We are in the midst of tax season, making it the perfect time to stop and take a look at your finances and conquer your fear of money!
Have you ever avoided looking at your checking account balance, stopped yourself from adding more financial responsibility to your life, or not taken steps to make long-term financial investments? You could have a fear of money, but Real Simple says there are steps you can take to conquer the fear and hopefully create future financial security.
According to financial and money experts, these steps will help heal your relationship with your finances.
Money Is Not Good or Evil
"It's what we do with it that creates meaning," RS notes and spoke with "You Are a Badass at Making Money" author Jen Sincero, who says she lived paycheck-to-paycheck for many years and it often weighed on her. "It was always the biggest complaint, the biggest failure in my life," she explains. "I always struggled with money…But it is also one of the biggest incentives for me to shift my mindset and start making money. I can do so much better than this. I wanted to create, as opposed to just silently accepting what I've been given that wasn't making me happy."
Write a Letter to Money
To be truly honest with yourself about your relationship to money, Jen suggests putting it down on paper. "When you just write, stream-of-consciousness, you see [your beliefs] staring back on the page," she tells RS. "How much you want money, and how much fun it would be to make so much, and how you feel disgusting for even saying you want money, and how you don't think it's OK. You get to see all of your pros and cons on the page...and you get to see what you decided is the truth around it. And that is absolutely the first step because you can't budge if you're participating in an unreality."
Spend Money on Your Money
Instead of trying to figure out everything about your finances on your own, the experts suggest seeking out the help of money experts. Consider hiring an accountant, or a tax prep professional, as well as a professional financial coach, attend seminars and invest time into book/websites/podcasts about financial security.
Schedule Money Checkups
The money experts suggest checking your checking, savings, and credit card balances a few times each week. If you are consistent with this habit, it can alleviate the fear of not knowing if you have enough money and may help better track how you spend and what the money is being used for.
Start a Savings Plan
Having a safety net in place for unexpected expenses is key in overcoming a fear of money. Setting aside a portion of your monthly income (possibly in the form of an automatic transfer from your checking to a savings account) can build quickly over time and help you in times of need, like a change in employment or an unforeseen medical expense.
Jen adds, "You need money to do stuff, you need money to survive, you need money to give back. So taking the time to get over your issues around it and...learn how to make it in a way that feels good to you is one of the most important things you can do."
Check out more money tips, advice, and suggestions from Jen Sincero's book, "You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth."
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