about it too much, I will never hit the publish button on this post. I can tell you where I spend my money, but when it comes to talking about personal issues I have…well, that’s another story.

#12 really hits home with me (“I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve it.”). For some reason, thoughout my life I have had the thought that I am not good enough and I don’t deserve things. It happens all the time when someone asks me if I do something. For example, someone asks me if I play bass guitar. I say, “Yes, but I’m not that good.” Someone asks about how my job is going. I say, “Good, but I’m still learning and catching up with things.”

When I landed my current job, I was so close to quitting that I am sure all of you would have commented and voiced your opinion. This happened when I first started blogging and I was still getting comfortable with blogging so I didn’t mention it. Like I said, this is a real personal issue with me. Anyways, the biggest thing making me want to quit was that I was making more money than I ever had and I didn’t think I deserved it. I could name many reasons why they should hire someone else. I didn’t have much experience…I didn’t have much education…etc, etc. When someone was passing out self-confidence, I think they skipped me.

I did stick with my job, and slowly I am gaining some confidence and starting to realize that maybe I do deserve that job. It has definitely been a slow process. And the confidence I lack is affecting our financial momentum. I know deep inside, I have a fire to possibly eliminate our debt quicker by making more money, but something is holding me back. It’s not the attitude, because I believe I’m pretty positive. I know it has to do with my confidence and believing that I deserve it.

That’s something that I need to work on.


  • Reply Terry |

    I have seen many opportunities to make money, but they required money to make money, and I didn’t (and still don’t) have any. So what is the problem with #1? Is it not true?

  • Reply Matt |

    At some point or another one or more of the above beliefs have been in my head. I’ve never thought money to be bad but I have had people try to convince me that it was. Figuring out why you think and believe any of the above is very crucial to attaining any significant wealth (I don’t have the wealth to back it up but I definitely believe it).

    I believe that you are good enough! Over the time that I’ve been reading your blog I’ve seen the effort that you put in to getting out of debt. That effort alone is enough for me to see that you deserve any money that you set your sights on and get.

  • Reply Maria |

    I know exactly what you mean, but you must realize that you’ve come such a long way! Going into debt is a vicious cycle and it takes alot of guts to get out of debt and stay out.
    I enjoy reading your trials and successes because it makes me realize that there are others out there that are having the same struggles and that we’re all in this together!
    Besides, doesnt the blogging community help boost your confidence? I know it does for me!

  • Reply Jen |

    I think the problem with #1 is that it’s an excuse not to try… At least that’s my best guess. And it may box you in to thinking “the only way to make money is to invest in the stock market or start a business that requires capital.” Thinking like that could prevent you from being creative and coming with other ways to make money… Or even saving up enough money to start investing, start a business, etc.

    As for feeling like you’re not good enough – I think women are raised to believe it isn’t nice to think highly of ourselves, so we’re overly modest. We’re not allowed to brag or make others feel bad by being better than them. Of course, not all women feel this way, but I think it’s a general trait that’s common among women. For example, I’ve read articles that say we’re not as likely to ask for raises as men are. Something to consider…

  • Reply Terry |

    As for #12, I really believe I deserve to have money and wealth, because I have a plan to take others with me – as I build wealth, so will others.

  • Reply Got Wealth? |

    Wow! That really hit home with me. I had been telling myself for years “You can’t apply for that job, you don’t have the skills, education, experience, etc.” I’ve also said for a long time that I didn’t deserve wealth. My mindset has changed a lot, but those thoughts still come up every once and awhile and I have to fight them with positive thoughts.

  • Reply Flora |

    #5, not being smart enough, is a big one for me. I really don’t understand finance or business. I’m 30 and just starting to learn what most people learn as teenagers or young adults.

    But really, #6 and #7 are the biggest ones. My family values education, social service, and art. I was raised from a young age to choose my education and career path based on contributing to society, not making money. My family believes that if you work just to make money, you are shallow, selfish, and morally bankrupt. I’ve spoken with friends who are also from Irish Catholic families, and I’m starting to think it’s cultural.

    My husband and I have very rewarding jobs that will never earn us much money. All of my relatives are teachers or artists, so we fit right in, but my in-laws are immigrants, and they are exclusively committed to making as much money as possible. They’ve really done it, too. I respect what they’ve done for improving their family’s lot, but I must admit that I look down on their McMansions and fancy cars. I can’t imagine what they think of us.

  • Reply MollysBrother |

    I think it’s interesting that #12 resonates so deeply with you. Here you are, a creator and writer of one of the most popular and best personal finance blogs on the internet!

  • Reply steve |

    How can i get in on this debt donation plan? I work 2 jobs my wife works 30-35 hours a week, yet we still don’t make enough money.Our bills started poiling up about 4 years ago. My wife didn’t work from ’95 to 2003 while she raised our 2 girls. I made good money , butas they got older, the more expensive they got. Now i am paying out the rear for it. Can you advise?

So, what do you think ?