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Do you allow other people’s opinions to shape your money decisions? Are you afraid to be judged about your financial choices? Remember, it’s your money – you earned it. How you allocate your dollars within your budget is your right!

If you haven’t created a budget, you don’t know where your money is flowing in or out. Maybe you are allowing other’s perceptions to dictate your spending habits. When faced with money choices, do you spend more time worrying about what other people will think than what your financial goals are?

Let’s look at two examples:

Hiding Your Financial Choices

Sometimes people don’t want others to know what choices they made in secret. If there are purchases or payments in your budget that you hide, feel you must justify, or know others would disapprove of; then, you are still afraid to be judged about your financial choices. It hovers over every action you take.

I had a client who received large sums of cash, here and there, during the year. He had a very organized system of accounting, but several payments were not titled, so I asked about the random deposits. I learned that he had a dermatology practice, and some of his clients received Botox treatments but didn’t want anyone to know, so they paid in cash. They were anxious about being judged for spending money on their looks and didn’t want their spouses to know.

Are You Overspending to Impress Others?

We’ve all been there! We want to impress a family member, our significant other or a friend, and spend money we do not have to make them feel special. Maybe all your friends make more money than you, or you lost your job, and you are afraid to be judged by your friends about your financial decisions, especially if you can’t socialize the way they do. On the other hand, perhaps you feel you deserve all the good things in life and don’t understand why you are struggling, so you act like you have money as a facade for others.

If you are guilty of this kind of irrational thinking, the result may be that you rack up credit card debt. Why? Because you don’t want others to look down at you for not being “good enough.” Being anxious that family or friends will consider you less valuable creates an enormous emotional roadblock that can stop you in your tracks. Don’t let mental barriers make you nervous and afraid of judgment about your financial choices.

Are You Fearful of Judgments About Your Money Choices

There is truth to the quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt that “comparison is the thief of joy.” As an adult, you may now recognize that no one has the right to impose his or her judgment on you when your principles differ or when you follow your eclectic style. You can train yourself out of this unconscious decision making of feeling frightened or discouraged.

You can learn to break the pattern of repeating the same story to yourself that you learned as a child or in school. Are you still afraid of judgment about your financial choices? The words to that old, emotionally based story have a powerful, lasting effect on you, but you have the power to reclaim and then proactively rewrite your future.

Stop allowing your anxiety about other people’s opinions to drive your actions today by remembering that your current situation is just a snapshot in your life. Like a book that has many pages that makes up chapters to tell the full story, you are more than only one day or one year. Don’t allow other people’s beliefs (or your self-imposed negative judgment) and criticism to define your entire “book of life.” If your financial vision and your fiscal reality are radically different, it’s time to make a change! Learn how to reassess where you want your dollars to go.

Change Your Course with Honest Budgeting

A benefit of changing your emotional mindset and allowing space for financial improvement enables you to reset a new foundation with positive intentions. As a result, you can follow through with an honest review of your budget and define your goals. The benefit of creating this new mental map allows you to spend money on the things that matter most to you – without guilt or fear of judgment. Start today!