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How to Get Rid of Financial Guilt and Shame

Get Rid of Financial Guilt and Shame

I’ve made a lot of financial mistakes in my life: a lot. The feisty stubborn Italian in me has a hard time admitting when and where I’m wrong. The result is then constant nagging and all-consuming feelings of guilt and shame.

Have you made a big purchase you regret? Did you invest in something that tanked?

Here are two genius strategies to get rid of financial guilt and shame.

1. Physically notice when you’re “should-ing- yourself”

If you’re overwhelmed with shame and guilt, you often end up “should-ing yourself.”

You think, I should:

  • Have a higher salary by this age
  • Be debt-free by now
  • Stop living paycheck to paycheck
  • Not be renting

Those thoughts aren’t productive and bring on feelings of shame and guilt.

I recently received a tip to bring awareness of how much you’re “shoulding-yourself.” Place a hair tie or wrist band (those plastic/rubber ones with positive sayings) on your arm to wear all day. As you start “should-ing yourself,” move your wristband from one arm to the next.

This helps you to acknowledge that you’re experiencing shame and guilt.

Then, this gives you the ability to take ownership of your situation.

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2. Forgive yourself

After you have more awareness of how much shame and guilt you’re holding on to, forgive yourself.

Psychology Today, stated, “Guilt and its handmaiden, shame, can paralyze us––or catalyze us into action. Appropriate guilt can function as social glue, spurring one to make reparations for wrongs. Excessive rumination about one’s failures, however, is a surefire recipe for resentment and depression.”

Guilt can be a cue that you made a mistake and an opportunity to fix it.

To make right, what was wrong, forgive yourself.

Brene Brown is an expert on shame and vulnerability. In this interview with Oprah she shares that, “shame cannot survive being spoken,” and urges people to share your story.  

Oprah then stated, “Secrets really intensify the shame… but, when you release it… you leave and feel free.”

Watch the interview, it’s two minutes and amazing!

Forgive yourself by finding a trusted friend and talk through what you’re feeling shame and guilt about.

Whatever mistakes you’ve made, we all make mistakes. Remember you are worthy, and you deserve mercy. I hope you get rid of any financial guilt or shame that’s holding you back.

best money class ever carly michelle

Hi! I'm Carly

I’m a Finance grad and creator of Best Money Class Ever, a 4-week live virtual personal finance class. I paid off $35,000 of debt and saved a nest egg of over $100,000 by age 26 (earning only around the median household income!).

If I can pay off debt and build savings at a young age, anyone can with a little education and solid plan.

Get out of debt Invest like a pro Buy a home Make yourself recession proof Stress less about money Ditch emotional online spending

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“Oh, my goodness, I learned a lot. I enjoyed everything! Carly’s a great financial teacher.”

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