Although money matters may seem like a practical concern, money is the most discussed topic of disagreement in American marriages. It’s no wonder then, that a study published by the American Psychological Association, found money and work to be the leading causes of stress in the American household.

Millions of people underestimate the emotional aspects of money. It’s this deep-rooted emotion that is often the reason people have tension-causing encounters when it comes to their personal finances. Stressful memories from childhood have an enormous impact on how our attitudes about money are shaped as adults. Almost every person at some time in their adult life has used money to distract themselves from other facets of their lives, which in turn, only makes them feel bad about themselves – about money.

Our critical inner voice can seriously complicate our relationship with money. On one hand your inner voice induces guilt or anxiety for spending money on frivolous items when you ‘reward’ yourself, while on the other hand, this same inner voice encourages you to buy your reward because you’ve earned it. This type of thinking is what leads to addictive or destructive money behaviors and creates money conflicts between couples.

In order to take control and become financially independent, you’ll need to identify your point of view about money. Begin by separating your behaviors and attitudes that you dislike. This will help you differentiate your unhealthy influences and destructive behaviors that may very well be the cause of your current money conflicts. Here is how you can get started:

  • Make money goals and then steps to achieving those goals. Write down each goal and check that they are achievable. If you slip along the way, don’t become paranoid or harsh with yourself. Focus on the present and keep going.
  • Find people you admire and use them as models. If your parents were lousy with money, it’s okay to not model your spending and saving habits after them. This is the time to shed characteristics you have and dislike about money, characteristics that you likely learned early in your life.
  • With change comes anxiety, so when you begin to feel anxious about your financial situation, remind yourself that buying something you cannot afford will not make you feel better. However, denying yourself all luxuries will also not bring you relief. Find a happy median.
  • Become more mindful of your money thoughts. If you feel yourself going off track, listen to your inner voice and learn to resist any bad advice it feeds you.

Although we cannot control or change the economy, we can control and change our money habits by changing our attitude and reshaping our behavior towards our money goals. Remember, you are not going to get rich from what you earn; you will get rich from what you save.

 

Article Author: Smiljan Mori is the founder of MindOver™ Network, Brilliant solutions for Performance, Motivation and Happiness. He is also the creator of Financial Independence Academy TM , the Kitepreneur NetworkTM and Kitepreneur Business Success AcademyTM. He has literally created a successful business and coaching empire from scratch and is a best-selling author and motivational speaker who brings unparalleled professional experience and the latest scientific research from neuroscience and positive psychology to audiences around the globe. He has shown more than 150,000 people from 50 countries how to change their lives for the better.

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Article References:
Motivaction For Life by Smiljan Mori
American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2011/final-2011.pdf
American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/money.aspx
Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201305/why-we-use-money-feel-bad-about-ourselves

Photo Source: courtesy of Stuart Miles / Free Digital Photos