People often assume that money and finances will always be associated with stress, confusion, and worry. Or that more money will automatically lead to a feeling of financial freedom. However, it is possible to have a healthy relationship with money, regardless of your income! There are a number of “toxic” mentalities that can lead to an unhealthy relationship with money. Here are some of the most common and why they are negatively affecting your life.
You’re an Emotional Spender
If a tough day at work or a fight with your significant other often ends up with you reaching for your credit cards, you are an emotional spender. This can be a dangerous mentality because what may start out as harmless pick-me-ups can eventually lead to mountains of debt. This, in turn, will only add to the amount of stress in your life. If you’ve noticed this habit in yourself, try to look for other ways to de-stress and don’t rely on spending to create a false sense of happiness.
You’re a Stressed-Out Spender
If even the smallest purchases stress you out and lead to feelings of guilt and anxiety, this means you essentially fear your money and spending it. A big reason why this could be is because you simply don’t feel like you have enough money to go around. Regardless of what your income is, if spending leads to stress, having a budget in place could help you avoid these feelings. A budget can help you see what’s coming in and what’s going out, and ultimately help you better manage your cash flow so that you can spend without feeling like you’re being reckless or that you’ll run out of money.
Photo Courtesy of The Huffington Post
You’re an Avoider
If your bills often end up in your kitchen drawer or you’re dodging calls from debt collectors, this means you may be an avoider. Denial and avoidance are common coping mechanisms, but only make the problem worse. While avoiding confronting your finances may make you feel better in the short term, this mentality leads to an ever-increasing toxic relationship with your money. A hallmark of financial responsibility to taking action to acknowledge your financial struggles and take steps to get back on track. This may be as simple as catching up on some overdue bills or it may mean speaking with a debt attorney.
You’re Waiting to Make More Money
Something that comes as a surprise to a lot of people? Making more money won’t solve your financial issues. In fact, it can often exacerbate them.
If you don’t practice healthy financial habits when your income is more limited, you are only more prone to reckless financial management when there’s more to spend. So don’t wait for your next raise or career move to start being more financially responsible.
Make efforts to achieve financial wellness now – such as budgeting, saving, investing, etc. That way, once you are in a position where you are making more money, you’ll already have developed good financial habits and be in a better position to put your higher income to good use.
You’re Constantly Comparing Yourself to Others
Trying to keep up with others – what they make and what they spend it on – can be emotionally exhausting. The truth is, there will always be people who have more money than you and who can afford things you can’t – and that’s ok! It’s important to come to this realization and be accepting of it. As long as you make efforts to responsibly manage the money that you do have and create goals for yourself, you’ll still come out on top. As they say, the grass is always greener!
Your relationship with money is often overlooked, but it’s one of the most important relationships in your life. It’s a relationship that should be nurtured and problems within it should be acknowledged. Many people are guilty of having one or more of these mentalities that create a toxic relationship with money. Once you acknowledge them and make efforts to improve your relationship with money, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders!
It isn't always easy to stay on top of your finances, especially when you have developed unhealthy spending habits over the years. However, as you begin to realize the many benefits of having healthy finances, it can become something you want to make a conscious effort to improve. When your finances are in a good place, you often have access to better opportunities whether it be a mortgage loan, greater credit line or business loan. On that note, here is how you can become an expert at managing your finances in case you need a few tips.
Learn to Use Technology
The good thing about managing finances in the technological age is that you don't have to do it alone. There are so many apps available that will help you pay bills on time and track your expenses. For instance, some apps force you to live within your actual income and tell you what to do when you need to balance your budget.
If you need an app that will help you get better at saving, then some will set aside your spare change for you. Also, don't be afraid to use more simple tools such as your smartphone calendar to set reminders about payments if you don't automate them.
Seek Legal Advice
Sometimes, being an expert at something means understanding that you can't possibly know it all. This is why you have professionals around you that can help fill in the gaps where you're lacking. Consider hiring a legal firm to help with any challenges that are beyond you. Lexington Law is a good firm as they could help remove negative items from your credit report. Read this Lexington Law Review (Our #1 Credit Repair Service of 2019) to find out more about how they could help improve your finances.
You can't do better than what you know when it comes to managing finances. You should, therefore, invest your time in learning more about finances and how to manage them. Think about what your goals for your finances are and what knowledge gaps you need to fill.
For example, if you want to invest in the stock market so that you can improve your net worth, then you may need to learn more about investing to do so successfully. To boost your knowledge, try reading articles on credible blogs that share finance information from professionals. Also, be weary of content from finance-driven companies as it could be biased.
Work on Growing Your Income
As a self-proclaimed finance guru, you know that the more sources of income that you have, the better. Work on increasing your streams of income so that you have more money to meet your targets whether it's to save for a property or put larger sums towards retirement. One way to do so would be by getting extra income by doing social media marketing for businesses or creating tutorials on YouTube. If you own a property, renting out rooms is a great way to make passive income.
Live Within Your Means
It can be difficult to live within your means when you live in a society that is always presenting you with things to buy. However, being more conscious about the things that you purchase could help you realize that most are wants rather than needs. To live within your means, always take time to think about a purchase as opposed to impulse spending. You should always get good at bargain hunting as many times you can find items of similar quality at a cheaper price.
Learn How to Manage Debt
Debt doesn't have to be a bad thing if you understand how it works and how to manage it. It can be a tool for credit building when you understand the fundamentals. For instance, if you take out a loan or credit card, always be mindful of your interest rates.
By paying the amount of money you borrowed back in full before the due date, you won't have to pay interest on what you borrowed. If you can't pay back in full, paying more than the minimum payment will ensure you incur less interest. For the most part, the secret to good debt management is never spending more than you can afford to pay back.
Managing finances is a life skill that can help improve your quality of life. By following the mentioned tips and taking your finances more seriously, you're more likely to master the art of healthy finances.