Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

I asked a financial therapist how keep my money anxiety from holding me back, and she had 3 pieces of advice<!-- wp:html --><p class="headline-regular financial-disclaimer">Our experts answer readers' investing questions and write unbiased product reviews (<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/investing-rating-methodology" class="not-content-link" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here's how we assess investing products</a>). Paid non-client promotion: In some cases, we receive a commission from <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/our-partners" class="not-content-link" target="_blank" rel="noopener">our partners</a>. Our opinions are always our own.</p> <p>Jen Glantz.</p> <p class="copyright">Gaby Deimeke</p> <p>I asked a financial therapist how to get past my money anxiety.She gave me strategies to help me spend more without guilt.She also suggested ways to tackle my fears of combining finances with my partner and of moving money.</p> <p><span>A few months ago, I decided to do a deep dive into my finances. </span></p> <p><span>I noticed that a wave of fear came over me whenever it came time to make financial decisions, from entering into new investments to closing old accounts. That's why I decided to meet with financial therapist </span><a target="_blank" href="https://financialtherapyassociation.org/financial-therapist/dr-erika-rasure/" rel="noopener"><span>Dr. Erika Rasure</span></a><span>, to figure out how I can handle anxieties I have around making crucial money decisions. </span></p> <h2><span>The problem: I get anxious about spending money</span></h2> <p><span>When I opened up to Dr. Rasure about a few of my biggest money habits and fears, from not having enough cash in an </span><a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/what-is-an-emergency-fund" rel="noopener"><span>emergency fund</span></a><span> to being a very cautious spender, she shared that a lot of our money habits are formed by age 7 or 8. </span></p> <p><span>"First start to understand what your boundaries are with money versus the boundaries other people taught you that you might not agree with," she said.</span></p> <p><span>She shared with me a series of questions to think through: What money habits did I pick up from my parents that I want to move away from? Which ones do I want to keep? This helped me identify that my hesitancy to spend money on things comes from how I watched my parents cautiously spend when I was a kid. </span></p> <p><span>While budgeting and saving money is a financial value I want to keep, limiting the things I buy, especially when those things are crucial and affect my health and safety (for example, medicines not covered by insurance or a security camera for my apartment) really holds me back.</span></p> <h3><span>The solution: Rewrite my money scripts</span></h3> <p><span>"Rewriting our money scripts has the benefit of providing us clarity around why we do what we do," she said. "Two common money scripts are 'I don't deserve money' and 'there is never enough money.' If you are feeling guilty about spending, you can clarify your thoughts within the context of these money scripts," she continued, "and learn to dig a bit deeper about how your feelings about spending money are associated with money scripts you have acquired in your lifetime."</span></p> <p><span>For example, Dr. Rasure said that since I was told by my parents that I should be extra cautious when spending money on myself, that I might have a hard time as an adult spending money on things that enhance my life. Plus, she noticed that when I do spend money on these things, I feel guilty or selfish.</span></p> <p><span>In the last few weeks, whenever I've put off buying something I really needed because it was expensive, I turned to these questions and scripts to help me find answers. </span></p> <p><span>My baby was congested and I wanted to buy her a nebulizer that was around $45. Because of the price point, I put off getting it. But then I started to process that I was turning to old habits and instead started to tell myself that this was something she needed (no other home remedies worked) and this was something we could afford. It helped me take action faster and buy the product for my baby.</span></p> <h2><span>The problem: I'm scared to move my money</span></h2> <p><span>When I did my most recent money audit, I noticed that there were a lot of financial moves I was planning on making months ago that I didn't do because I was scared. I wanted to sell individual stocks that I bought years ago and also move money out of a savings account that was yielding very low interest. I felt stuck and unable to make these simple money movements and I wanted to know why.