We all have different wants and needs and there are many roads to reach the same goals. In the same way, we all have different levels of emotional tolerance toward our present financial situation. If your money nerve is being pinched, it is time to explore ways to release the tension.
Have you ever noticed how one friend always has to buy what they want NOW? And then needs to borrow cash for lunch? Or how another friend drifts through life without being aware if there is enough money for food and rent? You may have a friend who makes plans and no matter what happens, sticks to them – even when circumstances change and a shift might be beneficial.
Let’s see how one of my clients made a change.
John came from a family that relied entirely upon faith. John’s father was a devout Christian and a pastor of a small church. It was a point of pride that the Lord always provided, even if John’s family didn’t have a lot of money. Almost without fail, when winter came, a member of the church would approach his father and say, “The Lord has put it in my heart to buy your kids winter coats.” Thus, the family would get winter coats. John’s parents trusted God to take care of the family, and they were always taken care of – just not on John’s timetable.
John told me that when he was young, his family had a tradition: if you were passed a dime and needed the dime, it was yours; but if you didn’t need to spend it, it should be given to someone else who might need it. They called it living on faith and the family never “wanted” for their needs. As a child, John never had control over whether his wants and needs would be met. While his childhood experience of passively counting on others did not lessen his faith in any way, it did help him to recognize that he wanted a more active role in his financial decisions. As an adult, John created a long-term financial strategy. For him, it was essential to set targeted goals to fulfill his needs.
Have you explored your core emotional impulses when certain money situations come up? How do you react to an overdrawn bank account? Do you feel panicked and make corrections quickly? Or do you shrug it off – because you have overdraft protection!
Are you living on the edge or do you have some reserve? What emotions come into play as you navigate your finances: Feeling scared, empowered, ashamed, proud or angry?
As you review your feelings and reactions to financial choices, you may see patterns or habits you didn’t notice before. Once you define what is happening, you can make different decisions for a new result, just like my client John.