bad with money

You need to stop thinking that you're bad with money. I've got a way for you to do that.

“I am not good with money.” Has this thought ever scrolled through your mind?

Or perhaps the thought, “I'm bad with money.”

Maybe it pops up after reading one of those debt payoff success stories — very inspiring, yet when you look at your own situation you think it could probably never happen.

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Or after getting another surprising-yet-not-surprising credit card statement where you fruitlessly thumb through your minds' archives to figure out how the heck you managed to spend that much.

Or anytime you look at your 401(k)/retirement account statements, or see one of those posh-looking Dow tickers when checking up on your favorite news site.

The thing is, you're not alone. And your ‘condition' is not permanent.

Feeling empowered about your money — like you can make it do the things that you want it to do to support your life — doesn't just happen.

I didn't start life out knowing how to roll store credits, get my credit cards to send me refunds, or determine if now might be an opportune time to purchase X stock. As a toddler, mastering feeding myself a fistful of cheerios was a lot more worthy a goal (not to mention an easier one) than mastering my paycheck deductions.

And it certainly doesn't just happen because you have lots of it — even some people who inherit their wealth can have the same limiting belief because they don't understand where it came from, how it was earned, what to do with it, when it might run out, etc. Why do you think so many people in high positions go bankrupt?

Pssst: you probably want to check out my post on money mindsets

Conversely, earning little money is hardly a testament to whether or not you're “good with money.”

I assure you that feeling like you're bad with money is a problem straddling all paycheck sizes.

Here's the thing. Unless you want to start next year feeling the exact same way, it's time to tackle this sub-par opinion of your money skills. Here's how:

Decide that You are Going to Do This

There's likely money tasks you've been ignoring due to other, more important things (like needing to clean the lint out of your dryer vent). But probably mostly due to feeling like you're bad with money.

So you first must decide that you're ready to move forward. I promise, making this decision is half the battle. And even more so than that, tell yourself this, “No matter what, I'm going to work through this until it's finished and I have a handle on my finances.”

Repeat.

Again.

Let the Sticky Residues Rise to the Surface

If things are out of order and a bit of a mess — which happens to the best of us — then you likely don't know all of the sticky money residues that need to be cleaned up and dealt with.

Don't fear!

By rolling up your sleeves and starting somewhere, the sticky money tasks you've been avoiding will naturally rise to the surface and you'll have a clear road map.

Ask the Questions You Need to

Ask any of my former classmates or coworkers about me, and they will probably remember this one key trait: she asks a lot of questions (you may or may not get a side of eye roll with their response).

By asking the mental obstacle-inducing questions that have popped up, you will have the information you need. When you've got that, there's no stopping you. It will feel much easier to take the next step.

Stay in Motion

A body in motion tends to stay in motion (just look at Forrest Gump's trek across the United States).

So no matter what — even if you think you're bad with money — you've got to keep moving. Move, progress, ask questions, and don't let things get too dusty in between getting those answers and implementing. Your future self thanks you greatly!

3 replies
  1. Don @ Breath of Optimism
    Don @ Breath of Optimism says:

    Getting to the root of the problem is the only way to overcome it. That is why so many get into credit card debt, dig themselves out, only to be back in debt again. They never got to the root of the problem. It’s not always easy to so, but it is something you have to do if you want success.

  2. Jack @ Enwealthen
    Jack @ Enwealthen says:

    We all have our limiting beliefs, especially about money.

    If you think you don’t, you’re not looking hard enough.

    Personally, I struggle with the limiting belief that I’m not going to be able to retire, let alone retire early. Given the poor state of our economy, our politics, and our welfare system, it’s hard to imagine there being any money left for me when I reach retirement age. And no matter how much I plan and save, the numbers are frightening. But still I soldier on, fighting the financial fight, with the knowledge that I’ll reach the finish line one day whether I’m ready or not, so it behooves me to be as ready as possible before that day arrives.

    • Amanda
      Amanda says:

      I love what you said, “fighting the financial fight”. Woohoo! The retirement issue can be discouraging for sure. On the other hand, just being aware of the complexities and money behind it means you’re ahead of many others.

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