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Human Behavior

Taking Courage to Face Your Money Anxiety

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Sometimes my clients move appointments further out this time of year. When the sun is shining, barbecues are scheduled, and summer camp is around the corner, life is a flurry of activity. There is hope and warmth and fun. Money has traditionally been last on their list, falling behind TV re-reruns and cleaning out the garage.

Any reason is valid to avoid the shame, fear, or embarrassment that arises around money. We choose to live with the underlying hum of money anxiety rather than confront it in the open. But what if we’re harming more than just ourselves? Would you get help to prevent harm to others?

Let’s Re-Frame the Discussion

Every day delayed means:

  • Increases in college debt for our kids
  • We can’t afford in-home care for our aging parents
  • Our loving spouse, who has worked so hard, can’t retire
  • Another day of mental gymnastics to pay the most pressing bills

Money should never be at the top of our priority list, but by respecting your cash and exercising money self-care, you’re helping your loved ones.

Related: How to Fight the Money Pressure Sandwich

Possibilities

Cynthia and her spouse are in a fair amount of debt. Things always come up, and their coaching sessions need to be moved. The interest is accumulating daily, eating away more money that could go to their kids’ 529 college plans. $700 a month in interest and fees is $8,400 a year. Imagine if that $8,400 went toward saving for college over the next 10 years.

Warren wants to meet his family in Greece for his father’s 90th birthday party. Warren has avoided looking at his cash for 40 years, has maxed out his credit cards, as well as added a second mortgage on his home. The credit cards funded other immediate necessities, luxuries and experiences that he wanted, without thinking ahead about future needs. His behaviors were reactive, instead of balancing choices today with the ability to make choices tomorrow. Now Warren has no cash flow to visit his father, whom he rarely sees. Imagine the tears in his father’s eyes if he could see his son from abroad, perhaps for the last time.

Who Could You be Helping?

It takes courage to face our money anxiety when we’ve ignored it for a long time. We fear that reality may not be a pretty picture. We don’t want life to change.

If it’s hard to take that next step forward to help yourself, then think of others you love. Who could you be helping by learning to save and reducing your debt today?

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