How to Solve Financial Problems by Changing Your Attitude About Money
- Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Overcome the “I’ll fake it ‘til I make it” attitude. This attitude leads you to buy things simply because they’ll make you appear wealthy, rather than for their intrinsic value. Pray for the ability to overcome the psychological needs that may be fueling this behavior in your life (from wanting a personal sense of accomplishment through what you buy, to trying to impress other people socially through an image of wealth). Practice developing a contented attitude by regularly focusing on the good aspects of what you already have and diverting your thoughts away from what you don’t have. Ignore advertising as much as possible; instead, discern what you want for yourself, based on your own values.
Overcome the “I can’t afford it” attitude. If you feel guilt or shame when spending money, despite the fact that you actually can afford what you’re purchasing, you may be suffering from this attitude of excessive deprivation. Recognize that it’s okay to indulge in purchasing expensive items and experiences that are meaningful to you and won’t put you in debt. If your frugality is negatively impacting your life or your relationships with other people, ask God to help you become more generous. Then start a habit of giving more to others through your church and charities, and buying some things you’d especially enjoy for yourself.
Change the self-talk in your mind. Honestly examine the thoughts that run through your mind about money and challenge them regularly to discern whether or not they reflect biblical truth. If not, intentionally replace inaccurate, unhelpful thoughts about money with true and healthy thoughts.
Stand up to pressure to make unhealthy financial choices. Pray for the willpower you need to resist spending money irresponsibly again, and whenever you’re tempted, ask God to help you in that moment. Develop strategies to help you successfully manage your money well, such as closing every credit card except for one and paying mostly cash for your purchases. Remain committed to lasting change.
Create a spending plan. Plan how you intend to spend, give, and invest the money you have. This is similar to a budget, but rather than focusing on your financial constraints, a spending plan focuses on your financial goals. Include your predictable monthly expenses (such as groceries and utility bills), your predictable non-routine expenses (such as vacations and new clothes), and your unpredictable expenses (emergencies).
Pay off debt. Work diligently to pay off all of your debts by focusing on one debt at a time. List your debts in order of balances owed (regardless of interest rates), and then work your way through the list, paying off the lowest balance loans first and moving on – one by one – to the highest balance debts until they’re all paid in full.
Reduce your expenses going forward. Be creative about reducing your expenses as much as possible, from using coupons to buying different items during the seasons they’re on sale.
Hold yourself accountable. Track your expenses regularly and study where your money is going so you can keep adjusting your spending to reflect your values.
Adapted from Pocket Your Dollars: 5 Attitude Changes that will Help You Pay Down Debt, Avoid Financial Stress, and Keep More of What You Make, by Carrie Rocha, copyright 2013 by Pocket Your Dollars. Published by Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Minneapolis, Mn., www.bethanyhouse.com.
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