One of our readers wrote in today talking about her fears around money. Here is what Diane had to say:
“I’ve always been bad at finances – guess it’s due to lack of confidence
I have a fear of math, which has caused many problems over the past 20
years. I’m trying to face my fears and learn to know where all my money
goes, instead of ignoring the situation.” (read more…)
I think most people would be surprised by how many people suffer from low financial self-esteem. I see it daily in my practice and can tell you this is a national epidemic. Your self-esteem around money can be impacted by many factors. For example, if you have negative associations or experiences with money when you were growing up, this could greatly impact your confidence. People develop avoidance patterns and actively avoid dealing with money matters because of the feelings it brings up. It’s important to know there are usually emotional reasons for our financial behaviors and there are things you can do to overcome your money fears and increase you financial self-esteem. Here’s a few simple steps to take:
1. Make a commitment to know where you stand financially. Write down all your fixed monthly expenses and look for ways to cut back on unnecessary expenses or impulse purchases (like that daily latte!)
2. Keep a spending diary and record your daily spending for an entire month to make yourself more aware of your spending habits. Do you tend to spend due when you are sad, lonely or to fill another void?
3. Start an online financial management program such as the one available on mint.com. They have wonderful, easy-to-use financial tools that can really help get your financial life in order.
4. Grow your confidence by becoming financial educated. Most of us are not taught about money matters and have to take our financial education into our own hands. The Financial Planning Association has lots of free tools and educational materials available on their website.
5. Be compassionate with yourself — make a plan and do what you can — you can change your money patterns one day at a time with faith and committment!
Peace & Blessings!