Learn why it happens and how to fix it in this article.
Do you fear to look at your bank account, avoid it, or simply feel embarrassed after checking your bank account balance?
Do not worry, you are not alone in this feeling. Pew Charitable Trusts conducted a survey and discovered that more than 80% of Americans were in debt as of 2015. This inundated feeling is nothing to be ashamed of, but should rather be used to fuel you into your journey towards financial prosperity and freedom.
But before giving any remedies, we need to understand the problem.
Understand Why You’re Embarrassed
A study performed by the Association for Financial Planning Education in 2012, which identified individuals’ spending habits, determined that a high majority of American families are wasteful and recklessly irresponsible with monetary protocols for life.
Hiding your debt or avoiding the problem will only foster the growth of more debt to be accrued. Instead, you should consider embracing the facts, the truth, head on and handle it before it grows into a monster that will totally consume and incapacitate you. The best time to start anything is the moment you decide the problem needs to be solved. The guilty feelings that you possess are your unconscious and self-conscious manifesting into an emotion used to drive and inspire action. Neurologically speaking, pain is a phenomenal motivator, and if you feel those emotions then the probability of having a financial problem is very high.
Understanding why you feel embarrassed, guilty, or even ashamed, does not absolve the situation but simply creates awareness and gives you a starting point to take control of your finances again. Embrace it, because hiding it does not help and you know that too. Take charge head one with a sense of self-confidence and courage. Handling troubled finances is daunting, but with help and proper resources, you can conquer the dragon of debt.
Educating yourself is self-explanatory. This is 2019 and almost everything is available via public domain on Google. If you are having financial problems or are irresponsible with money, the root cause may not be entirely your fault, but this does not deflect the responsibility. Jean Piaget, a child psychologist, would reference the fact that children tend to imitate their parent’s behaviors, and that those behavioral patterns would be solidified through time and experience as they transition through maturation into adulthood.
Sure, your parents and other external factors could be the fault for your crappy financial situation and poor spending behaviors, but like Bill Gates said:
“If you are born poor it’s not your mistake. But if you die poor, it’s your mistake.”
Basically, as an adult, you have to take responsibility for your actions, and rectify the wrong or learn how to improve.
The Journal of Economic Psychology published a study performed in 2011 that correlated poor spending habits with a lack of proper financial literacy. Learning how to treat money and how to handle debt and finances is the best first step towards achieving financial freedom. There are TONS of resources available now as well.
Consider getting a financial advisor to help guide you and take an online course. Read books and watch videos on mentors like Ray Dalio and Warren Buffet who amassed their fortune through investing with nominal funds.
We will be doing articles later on how you can use debt to make money, credit card lines to improve credit, and become debt free.
Your acceptance of the unknown is extremely courageous. Do not be ashamed by not knowing or having all the answers. Learning is the first action step towards realizing your financial goals.
Build a Plan
After you have accumulated enough information and feel confident in your knowledge, you can start devising an action plan towards certain financial goal (debt free, typically), or even financial freedom.
Start small: Aggregate your bills and past-due bills and find which of the bills are the smallest, therefore, the easiest to start with. Confronting your debt is similar to introducing spiders to a patient with phobias to spiders. The process needs to happen, but slowly at first. We are looking for small wins to start then build our habits from there. Time: 30 minutes max.
Build a proper budget: Look at your monthly income and expenses. Consider building charts and excess spreadsheets to better visualize the information. This is the cornerstone of EVERY path towards financial recovery. This is probably the most quintessential move you can make to achieve your financial goals. You may realize that you can make double payments on debt monthly to recover 2x faster. You may realize you have leftover funds to set aside in an emergency fund or even invest. You may realize you barely have enough or not enough at all to pay bills. Regardless of the outcome, this is the necessary element in your financial plan. Time: 60 Minutes Max.
Consider investing or side hustles: This is self-explanatory as well. If your company does not have retirement funds set-up, consider one asap. Look into other investment vehicles that can provide passive income (like PlutusX MAM). Similarly, consider building an additional stream of income through a side hustle like real estate, e-commerce, affiliate programs, consulting, or starting a business. Time: 60 Minutes Max for Planning and Research.
Stay Consistent, Automize
Over time, the monster of debt, the burden, and guilt will dissipate. Debt is not forever. After you build a strategy, or, so to speak, a plan of action – you must stay consistent. You may be confronted with obstacles along the way, and that is to be expected. So do not get flustered or deterred from what is to be expected. We are reconditioning our brain to view money from a different perspective, a more fiscally responsible perspective. We are looking for those “small wins” to change our habits and sequentially our behavior with money and our affect towards it.
If you still struggle, but you are determined to be debt free and/or simply take control of your finances, then consider automating your payments and investments.
Go to your bank and ask them to pull a certain percentage from deposits proportionally into different accounts so that you are not tempted with the option of spending it recklessly. Also, automate payments online monthly, and even consider automating subscriptions to investment funds monthly.
You may experience temporary pain and struggle in this journey, during this pursuit towards financial freedom, but I promise that the end is totally worth the outcome. Now congratulate yourself. If you are reading this article because it pertains to you, then you know there is a problem and you are curiously seeking solutions. You are awesome and on your way towards financial freedom, congratulations!
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We are not financial advisors and none of this information should be misconstrued as financial advice. We strongly suggest that you consult your personal financial advisors. We suggest that you continue the research before coming to a decision even if this article is considered a portion of your research.
*Please note all investing involves risk, including the possible loss of money you invest, and past performance does not guarantee future performance. Historical returns, expected returns, and probability projections are provided for informational and illustrative purposes, and may not reflect actual future performance.
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