Overcoming the money blues.
Money can be a real downer. Whether you feel like you're not earning enough, have too much debt or feel guilty about a recent purchase, you could probably benefit from one of these techniques designed to help make you feel better about your finances. Culled from interviews with financial experts, they include candle rituals, date nights and colorful vision boards.
Schedule a money date.
Either alone or with your partner, make a regular date when you sit down and review your spending and other money management issues. That ritual can help you stay on top of your finances, which goes a long way toward making you feel better about them. It's also a good time to review monthly statements, check for errors and consider any pending decisions, such as a new car purchase or insurance policy.
Check in with your body.
Money coach Bari Tessler Linden often begins her coaching sessions and classes with a physical body check, where she asks participants to close their eyes and observe their body. If certain muscles start tensing up in anticipation of a discussion about money, she encourages people to pay attention to that response. Tension could be a sign that the client needs to address a looming issue, such as a difficult conversation.
Light a candle.
Real Housewife of New York City Sonja Morgan frequently lights up her abundance candle to help ground her and bring a sense of calm to her business decisions. While her fellow housewives sometimes make fun of her use of the candle on the show, she says meditating with her candle for a few minutes at night is what helps her handle her many business responsibilities throughout the day.
Play a money game.
According to John C. Linfield, executive director of the Institute for Financial Literacy, gamifaction is a big trend in the personal finance world right now, as educators realize they have to make learning about money fun in order to engage young people. Successful games have to provide the right balance of information and enjoyment; they can lead to family discussions about important money topics, he adds.
Meet with a professional.
If you're feeling stuck in your financial life, sometimes a professional can help. Investing advisors and financial planners can provide advice about managing investments, long-term savings and expenses. If you need help dealing with long-standing hang-ups or anxiety about money, then you might want to consider a money therapist or coach.
Focus on the positive.
While making goals is important, always looking toward what you don't yet have can be frustrating. Instead, take some time out to review the progress you've made. Perhaps you've paid off debt or grown your savings. Even repeating simple affirmations about your money skills and self-worth, like, "I'm good with money," can help.
Make a vision board.
If you're an artistic person, then crunching numbers with calculators can be a painful process. You might prefer to manage your money in a more creative way, which is where a vision board can help. Collecting images from magazines of your long-term money goals and turning them into a colorful collage can help keep you focused on your big money dreams.
Buy a nicer wallet.
In her book, "Money, A Love Story," author and money coach Kate Northrup encourages people to buy themselves a nicer wallet or handbag to help them feel more "abundant." It doesn't have to be expensive, she says, but if it feels luxurious, it can help you feel "prosperous and empowered."
Talk about money with friends.
If you're trying to be frugal while your friends are constantly suggesting new ways to spend more, it can create a lot of tension in your relationship and hamper your budgeting goals. Letting your friends in on the fact that you're trying to minimize your expenses can be easier than simply declining to try out a new, pricey restaurant with them. Instead, you can invite them over for a potluck or game night.
Take a break.
Even the best budgeters can get swept up in the energy of a whirlwind shopping spree. Instead of maxing out your credit card, force yourself to take a break after an hour and a half of shopping, suggests financial recovery coach Mikelann Valterra. That way, you can slow down the natural momentum that can lead you to spend more than you planned and review your original shopping list.
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