Money Problems: Overcoming Financial Loss
Written by: Jacqueline Osgood Renouard – BA (Psychology)
Last updated date : December 27, 2022
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In the last few years, a lot of us have suffered recent financial hardship, financial losses and new money problems. It can impact our self-worth, our mental health, as well as our ability to take care of ourselves.
As the journalist, George Horace Lorimer said, “It is good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good too, to check up once in a while and make sure you haven’t lost the things money can’t buy.”
Financial troubles can be a trigger to many of us, it can induce stress, put us into high alert mode, and even cause depression. It’s not an easy fix, there are no magic wands, no real get rich quick schemes. It takes coming face to face with our bank statements, and actively seeking a change.
The Effect of Debts on the Mind
Money problems can also affect a child’s sense of security, stability, and even IQ. So, when you hear someone state that “poor people are doing it to themselves.” I would politely say, hell no.
This study on the effects of poverty and the stress it induces showed that it literally altered kids’ brains. Poverty directly meant that children would be more likely to fail their school tests, which shows how severely it affects the mind.
These are learnt patterns of behaviour, negative thoughts that can be passed down from generation to generation. “Live poor, die poor,” is one I heard a lot growing up, “money is the root of evil,” many of these common phrases become rooted in the subconscious.
It then leads to recent financial hardships, not accepting your worth, allowing yourself to be underpaid, taking out loans, spending the money when you have it because of the scarcity mindset. And furthering the financial issues that you’re in.
Living from Paycheck to Paycheck
The solution depends on your circumstances, but asking for a promotion or working towards a career that pays more is a start.
How Covid Hurt Finances
If you’re one of these people, know that it isn’t your fault. No matter what your financial difficulties are, you are not to blame, and you’re not alone.
In fact, by 2021, around 698 million people around the world live in poverty.
We need to come to terms with the fact that the world has changed. The way in which people work is changing too, and we need to look objectively at the financial crisis at hand.
You need to also evaluate what it is that is blocking your opportunities, and that starts with self-reflection.
How Self-Worth Ties into New Money Problems
Because you are good enough, you are capable, and no matter how low your bank balance has become, you can bounce back from your money problems. You have the ability to assess what you’re spending your money on and decide to make different habits.
What services do you provide? Are they valuable? Who are you, and why do you feel that your self-worth is so low?
Instead of beating ourselves up, it’s time to take the time to sift through the bank balance. Time to cut out any unnecessary purchases, and grab any career opportunities that we can get.
Trigger – Belief – Result – Counter
Try to write them down like this, here is an example to get you started:
- Trigger: Looking at my bank statements scares me, and so does going out with friends who earn more than me.
- Beliefs: I feel a sudden rush to scrape any money I have together, I believe that I lack money and need to show that I do have enough by spending a lot.
- Result: Spending money I don’t have and fuelling the problem.
- Counter: I can tell people that I’m low on money, I can seek help, budget my spending, and work towards earning more.
This is a wonderful way to assess the issues at hand, and seek to resolve them. It offers us an objective perspective on our finances. These triggers can lead us to act out our insecurities, but you can get one step ahead of them by understanding them.
How to Reduce Financial Stress
MeditationIt’s talked about a lot, but meditation is a free tool to lower any kind of stress. You can find plenty of articles and YouTube videos on meditation, which will guide you through your recent financial hardship. What meditation does is make the mind, less reactive, and allow your nervous system a break from the stress.
A simple meditation you can do now is to notice what you’re sitting on whilst reading this, notice your feet on the ground, become aware of your body. Begin to notice any feelings that come up, or any thoughts, there’s no need to judge those feelings or thoughts, just remain in awareness. Lastly, notice your breathing, is it fast or slow? Begin to relax the muscles of the face, neck, shoulders and arms, body, legs and feet.
You can remain here, listening to the body and the world around you, or if you feel relaxed then carrying on with your day from this place is good too.
Rooting Out The Money ProblemsPrint out the last few months of bank statements if you can, or write down on paper what you’ve been spending on. It’s time to face the truth of our spending, and highlight what we don’t need. Get a highlighter and outline the things you’ve been buying that aren’t absolutely necessary. Any subscriptions that you can live without? Then actively cancel them or stop buying.
If your issue isn’t your spending, then is it the lack of job? What is stopping you from seeking out the right opportunities? Is it because going back to a different career feels like a step back? If so, why does it feel like that?
What plan can you make to get to the financial goals you have? Start to piece together what you need to do to get there.
HonestySocietal pressure can lead us to put on a show, “yes, I’m fine, work is going well.” Even if it’s not, and we’re watching any savings we had to dwindle. Don’t be afraid to tell your loved ones that you’re struggling, they may be willing to help.
Also, don’t lie to yourself, there’s nothing more detrimental than sweeping it under the carpet. You can solve this financial loss, it will take action.
30 Minutes Every DaySet aside 30 minutes to plan your future and solve any money problems. Whether that’s writing down where you want to be and how to get there. Or even picking up the phone, or emailing companies you want to work for.
You can also look at if there are any benefits you can claim in your area. Are there any schemes to help you? Any food banks in the area if you need that? There’s no shame in seeking help.
ExerciseYou don’t need a gym membership to move your body and nurture it properly. You may be worried about spending time for yourself, but it is never wasted. Outline when in the week you can go for a run, a long walk, do a free online exercise class.
It will reduce your stress, build your self-worth and confidence, which will, in turn, affect your ability to make money.
Think Of GrowthOnce you have a stable income and come out of your recent financial hardship, think of growing what you have instead of spending. It can be tempting to jump straight into spending everything on everyone you know. But think growing first, discover how you can invest a chunk of your earnings. Not so much in stocks, but in yourself.
What courses can you save up for that will make you worth more? Is there any side hustle can you build that will generate more money? What can you buy that will increase in value over time? How can you split your income so you can pay the essentials, invest in yourself, and save some as a safety cushion?
Don’t be afraid to open a savings account, then throw whatever you can afford into it, and tell yourself that you won’t touch it unless it’s an emergency. Then once you’ve achieved a nice safe amount of savings, then you can look into investing in index funds to ensure no future money problems.
You are Enough
Our circumstances always change, but if we learn from it, prepare for the next time it happens, we can find a financial balance. You are probably already aware of what you need to do, it is just about putting the time in to plan what you need to do.
Seek the help you need, plan what job you need right now, and go for it. Once you have that, save the money, pay off any debts slowly, and keep growing your money. Never stop learning about yourself, and you will see the light at the end of this financial tunnel.