</span></p> <p><span>Dr. Rasure suggested it could be because I have a bit of decision paralysis going on, which leads me to overthink my choices a bit to the point where it is seemingly more comfortable to do nothing than anything.</span></p> <p><span>"Fear is a motivator to stay stuck," she said. "The first thing to do is stop and slow down and work through the fear. Figure out what's stopping you from making these decisions: Is it lack of education, procrastination, or a mindset you're carrying from your past?"</span></p> <h3><span>The solution: Take small steps forward</span></h3> <p><span>She shared that once you pinpoint the why behind feeling stuck, you can take a small step forward.</span></p> <p><span>For example, I haven't sold my individual stocks because I don't know what I want to do with the money once it's out of the market. She advised researching investments at a risk level I'm comfortable with, meeting with a </span><a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-online-financial-advisors" rel="noopener"><span>financial advisor</span></a><span> for advice, or putting it someplace safe (like a </span><a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-high-yield-savings-accounts-rates-right-now" rel="noopener"><span>high-yield savings account</span></a><span>) until I'm ready to do something else.</span></p> <p><span>"Identify the fear, figure out what triggers it, and then choose an action that you're comfortable with," Dr. Rasure said. "To make progress happen, when you're fighting fear, think small and celebrate the baby steps along the way."</span></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/how-to-find-financial-advisor" rel="noopener"><em>Finding a qualified financial advisor</em></a><em> doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to three fiduciary financial advisors in your area in minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.</em><a target="_blank" href="https://smartasset.com/retirement/find-a-financial-planner?utm_source=businessinsider&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=bus__falc_bicontent&utm_content=BI" rel="noopener"><em> Start your search now.</em></a></p> <h2>The problem: I'm worried about combining finances with my partner</h2> <p>I expressed to Dr. Rasure that one of the biggest things I want to work on is feeling more comfortable about combining finances with my partner. We've been married for almost three years and have a baby. We keep 90% of our finances separate. We only have one joint <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-checking-accounts" rel="noopener">checking account</a> and joint credit card. </p> <p>A big reason why I'm hesitant to comingle our money is that I'm scared I'll lose financial independence and not have a safety net of cash to fall back on in case something happens in our marriage. However, I haven't been upfront with my partner about why I'm feeling this way.</p> <p>"A good first step is to be vulnerable with your partner about why you're scared to lose your autonomy over money by merging your finances," she said. "Rather than combine all of your finances and feel guilt or shame doing that, you can work to find a common ground."</p> <h3>The solution: Talk openly and create combined goals</h3> <p>She advised that we create mutual financial goals as a married couple and then work backwards in smaller steps to help get us there. She also suggested that we examine our financial values as married partners and as individuals and use those values to frame our goal creation.</p> <p>Dr. Rasure also emphasized that it's important to check in with our values and goals on a regular basis to ensure that they are still a priority, as they can change as we experience life.</p> <p>"Being flexible and creative, along with being authentic and vulnerable, can keep lines of communication open and reduce the likelihood that resentment will build up," Dr. Rasure said. "You might decide in this conversation that for the next year, you're going to work on getting toward combining 75% of your finances. Or you might decide that keeping 90% of your finances separate is the right thing for you. The most important thing is that you and your partner know what the expectations are and why you're doing the things you are doing so you can do them together — and not in the dark."</p> <div class="read-original">Read the original article on <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/financial-therapist-money-anxiety-advice-2023-10">Business Insider</a></div><!-- /wp:html -->

