There is a line in a Dr Seuss book: “And this mess is so big And so deep and so tall, We cannot pick it up. There is no way at all!”. It describes that feeling of overwhelm, when the problem at hand just seems insurmountable. Unfortunately for those suffering from financial overwhelm, the situation often results in indecision and inaction which can ultimately make things worse.
If you are struggling to get traction in your financial life, here are three steps to start you along the journey to reclaiming control.
1/ Be gentle and forgiving with yourself.
We aren’t born knowing how to manage our finances. In fact money has only really been a thing for the last couple of hundred years, so we haven’t had any chance to evolve the brain circuitry to deal with it effectively. It should be a tool, a means to an end, but our interactions with money can be as emotionally charged as anything to do with relationships or personal achievements.
Feeling inadequate with money along with the embarrassment that comes with it can be paralysing. We need to compassionately acknowledge and then move through any fear, shame and regret so that we can think clearly, make plans and carry them out.
2/ Take small actions, enjoy the success and repeat.
The way to overcome the Dr Seuss mess, is one step at a time! Set small goals and do the action required to achieve them. It doesn’t matter how small, just as long as it takes you forward. Then celebrate the success, choose another small goal and repeat.
Each step doesn’t have to be perfect. The repetitive approach lets you refine as you go. And as you accomplish more and more small goals, you will find that you begin to chip away at larger items on your list and it will start to snowball.
3/ Get help if you need it.
Increasing your financial literacy will help you when deciding which part of your financial life to tackle next and how to go about it. There are some great resources on the ASIC Moneysmart website.
Don’t be afraid to use technology too. Some of the banks are now offering phone apps which can offer great insights into personal spending patterns. There is also some quite sophisticated transaction tracking, reporting software available that will work across multiple financial institutions (there are both free and low cost depending on the level of function).
There are also more and more providers offering one on one money coaching services. Some are coming from a counselling or therapy background whilst others are offering complementary services to traditional financial planning. They can help you identify and overcome limiting beliefs and behaviours around money and help you stay on track to success.
You might also like my free e-book Setting yourself up for the Future as a Woman.
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© Summation Strategies 2018.
Please note that all information provided is of a general nature and does not take into account your current financial situation, needs or objectives. Before acting on any of the information you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. We recommend those seeking insurance or making an investment obtain financial advice specific to their situation and consider the Product Disclosure Statement prior to making any financial investment or insurance decision.