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Our financial life is a reflection of the choices we make, says Larry Winget, author, television personality and motivational speaker. Unfortunately, many of us haven't been making the right ones.

At a glance
Name: Larry Winget
Hometown: Muskogee, Okla.
Education: B.A., Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla.
Career highlights:
  • Host of PBS special "Success Is Your Own Fault."
  • Star of reality cable television show, "Big Spender" on A&E Television.
  • Panelist on CNBC's "The Millionaire Inside: Debt-Free and Get Inspired."
  • Frequent guest on FOX Business, FOX News, CNBC, MSNBC and the "Today" show as a business, personal development and financial expert.
  • Author of "Shut Up, Stop Whining, & Get A Life: A Kick-Butt Approach to a Better Life," "It's Called WORK For A Reason," "You're Broke Because You Want To Be: How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead," and the forthcoming "People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It! The Ten Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Life and How To Overcome Them" (release date: December 2008).
  • Member of the International Speaker Hall of Fame.
Even before the stock market began its latest gut-wrenching roller-coaster ride, many Americans were already experiencing financial stress -- spending more money than they'd earned, living paycheck to paycheck, grappling with ever-increasing debt and facing an uncertain future in retirement.

"The biggest money problem people have isn't in their wallet or their bank accounts. The biggest problem is between their ears," Winget says, adding that money problems can be fixed only when attitudinal and behavioral issues are first addressed.

To that end, Winget shares his insights with Bankrate readers about the country's collective financial problems and provides advice to help individuals improve their bottom lines.

q_v2.gifWe've recently witnessed historic events on Wall Street with respect to changes in the structure of some of the biggest investment banks -- and, of course, there's this $700 billion rescue package. What do these failures on such a massive scale mean to the average American?

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a_v2.gif If you're asking what the positive effects are going to be for the average American, well, there probably aren't going to be that many. Sadly, we have many regular folks out there who believe, wrongly, that this whole bailout is gonna make some positive impact upon their lives. It's not gonna make any difference. If you're in trouble today, you'll still be in trouble tomorrow.

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