Many people base their financial decisions on their emotions. This can be dangerous.
In fact, one of the main causes of debt is self-esteem issues. Often, debt can’t be eliminated by only fixing the financial. The emotional must be addressed as well.
And it isn’t easy.
The first thing you have to learn is that you must use credit wisely. You might be using it to boost your self esteem, but it often works the other way. Instead of helping you emotionally, it will drain you. P.T. Barnum said that debt robs a man of his self-respect.
Just think about how you feel when the credit card bill comes in. Think how you feel seconds after signing the receipt for a truly frivolous purchase. Your spirits might be temporarily lifted, but then the regret and shame sets in.
You can avoid this by simply not turning to your credit cards. Start learning how to live within your means.
When families become stressed by financial difficulties, they tend to fall apart. There can be yelling, fighting and stress between partners. Credit cards can lead to lying about shopping, lying about usage and lying about what bills are and aren’t paid on time.
When you are in debt, your whole life can begin to feel as if it is falling apart. Taking steps to get out of it will help you get not only your finances in order, but your family as well.
You will also find that there is more pleasure in seeing a large amount of savings than there is in seeing a large spending bill. Start a consistent savings plan. Watch it grow. The more it grows, the more you will want to contribute.
The greatest lesson to learn from debt is in learning from your mistakes. Experience is a great teacher. Make it your mantra not to repeat your financial mistakes. But you should also take the time to invest a little in educating yourself. Read articles, go to counseling and talk with your friends about their experiences.
It will take time, hard work and sacrifice. But the emotional rewards are far better than the material.
Start with sitting down with your partner and discussing the situation, both emotional and financial. If you become heated in the discussion, walk away for a time. Don’t try to hash it all out at once, do it only one hour at a time. This keeps you fresher and less emotional.
Separate your spending from your feelings of worth. Ask yourself why you spend. I know that I overspend frequently partly because I’m afraid I won’t have the things I need. I grew up without much money and am afraid of returning there. I didn’t see that the spending was putting me in that situation, not removing me from it.
It isn’t complicated. Usually the emotional reasons are just below the surface. You need to bring them up, get rid of them and move on. Your finances depend on it.