Finances are an emotional thing. Finances are considered a #1 cause of stress. In combination, money and feelings, may get the better of us. We spend because we are happy. We spend because we are sad. We may not have been thinking clearly. After the spending event we realize we lived beyond our means. We lived beyond our spending plan. Who among us wants to confess? Feelings of guilt and shame can be roadblocks to getting back on track and reaching our financial goals. To deny them though has the opposite effect and gives them power over us.
Becoming aware is a first step to making changes and taking back control. Acronyms may help raise our awareness. What drove our motivation to spend? H.A.L.T. referring to Hurt, Angry, Lonely, Tired or Hungry, Angry Lonely, Tired. As the song says, “Feelings, nothing more than feelings …” Ha! As I said, becoming aware of our emotions is a first step in taking back control. There is a choice if we can step back from our emotions.
In financial coaching we talk about setting financial goals, why they matter, and working toward our goals to take control. This becomes an action plan. The action plan may include keeping a feeling journal and tracking spending. Useful tools that empower us in reaching our financial goals. The goal is to have control of our finances instead of our finances controlling us. There is hope. Reach out. Help is available.
The journey begins where you are at. Be gentle with yourself. And consider the next step …