Sometimes I Just Stop Reading

Here’s a little secret of mine – I love a GREAT story where the underdog conquers a seemingly impossible feat and triumphs over a beast that no one else was able to defeat. It’s why Hercules was one of my favorite movies growing up and why Mulan was so kickass.

It’s also why I love a great I paid off my student loan debt story.

But what kills me is that nine times out of ten, I actually can’t relate to the people who are spotlighted in the post. Most of the time, I’m left wondering why they had student loans in the first place. As a woman who spent a great majority of her childhood either in homeless shelters or couch-surfing in loved ones’ homes, I find myself shaking my head at a LOT of the posts that will give you “ten easy steps to get rid of debt. But I always tell myself that I will be able to find a nugget of wisdom and that is usually the case. Thankfully.

This post was inspired by four pieces I read yesterday. For every hypothetical question that the author asked, I found myself saying “No.” In the beginning, I kept muttering to myself, “I can’t really relate to your struggles of imaginary poverty,” but then something clicked.

Struggling with money has nothing to do with how you spend and everything to do with your understanding of how it works. That’s the whole reason there is a BOOMING industry that focuses on helping people get out from under their crushing debt and it’s the premise of (my now favorite financial) literacy book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki.

The more I read, the more questions I have. The more questions I have, the more I read. What that (unfortunately) means for some of my favorite blogs is that sometimes I just stop reading the posts. While they make me feel good (remember I love a great story), they lack the information that really speaks to people like me – formerly poor kids with great degrees and not so great careers who don’t have rich uncles.

Hopefully, this blog starts to help more of you who are like me by offering (1) explanations for how things work and (2) practical steps that you can relate to.

In the event that you ever find yourself not reading material all the way through, I hope you let me know.

-Fellow Underdog Slaying the Debt Giant

Removing Your Financially Emotional Baggage

In our society, money is usually tied to an emotion. If you are wealthy, it is tied to good emotions. If you are not wealthy, it is usually tied to bad emotions. If your feelings of money are tied to not-so-good emotions, this can be damaging to your self-esteem. If you have more negative ties to money, then I would put my money on the fact (not really) that you have tons of emotional baggage.

This post is to help you get past that so without further ado, I present “Three Ways to Work Past Your Financially Emotional Baggage”. Enjoy!

Three Ways to Work Past Your Financially Emotional Baggage

1. Pack light.

If it doesn’t have anything to do with you, don’t pick it up – especially if “picking it up” will mean damaging consequences later on. In a past life, my inability to pack light meant I would have to figure out how to make my extra limited dollars stretch to make sure I was “okay” after helping someone else out. Think of the times that your generosity meant that you covered a loved one’s bill or tab because they promise to pay you back and they don’t. In these instances, you should pack light by doing this on a more limited basis.

2. Make “No.” Your Friend

No is a powerful word and assists you in packing light. This tiny word has the ability to stop people in their tracks, yet a lot of us who have money problems have issues with using it. The reason we need to get over our hang ups about being seen as the “bxtch” or the “Scrooge” has more to do with our mental well-being than the damaging financial impact. If you ever think, “I can’t say no to this! I love this person too much!” just remember how “unloved” you feel when they don’t pay you back. Say no.

3. Be honest!

Honesty is the best policy and for good reason. To really get clear about why you behave the way you do when it comes to money, you have to be honest about why you spend the money. That means getting honest about how you feel when you spend the money AND they type of solution you are looking for when you do it. Looking back on my less-than-honest moments, I now understand money was my crutch to feel better and signal that I could buy nice things when I wanted. Honestly recognizing the way I’m feeling in a moment leads to me only spending money when I feel absolutely great when my mind is clear.

That’s it! Three (not so) simple steps to removing emotional baggage when it comes to your finances. Remember that working on a new mindset takes time, so you shouldn’t get too down on yourself if you slip up and act upon a deeply embedded impulse (habit).

What are some ways you find yourself lessening your emotional baggage?