Our experts answer readers’ investing questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess investing products). Paid non-client promotion: In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners. Our opinions are always our own.

Jen Glantz.

I asked a financial therapist how to get past my money anxiety.She gave me strategies to help me spend more without guilt.She also suggested ways to tackle my fears of combining finances with my partner and of moving money.

A few months ago, I decided to do a deep dive into my finances.

I noticed that a wave of fear came over me whenever it came time to make financial decisions, from entering into new investments to closing old accounts. That’s why I decided to meet with financial therapist Dr. Erika Rasure, to figure out how I can handle anxieties I have around making crucial money decisions.

The problem: I get anxious about spending money

When I opened up to Dr. Rasure about a few of my biggest money habits and fears, from not having enough cash in an emergency fund to being a very cautious spender, she shared that a lot of our money habits are formed by age 7 or 8.

“First start to understand what your boundaries are with money versus the boundaries other people taught you that you might not agree with,” she said.

She shared with me a series of questions to think through: What money habits did I pick up from my parents that I want to move away from? Which ones do I want to keep? This helped me identify that my hesitancy to spend money on things comes from how I watched my parents cautiously spend when I was a kid.

While budgeting and saving money is a financial value I want to keep, limiting the things I buy, especially when those things are crucial and affect my health and safety (for example, medicines not covered by insurance or a security camera for my apartment) really holds me back.

The solution: Rewrite my money scripts

“Rewriting our money scripts has the benefit of providing us clarity around why we do what we do,” she said. “Two common money scripts are ‘I don’t deserve money’ and ‘there is never enough money.’ If you are feeling guilty about spending, you can clarify your thoughts within the context of these money scripts,” she continued, “and learn to dig a bit deeper about how your feelings about spending money are associated with money scripts you have acquired in your lifetime.”

For example, Dr. Rasure said that since I was told by my parents that I should be extra cautious when spending money on myself, that I might have a hard time as an adult spending money on things that enhance my life. Plus, she noticed that when I do spend money on these things, I feel guilty or selfish.

In the last few weeks, whenever I’ve put off buying something I really needed because it was expensive, I turned to these questions and scripts to help me find answers.

My baby was congested and I wanted to buy her a nebulizer that was around $45. Because of the price point, I put off getting it. But then I started to process that I was turning to old habits and instead started to tell myself that this was something she needed (no other home remedies worked) and this was something we could afford. It helped me take action faster and buy the product for my baby.

The problem: I’m scared to move my money

When I did my most recent money audit, I noticed that there were a lot of financial moves I was planning on making months ago that I didn’t do because I was scared. I wanted to sell individual stocks that I bought years ago and also move money out of a savings account that was yielding very low interest. I felt stuck and unable to make these simple money movements and I wanted to know why.

Dr. Rasure suggested it could be because I have a bit of decision paralysis going on, which leads me to overthink my choices a bit to the point where it is seemingly more comfortable to do nothing than anything.

“Fear is a motivator to stay stuck,” she said. “The first thing to do is stop and slow down and work through the fear. Figure out what’s stopping you from making these decisions: Is it lack of education, procrastination, or a mindset you’re carrying from your past?”

The solution: Take small steps forward

She shared that once you pinpoint the why behind feeling stuck, you can take a small step forward.

For example, I haven’t sold my individual stocks because I don’t know what I want to do with the money once it’s out of the market. She advised researching investments at a risk level I’m comfortable with, meeting with a financial advisor for advice, or putting it someplace safe (like a high-yield savings account) until I’m ready to do something else.

“Identify the fear, figure out what triggers it, and then choose an action that you’re comfortable with,” Dr. Rasure said. “To make progress happen, when you’re fighting fear, think small and celebrate the baby steps along the way.”

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three fiduciary financial advisors in your area in minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. Start your search now.

The problem: I’m worried about combining finances with my partner

I expressed to Dr. Rasure that one of the biggest things I want to work on is feeling more comfortable about combining finances with my partner. We’ve been married for almost three years and have a baby. We keep 90% of our finances separate. We only have one joint checking account and joint credit card.

A big reason why I’m hesitant to comingle our money is that I’m scared I’ll lose financial independence and not have a safety net of cash to fall back on in case something happens in our marriage. However, I haven’t been upfront with my partner about why I’m feeling this way.

“A good first step is to be vulnerable with your partner about why you’re scared to lose your autonomy over money by merging your finances,” she said. “Rather than combine all of your finances and feel guilt or shame doing that, you can work to find a common ground.”

The solution: Talk openly and create combined goals

She advised that we create mutual financial goals as a married couple and then work backwards in smaller steps to help get us there. She also suggested that we examine our financial values as married partners and as individuals and use those values to frame our goal creation.

Dr. Rasure also emphasized that it’s important to check in with our values and goals on a regular basis to ensure that they are still a priority, as they can change as we experience life.

“Being flexible and creative, along with being authentic and vulnerable, can keep lines of communication open and reduce the likelihood that resentment will build up,” Dr. Rasure said. “You might decide in this conversation that for the next year, you’re going to work on getting toward combining 75% of your finances. Or you might decide that keeping 90% of your finances separate is the right thing for you. The most important thing is that you and your partner know what the expectations are and why you’re doing the things you are doing so you can do them together — and not in the dark.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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