If you’re perpetually short on cash, underemployed, or in a deficit, it’s obviously just plain old money troubles, right? No way. Many of these issues are really self-esteem, trauma recovery, or scarcity mentality issues, according to financial therapists.
Getting to the emotional core of your money issues might help you make huge changes. Maybe you’re “bad with money” because your parents were, and you’re destined to follow in their footsteps. Or maybe you’re perpetually poor because you lack self-esteem and spending money on stuff helps you feel “good enough.”
Here’s what some of your financial issues may be. Money or… If You Want to Buy a House Next Year, Here Are 4 Steps You Must Take
A phobia of repeating one’s mistakes
We are destined to repeat the mistakes we’ve seen others around us make, according to Hanna J. Morrell, a holistic financial coach at Pacific Stoa Financial Wellness in Salem, Oregon.
The solution, says Morrell, is to shift your viewpoint and have the confidence to explore new options. If your parents or caregivers were bad with money, reverse their mistakes.
They bet everything on their big break, only to be disappointed again and again. Did they waste money or ignore emergencies? To avoid making the same errors, think about what went wrong and strive to make new choices.
Please be wary of money prospects that seem too good to be true. Prepare a budget and stick to it, or create an emergency fund immediately. This is how you may intentionally make alternative financial decisions.
The key to breaking the habit of repeating others’ financial blunders is to realize what’s going on.
What if you’re continually feeling “insufficient”? You’ll never get out of money troubles because you’ll never have enough money to pay your payments. Recognize it? “The scarcity mentality tells us we don’t have enough,” Morrell adds. “Is this transitory, or am I going to live this way for the rest of my life?” she advises her clients.
“Our brains under shortage and crisis (even a little crisis) tell us we’ll always feel this way,” Morrell says. “That this pain would never end. It helps to adjust perspective by gently asking oneself whether it will always be this. Change your attitude and you may make better decisions.”
Serendipitous Psychotherapy LLC’s Kelley Kitley, LCSW, believes the law of attraction is a self-fulfilling prophecy. “We attract what we believe we don’t have,” she explains. Affirming an abundant mindset may help us attract and flow abundance.
Make a list of things you value in your life instead of focusing on money troubles. This might be as basic as your bed, your daily coffee, or your capacity to walk. Basic needs are sometimes overlooked. Instead of focusing on the need, we might start focusing on plenty and find gratitude in everything.
What if being in debt or overspending had nothing to do with your love of shoes and trinkets, but rather your lack of self-esteem? If you don’t like yourself, you may purchase things to make yourself feel better. Author Erin Skye Kelly argues most human activities may be categorized into four categories:
- Things that aren’t pleasant yet are beneficial.
- Things that make us feel wonderful.
- Things sound nice yet bad.
- Things that make us feel bad and harm us.
Self-esteem issues, she explains, are frequently caused by bad behaviors number 3 and 4—basically, bad things for you (money troubles such as overspending, getting into debt, not saving, not budgeting). “More hobbies or habits in categories 1 and 2 will boost your self-esteem,” Kelly explains.
Saving money is beneficial for us. Paying off debt is desirable yet unpleasant. Budgeting is difficult yet worthwhile. Once you’ve established these behaviors, they begin to boost your self-esteem, causing you to abandon bad financial practices.
Underlying Traumas Causing Money Troubles
Most people face financial concerns such as job loss, inflation, trouble saving, and systemic issues. Then there’s the stress caused by money issues. Financial troubles are complicated by trauma, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or sickness, says Annie M. Varvaryan, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at Couch Conversations Psychotherapy and Counseling, Inc. in Montrose, Calif.
You may be dealing with the trauma by overstocking your wardrobe or house. You may be coping by avoiding opening or paying bills. To cope, Varvaryan cites overspending and reckless financial judgments. They’re a diversion from the true issue. Buying items provides the brain with a reward and a temporary “high” to help avoid suffering. The easiest approach to determine whether your money troubles are due to unprocessed trauma is to identify the behaviors and determine if you’re doing them to avoid thinking about the trauma.
“Once conscious of their situation, people may evaluate whether or not it is beneficial to their recovery process by asking themselves: Am I actually mending by purchasing new things? What do I need to do to heal? Using money to reward myself in a more organized manner without disregarding my sentiments or prior experiences “Varvaryan says.
When you’re ready, you may start doing things like spending more time in nature, interacting with people you love, writing in a notebook for 15 minutes every day, listening to music, or seeing a therapist. Psychotherapy may help individuals with traumatic pasts understand the consequences of their experience and develop methods to cope rather than resort to negative financial habits.