Facing Your Financial Fears


This is a guest post by Kelley C. Long.  She is a a nationally sought-after personal finance expert.  You can find and follow her on her KCL Money Coach website or at @kclmoneycoach on Twitter.


Everyone has fears. Most are reasonable, such as the fear of spiders, lightning or heights. We would probably share these tidbits about ourselves at a networking event without concern of excessive ridicule. But while fears relating to money and finances are among the most common, they are certainly the least shared. Imagine standing up and announcing to the world, "I'm scared to death because all my credit cards are maxed out." Not going to happen.

 

Financial Fears

Image courtesy of hyena reality / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


I firmly believe that money fears are a top reason for financial strife in this day and age — I see it all around me in my professional and personal life. Moreover, the fear of money can be crippling if not dealt with in a self-caring and effective way. 

So how does one face her fear of money and move beyond it to a healthy relationship with all things financial? Suze Orman’s book The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom includes a step about overcoming money fears that resonates with me.

 

Here’s how it Works

To begin, take a few minutes to contemplate and write down your fears about money. My fear was that I would not have enough money to do the things I wanted to do when I wanted to do them. There was a period years ago during which I attended every concert that caught my eye. It was not that all of my favorite musical artists happened to be on one season's line-up. It was my fear of missing the chance to see someone I might never have a chance to see again, even if it was Willie Nelson, whose only song I really know the words to is, "To All the Girls I've Loved Before." As you can imagine, this was an expensive remedy for my fear. 

The next step is to take a little trip down Memory Lane and determine where this fear was born. This may require a quiet time of introspection or even a conversation with a parent or sibling who knew you growing up. My fear came from growing up in a humble household where entertainment purchases were carefully weighed against household needs. My parents sacrificed a cushy bank account so that my mom could be home with us as children. Love, attention and guidance more than made up for the lack of concert tickets, but I'll probably never forget missing the New Kids on the Block on stage in 1989. 

Once you uncover the source of your fear, it is time to create what Orman refers to as your new truth about money or your "financial mantra." She gives three rules for writing your new truth: 

  1. Make it short enough so that you can remember it exactly, word for word, so that it’s easy for you to say, "I have more money than I will ever need." 
  2. Put your message in the present tense. The future begins with today: "I am in control of all of my affairs." 
  3. Make it an unlimited truth, to open the way to receive: "I am putting at least $200 a month into savings." 

My financial mantra is, "I have more than enough to enjoy each moment of my blessed life." Now, whenever I start to let money fears weigh me down, I revisit my mantra to re-center and loosen money's hold on my emotions and lifestyle. 

Please take the time to perform this exercise, even if you do not think you have financial fears. You might be surprised how it transforms your outlook on money and its place in your life. 

 

Question:  How is your relationship with money?   

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