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!
Dr. Victoria Bateman, an esteemed economist best known for her nude protests for gender equality, uses her body as a form of art that serves to challenge the stigma around women's bodies and women's rights, in the world of economics. In March 2018, Bateman attended the annual conference of the Royal Economic Society in Brighton stark naked with the word "respect" written across her chest and stomach. Unbashful in delivering her message, Bateman was determined to start a conversation.