This article I’ve decided to tackle something that affects us all but is never spoken about until it’s too late. The link between money and your emotions. It’s a seldom acknowledged reality that money has an effect on your emotional state. I’m not just speaking about the dire sadness you feel when you can’t afford your favourite treat either. Let’s look at a few particular examples;
Money is a drug
Ever received a huge windfall or closed that deal? Maybe it’s not something so dramatic, it may just be your salary hitting your bank? It’s not unusual to suddenly feel very confident about money. You may start to feel bold, almost invincible and this often when you are prone to making those poor life choices. The binge-drinking session you couldn’t afford, buying that object or gadget which you regret a month down the line and so on. Money manipulates your emotions.
Sleeping with a broken heart is hard, sleeping with the knowledge you have money in the bank is damn near impossible. If your reaction to what I’m saying is “I know right!” there’s hope for you. Don’t despair. It’s important to both acknowledge what you feel and that it’s normal to have this feeling. I have a few practical tips I’d like to share to help combat this specific problem.
The 90-day rule
This one is for your big purchases. If you really want to buy something put it on a list and the date of listing next to it. Wait a full 90 days before buying the item. If that thing is still on your list in 90 days then it’s something you really want or need. It helps combat poorly thought out expenditures. I use this religiously.
Be honest when planning
If you don’t have some sort of budget or spending plan please go and make one RIGHT NOW. I’ve seen many a budget in my life and one common mistake I’ve seen is not planning in reality. Look if you love a Friday night out and love to participate with your wallet don’t be afraid to put that in your budget. A budget not drafted in reality is useless after all.
Employ an expense tracker.
I know it’s retroactive but looking back can give you much greater insight on who you really are both in the presence and absence (if it ever gets to that) of money than the best-intentioned plans and budgets. They come in the form of many simple and free apps you can load on your phone and go. The first time I put myself through this exercise I learned that I spent 16% of my money on gifts and 8% on what I call bad habits – things I had no business doing in the first place.
Write yourself a letter
I sincerely hope you never hit rock bottom but if you do there’s a silver lining to the cloud. You somehow make your best financial plans when you’re in the worst financial condition. Look all around and. The stories of many real-life rags to riches stories have that part where they hit rock bottom and made decisions that forever changed their lives. Imagine if your future self with money could use the wisdom from your broke self? Well, that’s the point here. Make resolutions and write yourself a note or a letter telling yourself how you will do better in future and if you’re brave the things to spend on and not to spend on. A list is cool but I believe a letter captures the emotion, not just the ideas.
Sleep on it
Finally, try sleeping on it. Look it’s no exaggeration to say that sleeping when you know your ecocash is about to burst is a task. But you’ve got plans and you’re going to be rich, nay, wealthy soon. So it’s important to get some practice in right now for your soon to be life. Next time you get an unexpected windfall or money hits the bank I challenge you to sleep just one night before spending it. Just one night.
Have you ever given much thought to your emotions around money?