Fear and finances often go hand in hand and if like so many others you believe (subconsciously) that your self-worth equals your bank balance it’s no wonder we’re so frightened. Scared that we aren’t good enough, worthy enough, deserving or that we haven’t measured up in life.
You may have imagined achieving great things and living a luxurious life but it just didn’t work out that way. You aren’t alone!
Some of the most common fears amongst the clients I work with are
• Fear of finding out their financial reality
• Fear of being judged
• Fear of criticism
• Fear of ending up homeless
• Fear of not being able to meet financial obligations
• Fear that circumstances will never improve
• Fear of not understanding what to do next
• Fear that their financial situation is out of control and can’t be fixed
Can I tell you that there is no situation that can’t be fixed. There are systems in place for financial situations that get out of control. We may not like some of the consequences that need to occur to solve the situation but it is still possible to fix. We give money way too much power over our lives so let’s put it back in its place and understand it is just the method of exchange we use to buy and sell goods and services. Nothing else. The rest is just what we make it mean.
The most important things in life are mostly free. Our health, our mindset and our relationships if we take the time to nurture and care for them. Unfortunately it is a common occurrence that we let these financial fears paralyse us to the point that we take no positive action at all. Before you know it the situation has spiralled out of control and those important things are jeopardised.
I know how daunting dealing with money can be. I’ve been there, done that, got the tshirt but after 36 years I wasn’t prepared to spend anymore time there. It was time to be bigger than my fears and take action then help other people do the same.
Finances and Pressure Sores
How about we trying looking at this tough topic a different way. Imagine your finances are a pressure sore/bed sore?
If you take care of it early on, it is relatively easy to recover from. If you just take a deep breath, be brave and get to work on your finances asap then it doesn’t take too long to get everything on track. I’m not going to lie, it is uncomfortable and a bit scary at first but living day after day trying not to think about what’s going on in the background leads to stress and anxiety that can affect your health and relationships. We try to pretend that what we don’t know won’t hurt us however the anxiety symptoms come out one way or another, usually in poor sleep, bad dreams, waking up worrying or being worried all day.
I hope we can agree on the fact that it would be much easier to start at this point. Remember that there is help so you don’t have to figure it out all by yourself.
Sadly, this is not usually the starting point. Most of us need to hurt more before we make a move.
Here our pressure sore gets left quite a while before treating and now it takes a significantly longer time to heal and requires much more attention than if it had been addressed earlier on. In the case of your finances, the longer you take to put the breaks on accumulating debt and spending more than you earn then the tighter you will have to pull back on spending and the longer it will take the reverse the damage.
Compound interest when saving is a magnificent thing unfortunately it works in the other direction as well. The longer it takes you to pay back debts with interest, the more you will end up paying. I challenge you to look at your credit card statements and read the part that tells you how long it will take to pay back if only making minimum payments. That $800 TV will end up costing you a whole lot more in the long run and years to pay off.
So back to our pressure sore analogy- Believe it or not, left long enough a pressure sore can actually kill you. In terms of your finances think of this as the relationship breakdown, the loss of trust and respect from family, children and friends, repossession of your property and even bankruptcy that could occur.
While you can recover from having your items repossessed and bankruptcy in time sometimes the relationships, trust, respect and your health that are damaged along the way aren’t so easy to repair. As you are probably aware, financial stress is one of the top reasons for relationship breakdowns not just with your partner but with children and other family and friends.
I know that it is a scary thought to gather all your bank statements, credit cards and loan papers and deal with it but I truly hope you can see that the price of leaving it too long is just way too high and can impact your life forever. If you need support, there are experts that can help and are compassionate and caring.
I want to leave you with one final thought, we often think that if we could just get our hands on some more money then we wouldn’t be in this situation. Sometimes that is true for some of our lowest paid workers but often the amount of money you have is not what is causing the issue.
Wealthy people pay attention to their money, live within their means and seek advice and guidance to maintain their wealth. Wealth is not created by accident. It is a deliberate process that is followed consistently.
Want to know more without worrying about criticism or judments? Book a seat at our FREE Breakfree from living payday to payday online workshop.
About Amira MacCue Founder of Your Money Habit
Award Winning Spending Planner
Dedicated to teaching people how to overcome financial stress long term and be confident about their future using improved money management techniques and habit change techniques.