How to Feel Better About Your Finances and Make Better Choices - American Credit Foundation

How to Feel Better About Your Finances and Make Better Choices

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When your finances are in a slump, your mood can act as a mirror, leaving you feeling down
about your prospects of fun – and often costly – weekend plans and even anxious about future financial obligations.

Obviously this is a problem, not only because you may be looking at an empty or near-empty saving account, or you’re facing a large expense and don’t quite know if you’ll be able to cover it, but also because feeling low isn’t the best way to rally your will and find your way to a healthier money situation.

So, if your finances are less than stellar and you’re looking to turn them around, it may behoove you to first look at what’s going right in that area of your life, focus on those positives and use that momentum to brighten your outlook.

So how do you find the silver lining when you have financial deadlines looming and a non-
existent emergency fund? Here are a few hints and tips.

  1. Make a list of all that’s right in your financial life. You likely have a steady job, your basic bills are covered and you can put food on the table and clothes on your back. True, you may not be able to afford that leather jacket you’ve been eyeing or head off on an exotic vacation, but you’re not facing the prospect of homelessness or going hungry. That might sound like an extreme example, but it’s not. If you have a regular paycheck coming in, shelter over your head and three meals a day, you’re doing pretty well. Be grateful.
  2.  Don’t compare your situation to anyone else’s. What someone else has or doesn’t have is none of your business — and it’s meaningless when it comes to your financial situation. No matter how well off you think someone else may be doing in the money
    department, I guarantee you there are aspects – and, yes, worries – about their finances
    to which you are not privy. What’s more, concerning yourself with what someone else
    has or doesn’t have does nothing to advance your own cause and will likely only make
    you feel worse when you find yourself pinching pennies or missing out on fun activities.
    So do yourself a favor and stop with the comparisons.
  3.  Make a mental note of past financial accomplishments. Maybe you can remember when you worked much longer hours for much less money than you do now.
    Or perhaps you used to live in a smaller home, or a rented home and now you count
    yourself a homeowner. Whatever is going on in your life, there’s likely to be some gains
    you’ve made. Meditate on those and, even better, recall how you were able to achieve
    those gains. Doing so will remind you that you’ve got what it takes to improve your
    current situation because you’ve done so in the past.
  4.  If necessary, blast the past. Speaking of what’s happened previously, if some of your financial decisions haven’t been so hot, think about why they were bad moves and figure out how to avoid making the same mistakes. Use that hard-earned knowledge to your advantage moving forward. That should give your mood a boost!
  5. Lose the negative attitude. If the above tips do nothing but get you in a better mood about the prospect of smarter money management in the future then go ahead and notch yourself a win. Being in the right state of mind is crucial to getting your finances
    in better shape.good attitude
  6. Search out support. If you find yourself overwhelmed by your money woes and don’t think you’re in the right mind space to make it better, seek out help in the form of support groups. I assure you there are other people who’ve been exactly where you are
    or who are smack dab in the same spot. Sharing your story and getting advice may be
    just the medicine you need to snap out of your funk and get on the road to mental
    wellness and, hopefully, a healthier financial snapshot.
  7.  Assess your financial situation and make a plan for improvement. Take a close, hard and honest look at how much you make, what your expenses are and what are
    some challenges ahead. Laying it all out in front of you will give you a clear picture of
    what you need to do and how you might be able to do. You may be able to find a few
    ways to save money such as curbing unneeded extras like eating out or scrapping a few
    entertainment plans and banking the money instead. You may find used home items you can sell or find time to make extra money through small side jobs like babysitting, dog walking, or picking up extra shifts at work. Nowadays you can even rent out an empty space in your home or earn extra cash through driving services such as Uber or the like.
  8.  Make small changes and make a note of any progress. Did you manage to sock away a bit of money or even more money than you did last month? Did you find
    alternate and more money-savvy ways to spend your leisure time, like picnics in the
    park rather than trips to the movies, or did you eliminate some unnecessary expenses
    like an unused gym membership? If so, acknowledge these small victories and build on
    that momentum. What’s more, plan to do an even better job next month.
  9.  Create long-term financial goals. Looking ahead to positive things will give you motivation and inspiration to do better, despite how you may be feeling now. However, be sure to make clear and sensible goals to keep you focused and able to meet them.
    Rest assured, feeling badly about the state of our finances is something most of us will likely face at some point in our lives. But that also means there’s potential for improvement, which is a great motivating factor when you’re trying to do better with your money. The above tips are a good place when you’re ready to make positive changes, but if you need more personalized help, the team at American Credit Foundation is always available. Contact us today!