Money is one of those topics that are absolutely necessary to talk about, but are extremely hard to do so. Whether you are discussing bills with your parents whom you live with or merely trust for advice, your roommate, or your spouse, it can be an uncomfortable topic and bring about negative feelings about finances. However, these negative feelings that creep up when money is mentioned are possible signs that there is something deeper to the awkwardness of the conversation, besides the point that you are sharing a very personal aspect of your life. Find out the different meanings these feelings can prove, as well as how to deal with them and how to use negative feelings about finances to your advantage.
Feeling Defensive About Financial Advice
When you receive financial advice, whether solicited or not, it is a normal reaction to feel offended and irritated. You wonder why the other person has the audacity to think they know how to run your life better than you. And you usually feel that the advice is irrelevant to your situation. For example, suppose your friend tells you that they think you should sell some of your antique collection to help you pay off bills and save money. Doesn’t your friend know how valuable those items are to you? Selling those items would be a terrible idea! Or would it?
Often times, defensive feelings point to a possible iota of truth to the other person’s suggestions. It is important to step back for a moment and think of the validity of others’ suggestions in a rational way. It is important to recognize the negative feelings about finances and retrain your thought. Here are some good questions to ask yourself when assessing these defensive thoughts.
- Why Is This Upsetting Me? Is it because you feel misunderstood or that the suggestion didn’t fit your situation?
- Is It Possible That You Are Missing The Point? Your friend probably was not really suggesting that you sell your antique collection. He or she may be suggesting finding possible ways to either cut your spending and/or increase your income.
- Is There A Way This Could Actually Apply To Me? Take an honest look at your finances and see if there are areas where you could reduce your spending (such as on unnecessary antique item purchases, as in the above example), or finding ways to earn extra money, such as a second job.
Sometimes we as individuals depend too heavily on other peoples’ opinions of us. We are worried what they may think when they see us buying new clothes for ourselves or going on a much-needed vacation. However, what outsiders do not see is the sacrifice that is made in foregoing other pleasures in order to save up for the most precious ones. For instance, the outsider may see you as someone who spends above their means, but they do not realize that you have been eating bologna sandwiches every day for lunch for the past 6 months and setting that money aside to be able go to the upcoming concert.
Before you are quick to dismiss these negative feelings about finances and feelings of judgment, be sure the other person is not justified in coming to their decision. Ask yourself the following questions to assess whether or not you are faced with a know-it-all or with someone who might have the advantage of an outsider looking in.
- Does The Other Person Have All The Facts? Ask this question to determine whether or not the person is justified in their concern.
- Do I Trust Their Judgment? If you do, seriously consider their voiced opinion. If not, move on.
- Should I Give This Type Of Spending More Thought? It is wise to rethink your spending habits, particularly if it is an unusual purchase for you, whether in the amount or the type.
The stock market naturally waxes and wanes on a daily basis. It can also be expected to feel a surge of panic come over you when you see the stock market on the down turn. However, experts say that it is important to stay in the market for the long haul instead of bailing at every sign of a decline.
Some people sell at the slightest hint of a down turn. Others merely avoid looking at their portfolio. Both constitute negative feelings about finances, and neither is a wise choice in handling the uneasy feeling you get from this natural market event. Instead, use those negative feelings about finances you have to motivate you to invest. When the market is low and not doing as well, use that time to invest. Stock prices will be much lower at that time. Then when the market goes back up, you can either glean in the fact that you bought at such a great price, or choose to sell and make a nice profit for yourself.
Negative feelings about finances don’t have to be negative. Use them as a catapult to take action. Listen to those negative feelings and get to the root of the feelings. Not doing so will eventually lead to headaches. Avoid those headaches and listen to your gut instinct-it will never lead you in the wrong direction.