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What keeps you broke? Is it your thoughts your actions or both?
As humans, we experience an array of emotions. In any given day we can be happy, sad, angry, jealous, envious and more. And, we can switch between these emotions in a split second.
But certain emotions can lead to out of control spending and a desire to covet something you don’t already own.
These emotions can make and keep you broke if you don’t understand their effects and how to combat them.
THE EMOTIONS THAT KEEP US BROKE
In the age of social media and reality TV, we are inundated with pictures, videos, and headlines of the rich and famous. Couple that with being closely connected to family and friends via the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and it’s a recipe for jealousy.
All this ‘sharing’ can lead people to feel pangs of jealousy at other people’s financial success.
You’re working to make ends meet, driving back and forth to work in an old beat up car ready to sputter its last breath, when you see your sister announce on Facebook, the brand new car her husband just bought for her.
If you do, use those feelings to spur you into action to create a plan to boost your income. You can save for the things you need and want. Make it the reason you create, work at and reach your financial goals.
Back in the day when I was spending money recklessly, I was often shocked at my credit card statements. I’d open the envelope, see the balance due and the amount accrued in the month and wonder what the heck I had purchased.
Impulse purchases can have serious and sometimes devastating and long-lasting consequences on your budget.
Impulse spending usually occurs when we are triggered by something in our daily lives that makes us feel the urge to fill ourselves up and make ourselves feel better. The key is to understand what your individual triggers are and how you can combat those feelings and redirect it to something healthier.
Impulse spending is a dysfunctional response to life circumstances.
Have you ever said, “I’ll start saving for retirement next month?”
If you didn’t follow through, your procrastination could really be hurting you.
Putting money aside for an emergency fund or for retirement is a key activity to prevent you from going broke.
Without an emergency fund, you’ll continue to use credit cards to manage a crisis. If you fail to save for retirement, you’ll find yourself in a dire financial situation when you’re old and no longer capable of working.
Either way, you’re hurting yourself and keeping yourself broke.
Consider setting up automatic withdrawals into your retirement and savings account to ensure you’re protecting yourself and your family.
Another way procrastination hurts you and keeps you broke is in the bill paying process.
Paying your bills in a timely fashion affects your credit, which in turn affects the interest rate you’re able to get when you go to purchase a home.
If your credit is less than stellar, taking the time to repair it will benefit you in the long run and ensure you’re not wasting money paying higher interest fees.
Yes, guilt can make you broke for two reasons.
First, sometimes people feel guilty for making more money than their family or friends. They’re afraid how their new-found wealth will be perceived by others. It keeps them from going out and making more money. I know it sounds crazy, but it is true.
We can find out selves so consumed with how others will react to us we unconsciously keep our earnings at a similar level to those around us.
Second, guilt tends to create circumstances whereby you feel you need to give money away to other people. Your guilt spurs you to give away your money in such large amounts you almost have nothing left for yourself. You don’t feel worthy of the money, so instead, you give it to others.
Both of these issues are complicated, but creating a financial plan and committing to it is a great way to combat these behaviors.
Set up a section of your budget that allows spending on others. If you find yourself regularly picking up the tab when out with friends, invite them over for dinner instead.
Don’t let your emotions get the best of you and sabotage your finances.
The best way to ensure you stick to your plan is to create it first and make the commitment to stick with it no matter what emotions come your way. In this way, you’ll be combating the reasons that keep you broke so you can finally get out debt.