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4 TIPS for Overcoming Your Financial Fears

One of the things you have to watch out for is letting fear rule your financial decisions [3].

“Fear, in and of itself, is not harmful,” says Pandora MacLean-Hoover, LICSW, a psychotherapist in private practice in Cambridge, MA. “Judging oneself for feeling fear may be detrimental. If a person believes they are weak for feeling afraid about spending too much money, so much so they ignore the fear, they may decide to over-spend just to counteract this judgment.”

MacLean-Hoover believes that it’s possible to overcome fear in your finances, and harness that fear so that you better direct your efforts toward financial improvement. She suggests 4 TIPS to help you face your financial fears:

T: Think Differently

Stop and think differently about money. Recognize the thought patterns associated with your financial fears and make a conscious effort to change them. “Consider other ways to think about the same subject of money,” MacLean-Hoover suggests.

When you begin to think differently about money, you are in a position to make real changes to your behavior. Rather than allowing fear to get the best of you, think about your situation, and move from a place of fear. Changing your mindset can go a long toward helping you feel better about your money.

I: I’m Important

This step is about boosting your confidence in yourself. “This is an essential belief about yourself, necessary for feeling confident about your financial decisions,” MacLean-Hoover explains.

Realize that you are important, and that you are in charge of your finances. When you recognize that you are important, you can make financial decisions more confidently, rather than letting fear lead you to second-guess yourself all the time.

P: Part of Me

Too often, we try to get rid of the thoughts and feelings that we don’t think are “correct.” This applies to our money habits as well. We feel guilty when we spend money; we feel even guiltier when we like spending the money. As a result, our fear that our desires will lead to ruin can hold us back. Additionally, trying to excise these feelings about money can lead to an unhealthy relationship with finances.

MacLean-Hoover suggests that you acknowledge that certain financial habits are part of you, rather than fearing them. “Part of me wants to spend money. Part of me wants to save. Update and integrate these parts, as if on a committee,” she says.

S: Shop Til You are Satisfied

This fourth suggestion is all about mindful spending. “Shop until you are satisfied,” MacLean-Hoover says. “Mindfulness will help you be present, to know why you are doing what you are doing — and whether you still need to do it.”

Pay attention to your feelings as you handle money, whether you are spending or saving. Adding a little consciousness to your financial activities can make a big difference in how you feel about money, and how you handle your fears about money.

What do you think of these TIPS? Do you think that you could use them in your life? Do you think they are effective at reducing financial fears?

(Photo: hang_in_there [4])