Is money on your mind all the time? Do you feel like your bank account balance impacts your life more than you’d ever admit?
A lot of people skip over the importance of having a plan with money but can’t get around thinking about money 24-7.
Too often we feel defeated and even helpless with our finances.
It’s worthwhile to figure out, what exactly is holding you back financially?
There are a million things that can understandably and without a doubt hold you back financially.
You may have been born into poverty, with a chronic health condition, and during a period when tuition skyrocketed.
These are all unfortunate circumstances that are outside of your control.
In your life there really are only two things that you can control: your thoughts and behavior.
You can control what you think about and how you behave in response to whatever life throws at you. Or as the saying by Charles Swindoll goes, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.”
There are so many moving pieces and uncontrollable expensive circumstance in life that constantly occupy our thoughts.
Don’t let your thoughts about money dominate how you feel and behave every single day.
Today, we’ll discuss three common destructive thoughts people have about money and what to do so you don’t hold yourself back financially.
What thoughts are holding you back financially?
Again, there are valid reasons why people are financially distressed and held back. Think: Hurricane Harvey. If your home flooded that will set you back and you had no control in this situation. We’re going to dive into thoughts, or invalid excuses people have that are harmful and unnecessarily holding you back financially.
Excuses hold people back from exercising, eating healthy, saving money, traveling to a new place, or starting your dream job.
Negative thoughts and excuses justify and derail your best intentions and put your authentic true life on hold.
Today, I hope you take some time to figure out what’s holding you back financially that you can control.
Destructive Thought #1: My situation will never improve, so what’s the point in trying?
It’s easy to think, “it is what it is,” and give up. It can seem pointless to care about money or try to change. Expenses are always “popping-up,” and you’ve always been swamped with bills. If you’ve never been able to save, or get out of the paycheck to paycheck cycle what’s the point in even trying?
You might think that anxiety about money is inevitable.
Or, you might have accepted that debt is going to be a part of your life and is inescapable. If you’ve accumulated a six-figure debt load you start to think that your student loans are going to be stuck with you for your entire adult working life.
How to overcome this thought:
You’re right in that there’s no vision board or positive thoughts that can magically improve your financial situation. However, no matter what your situation is right now, there’s always some aspect that can improve. If you feel too stressed out and anxious about money to even bother, the serenity prayer will give you clarity on what you can or can’t improve.
Here’s the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
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Destructive Thought #2: I don’t want to deprive myself
You only live once, right? Why not treat yo’ self to dessert, a vacation abroad, or mini-shopping spree? You’ve earned it! Or you may think, “of course I could get a side hustle waiting tables, but what about the quality of my life?”
You have it in your mind that being good with money = self-deprecation. You acknowledge that there are things that you can adjust, but you don’t want to because you think that you’ll be depriving yourself.
How to overcome this thought:
We’ve all had tough days. The idea of indulging in your pleasure of choice seems appealing and like the ultimate mood booster. The truth is, after buying the new fancy shoes, car, or sunglasses any happiness you felt from that instant gratification purchase is fleeting and you’re not genuinely fulfilled.
Buying a handful of random items isn’t satisfying in the end and not the source of lasting joy or contentment in life.
Also, if you take on a side hustle, you aren’t depriving yourself.
There is joy in work.
Leila Janah, the founder of Samasource, is on a mission to end world poverty by giving work. She argues that work is the core of human dignity. Working extra is an admirable task, worthy cause, and a boost to your ego.
Destructive Thought #3: I’ll figure this money thing out later
When you get your promotion, finish your master’s, or your kids go to kindergarten, then you’ll get your finances in order. You’re waiting until the time is right or until some outside circumstance and situation changes.
Unfortunately, there will never be the perfect moment to make changes in your financial life. If this year seems to be a crazy expensive year, things may calm down next year, but probably not.
How to overcome this thought:
Procrastination is a dream killer and can be disguised with the mask of perfectionism. There is no perfect time to get your finances in order. Waiting to figure out how to manage your money is putting your life on hold now.
The truth is that time is a limited resource and our time on this planet is limited.
No one lives forever, and you can’t assume that “someday” will arrive. We always make time for what is most important in our lives and your financial well-being is important now. The sooner you take action, the better off you’ll be.
Author Karen Lamb said, “A year from now, you may wish you had started today.”
Managing money isn’t just about math and numbers. Managing money is psychological and behavioral. Our emotions are highly intertwined with our spending and how we manage money. What thought is preventing you from having a plan with money right now?
Don’t hold yourself back financially.