Whether it’s investment risk, running out of money, or just facing monthly bills, many of us have fears that can make us feel overwhelmed — even paralyzed — when it comes to money matters. In this guest post in our “5 Things” series, financial coach Imelda Villalobos and group therapist Zoe Gillis have five concrete ways you can start stepping beyond your money fears to live the life you desire and deserve.
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Do you ever feel like the world of finances is over your head? Or perhaps you want to learn more but you don’t know where to start and feel overwhelmed? You’re not alone.
A Fidelity research study found that “only 47% of women say they would be confident discussing money and investing with a financial professional on their own.” As women we get a lot of messages about money, and many of them are not self-esteem boosters.
We have put together a list of 5 tips to help you build your money confidence and move beyond your financial fears.
- Lay it all out.
Getting organized helps you build a clear picture of where you’re at and where you want to go. Whether it’s in an Excel document, through online programs like Mint.com, or in a notebook, begin to track where your money is coming from and where it’s going. Often fears come from the unknown. By starting the process of tracking and planning, you can begin to make the unknown known and reduce anxiety.
- Set a “Money Date.”
When you have a scary financial task in front of you, it’s important to find ways to bring in comfort and fun. A money date is a great way to reframe a scary task into a form of self-care. Break out a glass of wine, some yummy snacks, or go to a nice café. Begin to associate looking at your finances and facing those scary tasks as a way to make sure you feel at ease and healthy. Just like meditation is a way to slow things down and put intentional time aside to just be, a money date is a way to slow things down and put your focused attention on your finances.
- Identify your fear.
If you know what you need to do and find that you’re not doing it, this is the time to name the fear. Resistance is a sure sign that fear is in the house and needs some attention. Write down all the things that are getting in the way of taking your next financial step. Next, identify what the fear is underneath each resistance. This is where meditation, journaling, going to workshops, talking to a friend, and other forms of reflection can be really helpful.
- Transforming fear into love.
After you have identified some of the fears, it is important to reconnect to the "Why?". Why is money important to you? What do you like about the way you have handled money up to this point? What kind of messages to you want to give to yourself and others about money? Reconnecting to the greater purpose of why you want to build a healthy relationship with money is going to be the fuel that will keep you motivated and inspired.
- Talk about it.
If we are going to change the statistic mentioned above, then we have to be the change. Talk about money with your friends; take the risk and call a financial planner for a consult; push yourself to talk about a money topic that is outside of your comfort zone. As women we have a lot of power, and it is important that we come together with compassion and curiosity to dispel myths and shame that often go along with conversations about money.