You may have many friends and be able to talk about all sorts of different topics. But what about if you have a fear of money?
Talking about money often has a taboo element associated with it. In some families or social circles, it’s considered impolite to discuss anything to do with finances. On the other hand, it may be you who feels out of place or panicky during an actual conversation about money!
There’s a scientific term for the fear of money: Chrometophobia (also called Chrematophobia).
Do you find yourself worrying over:
- Whether you’ll be able to afford groceries this month
- What the total bill will be at a restaurant (and trying to hide your anxiety)
- Whether you’ll ever have “enough” saved
- Becoming destitute if you can’t get a job
- Having too much money, and how that would be bad or never happen for you — so you’ve given up trying to get a hold on your current financial situation
If so, then take a breath before reading the rest of our tips to help you on your journey with overcoming your negative feelings about finances.
Listen to Dan address this topic on Episode 468 of Optimal Finance Daily.
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1. Separate Yourself from Deep-Rooted Beliefs
Money is not exactly the best topic for a dinner table conversation. We worry about just how much to say and don’t want to brag or be seen as having “more” than we actually might have.
What's your family's approach to money?
Some of us grew up in an environment where there were frequent fights and arguments about money. As a child you may have picked up odd vibes about money if it was something that was spoken about in hushed tones, or if you were told outright that it was something not to be talked about.
You may also have parents or relatives who somehow gave the impression that money was “evil” or a bad thing.
While this isn’t meant to be a blog post against family, the fact is that our experiences during our formative years can leave a lasting impression that continues in our lives as adults. It can be a difficult and painful process to separate yourself from these early impressions.
The key is to be compassionate with yourself.
Instead of fixating on your fear of money, view dealing with it in terms of your personal growth and how you’ll become stronger and wiser in the process.
2. Make a List of Your Fear of Money
“When we dare to speak the truth about money, amazing healing begins.” – Bari Tesslar
Dealing with your money anxiety is similar to dealing with other fears. It doesn’t go away just because you don’t pay attention to it!
Have an action plan for your fear of money.
Focus on one thing at a time so that you don’t get overwhelmed. If you feel like you don’t have enough savings, decide how much you need for emergencies. If you feel like you’ll never make enough money, make a list of what you want and need.
Download a budgeting app like YNAB (You Need A Budget) to track every dollar that you’re spending. You can also check out personal finance software like Personal Capital to get a comprehensive view of your money.
David Weliver of Money Under 30 shares how ignoring your finances will end up hurting you.
He advises to write down your account balances and any debts, and take small steps to handle your finances. These steps include:
- Paying bills as soon as possible.
- Creating a budget.
- Creating a plan to get out of debt.
If you’re still overwhelmed, reach out for help. You can talk to trusted friends or your partner about money. It helps to learn more about how others deal with their finances. Try to find like-minded people who are committed to improving their finances.
Sometimes, your fear stems from negative beliefs that you keep repeating in your mind.
The following video is an interview between entrepreneurs Marie Forleo and Kate Northrup. It’s an interesting discussion about four money beliefs which limit your wealth.
3. List Why You Want Money
It’s not a bad thing to want money or to desire to build wealth.
The important thing is staying true to your values while you create and prioritize your financial goals.
Do you primarily want money for basic security needs? Are you saving up for travel, or to start a business one day? Or maybe you’re thinking long-term and want to ensure you have a college fund for your children without sacrificing your own retirement savings.
Your list is personal and will allow you to deeply understand what money can help you gain.
Charitable giving is something that many people incorporate into their wealth building plan. It might sound counterintuitive to “give” money when you’re actively building wealth. But donating or supporting a cause you are passionate about brings you happiness and a sense of purpose through helping others. It also helps you to be more mindful and appreciative of the money you’re earning and managing.
4. Stay Educated and Keep Learning
Don’t waste time and energy with regrets about “not starting earlier” on managing your finances.
It’s never too late to start learning and to keep improving.
Make a committed effort to become more confident with money matters.
Browse your library or online for recommended finance books.
If online learning fits your style, MoneyStrands has a hand-selected list of personal finance courses that you can take for free.
You could also check out magazines like Simple Money, which contain simple and practical financial advice to help you handle money more effectively.
“Don’t let fear control your finances. Keep a clear head and don’t let yourself become bound by fear.” – Kalen Bruce (Ep. 468 of Optimal Finance Daily)
Amy Peveto from The Financial Diet says that when it comes to money, she spent the first few years of her adult life keeping her head “buried in the sand.”
Looking back, she appreciates building up the courage to search for resources to deal with her fear of money.
For Amy, creating and sticking to a budget didn’t come without effort and multiple attempts to get right. She eventually found an app that she liked using. Some people may find that Excel or pen and paper works better.
Our podcast co-founder, Justin, personally uses and recommends the budgeting app, YNAB (You Need A Budget). The app helps you to track your expenses and make your financial goals a reality.
Do you have any money fears or limiting beliefs you’re trying to work through? Are you seeking an accountability buddy for some support on your personal finance journey? Feel free to post a comment and say hello via our friendly Facebook Group!