5 Real Obstacles to Building Wealth and How to Overcome Them

by Sean Bryant on June 27, 2013

buildin wealthOn the road to financial abundance there’s bound to be challenges. While some are hard to foresee others are much more common and predictable. My hard earned experience over the years has helped me identify five real obstacles in building wealth and how to overcome them. I’d love to share them with you here so you can be prepared should they appear in your path. Knowledge is power in personal finances like in most things in life!


If anything from this article sticks in your mind let it be this – procrastination is your greatest enemy in accumulating real wealth. The sooner you get started saving the greater your chance of ending up living the financial life of your dreams.

When you have worthy actionable wealth building information, 95% of the time when you act on it quickly it will work out better for you.  People who put off what they should do today for tomorrow very rarely become rich. Slay the dragon of procrastination in your head and heart and success will come much quicker and easier. Don’t ignore this advice.

No Clear Goals

Human beings are much more motivated to meet goals when they are clearly defined. In personal finance this is more true than ever. Do you have clear cut financial goals? “Getting rich” is not a clear goal that inspires focus and positive momentum. “Saving $1000 a month” – a goal which is both quantifiable and easily understood is much, much more effective.

Bad Loans and Credit Cards

Don’t allow yourself to get caught in the pitfall of debt. Strictly using cash or using a reward credit card that you pay off immediately is a much better alternative to living beyond your means and having to pay off ridiculously high credit card and personal loan interest rates.

The people offering these are not your allies in your building wealth – rather they are attempting to use you to feed their already full coffers. Did you know most Americans families pay over $10,000 in debt interest a year? That’s money which could otherwise be invested in wealth building. You can avoid it, so don’t be a victim.

Instant Gratification

Being able to quickly differentiate between needs and wants are one of the key qualities you should strive to develop. Now living like a complete spartan is not necessary, but having basic financial self-discipline certainly is. It comes easier than you may think!


Building wealth takes a certain amount of courage to make quick and wise choices, sometimes which may go against the mainstream and against the ideas of the less financially aware around you. This is what separates those who will be wealthy from those who won’t. Fight the fear that comes with making these hard decisions and life will reward you. Your bank account will as well.

Keep these five real obstacles in building wealth in mind and the results will likely be truly magical. You may even share them with someone you are mentoring to financial success one day! Good luck and thanks for reading.

My name is Kevin Watts and I am the creator of graduatingfromdebt.com. I was like millions of recent college graduates in heavy debt with very little hope. With the right attitude and discipline I took control of my financial picture and now I can say proudly that I am debt free.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.

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  • Common Cents Wealth

    This is a great list. I think the hard one for me still is the instant gratification. It can be pretty hard to push off gratification when I know that I have the money right now. I also struggle a bit with the fear aspect. Am I doing the right thing? Is my money allocated properly? Am I saving enough? Those are all questions that can be tough to answer.

    • Kevin Watts

      Thank you. Yes, it can be very difficult to avoid temptation especially with the way our culture celebrates instant gratification. The key is to set goals to keep you focused

  • Setting goals can really help motivate you to build wealth. If you want a $1M house, you aren’t going to get it unless you figure out how to get your cash flow up. It might force you to start thinking of businesses you can start or at the very least how you can make your money work for you.

  • Pauline

    I am a huge
    procrastinator, but thankfully not so much with money. The only time it could
    serve you well is when prices drop (stock market or real estate, or even
    replacing a computer) and you end up saving money.

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