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Financial Guilt

When it comes down to it, most of us have some kind of guilt about where we are at financially. Life isn’t perfect and neither are we.  As life happens, so does our money.  We help out a family member; we go through a health issue or take a financial risk – that’s life.

Financial shame is one of the biggest reasons people cite as why they don’t want to sit down with a financial advisor. Think about your current situation regarding finances.  Do you wish you were in a different spot? You are not alone. Instead of seeking out someone who can help, we tend to run in the other direction.

Where does this guilt come from? Are we looking at other people that seem to have more “things” than we do? Are we ashamed about how we have invested our money? Have we seen the people closest to us making “better” decisions than we have? Are we living outside our means and don’t want to change?

There are so many reasons why someone would be hesitant to talk about their current financial situation. Whatever the reason, guilt about where we are at financially is real. Money isn’t the root of all evil; the LOVE of money is. Money is a necessary part of life but it shouldn’t be something that keeps you up at night.

Whenever there is guilt about something in your life, there is healing in talking about it and exposing it. Talking to people that you trust is powerful. Even if the other person just listens, it is therapeutic to address your concerns and worries. This could be with a counselor, a spouse, or a close friend. Whoever you decide to confide in, you will find that confession is the first step to a new you. I have never met anyone that wasn’t grateful to acknowledge their worries, get them off their chest and create a plan to move forward.

Whenever I think about having a tough conversation or need to confront a storm in my life, I remind myself to think like a buffalo. When a storm is on the horizon, buffalos don’t run from it, they start walking towards it. Ultimately,  they get out of the storm much faster because they walked through it. Other animals walk away from the storm and end up being in the storm much longer because they didn’t confront it head-on.  Good advice to keep in mind the next time you’re approaching a storm.

We need to live a life where we are constantly surrounding ourselves with people who truly care about us and will help us when we are struggling. If you have guilt about where you are at financially, talk with someone, expose it, and walk into the storm. Chances are no matter who you talk to, you will find that it’s not as bad as you think and that it will get better. They might even give you a couple of ideas that might help. We all have things in our life that we need help with. It isn’t a weakness to ask for help, and honestly, I see asking for help as a strength. We are all different and we each have our own set of skills and gifts.

If you are struggling with financial shame or guilt, here are three quick ways to get unstuck:

  1. Take inventory of what you do have.  What assets do you own, such as your savings or a business that is still producing cash-flow? Don’t forget about the things that money can’t buy – health, friends, and family.
  2. Prioritize what you want to accomplish.  Getting clarity on what you do want can help act as a guide pointing you to take the right action.
  3. Ask for help.  Life is short and it requires us to be in community and to be connected.  I have yet to see someone get out of a difficult situation without the help of others. It takes hard work, dedication, and help!

If you want help or you know of someone else who would like help, we would be humbled to help them walk through this. Feel free to contact us here.