Your Cash Money Priorities
These are the single most important things about cash money that you need to understand.
What do you want out of life? Can you see what makes you happy?
What are you afraid of happening? Is there something you don’t like?
Any thoughts, ideas or discussion surrounding money needs to be thought of in the context of emotions. Money, in and of itself, is a tool. It is inanimate. It’s a concept of value humans imagined to make trading easier. What really matters are the things money can do for you.
Money is a tool you use to get what you need and want. So, what do you need, and what do you want? You need to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Some people also want to promote or support causes they care about. Others may want to take a vacation or buy a car. Knowing what you want – and what you don’t – are the most important thing when thinking about money.
Understanding how you feel about money is the first step to your financial empowerment. Once you understand how money makes you feel, you can shift your mindset into one of curiosity. This is where your real financial empowerment lies.
It’s your money, don’t let others tell you what to do with it. We are constantly told what to do with our money. And it works because the truth is most people don’t know what they want to do with their money. They are uninformed and uncertain. They react emotionally, and the marketing works.
Emotions of Cash Money
According to Budgetnista Tiffany Aliche, the most common emotions surrounding money are hope, fear, shame and guilt. Let’s have a quick look at each of them.
This is a big one that drives a lot of seemingly illogical behaviour.
The odds of winning the lottery are minuscule, yet we still buy lottery tickets (I’ll admit to it). Scammers often prey on the hopes of “one big payoff” to scam their victims. Without hope, no lottery tickets would be sold, and financial scammers would have a much harder time of things.
Hope is not a sound investment strategy.
On the flip side of the coin, hopelessness is frequently becoming more common among younger people. We frequently hear things like, “I’ll never be able to buy a home,” or, “I’ll never be able to retire.” Statements like this are definitive but often uninformed and untrue. The speaker has rarely done the homework to understand what’s possible; they have the mindset that it’s impossible. Learning what is possible provides hope to achieve what you really want and the curiosity to learn.
Almost everyone has felt fear about money. It stems from the fear of the unknown. Will I lose money if I invest? Will I have enough money for rent? Can I afford that vacation?
The best way to overcome this fear is to learn. Understand your financial situation. Start by writing things down. It doesn’t really matter what; start writing them down. What do you need to pay for? How much will it cost? How much do you have? Any start is a good start.
When we fear something, confronting it is uncomfortable, so be prepared for that feeling too. The more things you write down, the better picture you’ll have and the less scared you’ll be. It won’t be comfortable right away, but it will get easier.
It’s amazing how many people spend hours watching TV or pursuing hobbies but never take the time to sit down and understand their finances. Don’t be one of them. Learn about money and understand your financial situation; it’ll be your best investment.
A lot of fear comes with an unwillingness to learn. There is a pervasive arrogance that we should know what to do regarding money. Being ashamed that you don’t naturally already know how to handle money like a pro is very common. But even the greatest financier knew nothing when they were born. They took the time to learn, and you can too.
The best financial professionals are constantly learning. For example, 10 years ago, no banks were investing in cryptocurrencies; now, most are. There is no shame in admitting that you don’t know something; finding the answers you need takes great courage.
Many people are ashamed to ask for help. Trust plays a big factor in this since so many financial professionals are out there looking to make a sale disguised as advice.
An unfortunate truth about the financial industry is that ethics and profit often come into conflict. When speaking with a financial professional, many people are often embarrassed to ask for deeper explanations. They often leave not knowing what happened but hoping they are in good hands. When the results aren’t as advertised, it can create more feelings of shame about being duped.
Guilt about money is very, very common. It can be guilt for having money. Or it can be guilt for using your money—the missed opportunity. The luxury you couldn’t really afford but purchased anyway. The money you gambled away on that tip from your buddy.
Your money is your business. Don’t let others make you feel guilty for what you’ve done, what you have or what you do with it. Don’t feel guilty for taking the occasional indulgence, too; it’s important to reward yourself for a job well done.
Charities are famous for praying on guilt. When the cashier at your favourite grocery store asks within earshot of the next customer about donating to their cause, it’s done with intent. They’ve been trained to do it that way so that it leverages your guilt and shame for saying no.
Charitable donations can create tax benefits, but do it in a manner that benefits you. Don’t let someone else guilt you into a behaviour. Donating food to a food bank or donating at the cashier helps charities, but it doesn’t help you. Donating cash directly to charities is far more beneficial to the charity and you. Make sure you get that tax receipt.
And if you truly want to donate just because you want to help someone, go ahead. We’re just saying you don’t do something you don’t want to do just because someone else made you feel guilty or claims to support a cause.
Change Your Feelings About Cash Money
Learning how to change your feelings about cash money starts with understanding what you feel. Once you understand your feelings, try to understand why you have them. Then, you need to know that you can change how money makes you feel.
Our feelings come from many places—our families, peer groups and friends, and the media. Keep in mind that what we see in the media is usually fiction. Most of the time, it is not an accurate reflection of reality for anyone.
Understanding what you need and want will help you think about money differently. The first step is having a growth mindset that you can change and learn. You can then change how you feel about money.