04/11/2012 05:09 pm ET Updated Jun 11, 2012

Financial Institutions Have Not Changed Their Stripes and They're After You

You may be one of the fortunate to have learned from the recession by changing your ways. You gave up business as usual.

You no longer buy on credit; you live within your means and have found satisfaction and a renewed sense of self-respect. You no longer feel like a fraud, a faker who props up a sense of worth by what you wear and drive. You've made meaning of your losses and have reintegrated realistic ways to live well with the money you have.

You're rebuilding your credit by staying on track and you are in the minority. Congratulations.

For those of you who have fallen off the track and are back to business as usual, here are some eye-opening facts and tips to rebuilding a sane and secure financial life:

Give up self-sabotaging excuses and get real about yourself and your money:

• Care about your money; no one else will care as much as you.
• Control your own purse strings; don't hand over control to others.
• Decide your own destiny; don't be reactive and passive.
• Be optimistic and know there is always something you can do to succeed; shame only serves as a barrier to progress.
• Watch what you do and not what you say; denial is a powerful barrier to self-awareness and truth.
• Those who place power in external forces rarely are self-empowered to achieve their goals and dreams.
• Make your own secure life and face the facts of whether you are better off using cash or credit.
• Keep working at self-discipline and living creatively and smartly with what you can afford.

Give up the myths that could tempt you to fall off your track:

• Money doesn't buy you happiness unless you know how to make it your slave instead of your master.
• Stuff is a distraction to a real sense of inner richness and self-worth.
• Invest in yourself and focus on what it takes to keep you on track.
• Staying on track will pay off in a renewed sense of security and self-worth.