5 tips to overcome your worries about money

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Whenever my partner and I talk about money, some regrets from the past often come up. For example, we mention a house a few doors down that we almost bought years ago that would have been a great investment, or a terrible retirement fund that my partner has stayed with for too long. (Since I’m the most money-hungry, I feel guilty for “letting” this happen.)

Last weekend I was like, “I really should review my second quarter spending at Mint” and then realized, “Do I really want to know how much I spent at Whole Foods?” “

If there is something that you feel guilty or ashamed of when it comes to money, even if it’s just a mistake or a weak spot, those emotions can really hold you back when it comes. it’s about managing your finances. For example, maybe you aren’t spending too much, but investing terrifies you. Or maybe you made a bad investment years ago that still haunts you.

Your feelings of guilt, shame, or anger about the past won’t just go away, so you need to figure out how to move forward with those thoughts and emotions present, assuming that they will increase each time you try to approach. subject and that they may tend to trigger rumination. Here are some tips on how to do it.

1. Recognize when change is optional.

If there is one area where you are overspending, it’s up to you to decide if you continue to do so. In my example of overspending on groceries, this is probably the only area where I overspend, so I could change it but I certainly don’t have to. A happy side effect is that recognizing that the change is optional can often make you more open.

2. Recognize that you don’t have to fix everything all at once.

Let’s say every time you think about money, you get overwhelmed with your emotions and don’t do exactly anything to improve yourself. The value of this thought is then zero.

Instead, every time you think about money, implement a change that will have recurring benefits. It could be on the expenditure side or the investment side. For example, whenever you feel guilty about not investing enough, increase the amount you automatically invest in index funds or pay off your student loans by $ 10 per week, or any other amount that doesn’t seem like a big decision. for you.

On the expense side, you can cancel a service or account that you’re billed for but don’t use. If you make a small change every time you think or discuss about money, it will get worse, but the composing power of 0 is 0.

The more quick and effective small actions you take in response to problem thinking, the more action, rather than brooding and worrying, will become your habit.

3. Recognize financial changes that once seemed difficult, but are not now.

For example, the first year we lived in our current home, we had quarterly pest control service. Now we buy the exact same chemical from a DIY website and do it ourselves. Ordering the product, buying a sprayer, and developing a routine took some effort the first time we did it, but now it doesn’t feel like a pain at all.

What positive monetary changes have you made that no longer seem difficult and have become your default?

4. Recognize that many smart people your age are afraid to invest.

People sometimes feel embarrassed by their investment anxiety because they think all of their peers must have understood it. For example, you might think that being afraid to invest is abnormal, or that it is a sign that you are incompetent in relation to similar people.

Most of the time, whatever you feel ashamed or guilty about is the same struggle other people are going through. Difficult and complex are not the same. Something like investing for retirement can actually be fairly straightforward, especially if you only have a few employer plans to choose from, but cognitively and emotionally it’s hard to see this far into the future. . Instead of thinking “I’m a loser finding this so difficult”, try to think “It’s hard but I can do hard things. “

5. If you are in a committed relationship, work through your cognitive and emotional blockages together.

In long-term relationships, many financial decisions are made together. Recognize patterns that emerge when talking about money, such as always waiting for the other person to take the lead or having to move on after a past financial mistake. Work together to overcome your common cognitive and emotional blockages (like fear of uncertainty or perfectionist decision making) rather than blaming each other. Recognize “It’s hard for us”.


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