We live in a culture that encourages debt and denies the lost art of delaying gratification. And, like color that fades on a cheap paint job, the repercussions of this lifestyle are beginning to show.
For example, researchers at Ohio State University in Columbus have found that high levels of income-eating debt, especially big credit-card bills, may be related to high blood pressure, insomnia and even problems with physical mobility, vision and hearing. Additionally, a recent survey shows that the overall, number one, greatest source of stress is personal finances. And, what do couples and business partners report that they fight about most often? Money.
Money is a hot-button issue for the majority of people these days. Everybody, it seems, has money issues, whether it is concern about the lack of resources or the fear of losing it. Many men and women experience a debilitating lack of confidence about supporting themselves, their children and their parents, while also trying to provide for their own secure retirement.
Meanwhile, we are showered with seductive messages to “Buy Now, Pay Later.” Which many of us do. Then we have to work harder to keep up with payments, which causes even more stress. For everyone involved.
Because the language of money is complex it is also subject to misinterpretation. Often it is the earliest messages we received about money that influence our current beliefs. So, one of the first steps in dealing with money issues is to check out old ideas that continue to shape our attitudes and behavior.
Personal and professional partners, who may have grown up with different values about money, need to talk about their beliefs. Not who is right and who is wrong, but what their basic beliefs are. According to the Institute of Certified Financial Planners, by better understanding our attitudes and values toward money, we may be more able to regain control of our money instead of letting it continue to control us.
Many books on how to deal with financial issues are available, and seeking wise counsel from professionals such as banks, consumer financial agencies, financial planners and advisors, and accountants, is always a good idea.
Meanwhile, here’s a Baby Step you can take to begin identifying and shifting any self-destructive attitudes you may have about money. Explore replacing a few of your counterproductive money beliefs with this simple four-fold commitment:
1: I am grateful for all the good in my Life.
2: I am a responsible steward of my time, talent and money.
3: I live within my means.
4: I plan and save for my future.