I figured this would be a good place to start on our journey. In order to have control over your finances, you have to first control how you feel about it. What do I mean? Well, let's do a quick exercise. I am going to give you a few words and I want you to pay attention to your reaction to them.
Money. Finances. Debt.
What type of emotions come up when you saw these words? Do you automatically think about the mountains of student debt you accumulated over the years? Your next shopping trip? An upcoming vacation? Your car or house? Did you think about emotions like happiness, regret, anger, or contentment? The first step is to tune into these emotions and understand how they got there.
Did you grow up in a household where your parents were always stressed about money? How about a household where money was spent without batting an eye? How about a household where your parents were so frugal you wouldn't dare ask for anything unless it was on sale? These are things to think about because, believe it or not, it has an impact on your relationship with money today.
Not only does your family and up-bringing play a role, but society does too. In America, we live in a high consumption society. We always want the biggest, best, shiniest items and debt rules! If we don't have the money in the bank, we default to using credit. It is a quick and easy way to get what you want when you want it. If we don't keep up with the latest trends, we get talked about or looked at crazy. But, this mindset is how we got here to begin with. You have to get to the point where you don't care what other people think. Who cares if you shop at the thrift store or aren't driving the newest model of car? Remember that "the people that matter, don't care and the people that care, don't matter". Like the money guru Dave Ramsey says, "Live like no one else so later you can live and give like no one else".
Get in touch with your emotions about money and things. What are some ways to overcome those emotions? Feel free to share some of your strategies in the comments section below. I would love to hear your thoughts.