It is a common feeling among many people: The amount of money one has determines the level of happiness, confidence or energy that person has. That is, with enough or so much money, a person generally tends to be upbeat, gregarious and emotionally stable. And the less money one has, the more depressed, aloof and irritable that person becomes. Well, at least, from experience, this seems to hold true 8 out of 10 times, although there are a few “money-less” people we know who remain content with their lot. But they are the rare exceptions.
The National Foundation for Credit Counselling in the US found out that a staggering 79% of people say financial worries make them lose sleep, more than other concerns such as their marriages, kids or job stability. Sleepless people certainly make for unhappy families. That survey just confirmed our previous statistic.
Money, of course, is not the true source of happiness or contentment. Financial confidence or power comes from having understood the dynamics of financial principles and the steps by which they can be harnessed for our own benefit. Simply said: Financially powerful individuals have the cunning ability to see and know what needs to be done to turn money to their advantage.
There are those who may have gotten so much money, like lottery winners, who never had the slightest idea as to how to manage money and simply go about spending or even investing in some deals but do not know exactly how the entire process of maintaining financial power works. And so these people often end up where they were before, penniless and powerless.
But there are a few tips to help the ordinary person to gain a reasonable amount of power over money.
- Overcome bad habits through the power of self-forgiveness
Habits influence a major part of how we handle money. What we learned from our homes and from early schooling enhanced or diminished our capacity to make money work for us. Many of us often fall into a financial trap, such as overspending or borrowing to buy luxuries, because we inherited the tendency from somewhere in our past or in our immediate environment. The shame or guilt that arises from falling over and over again into the same trap builds up and yet we feel powerless to cut the cycle.
Forgiving ourselves for our inadequacies can lead us to ultimately overcome a bad habit and the guilt that comes with it. Deal with each unproductive habit one at a time. Tell yourself that the shame or guilt it brings Is worse than the actual burden of not having money and feeling powerless. Why carry so much weight emotionally and financially? Solving your financial status will also bring emotional relief.
Grab the power by controlling money like it were a slave or tool that it is. If it means getting a menial job so you can pay debts, so be it.
- Know yourself in relation to money
As we said, our past determines how we deal with money. There is a pattern in everything that we do: whether in cooking a favourite recipe, going on a vacation or even reading a book. Some prefer to read a real book and not an ebook. Others enjoy doing it in a hammock or on an easy chair. And some read a chapter a day; others finish a book in one sitting. So with how we use money. Some get enough joy gambling a small amount of money regularly. Others gamble away their fortunes.
Keep a journal on how you spend money and learn more about yourself than you ever did before. You might find yourself behaving as if you were your mother or father who had certain peculair habits with regard to money. Or, you may have your own unique patterns hard to decipher where you got it but may have arisen during an extremely stressful time in your life. Just as some people started drinking or smoking during a traumatic moment in their past, you could have developed the habit of buying on credit during a time when you felt emotionally down or powerless. Or simply envious of your friend or neighbor.
Those “emotional money triggers” are, in general, within your power to eradicate or change to benefit you financially.
- Get expert advice
When everything else fails, you might get some relief from a professional financial adviser. Since we already noticed that our financial habits are closely tied to our emotional conditions, it should convince you to get a financial counsellor, particularly one who understands the psychological motivations that push us to do what we do with our money.
Positive money habits do not come by accidents. Children of Chinese businesspeople have to work during summer vacation and derive precious training not just in business management, in general, but in essentially appreciating the real value of money through how it is earned and how it is invested back into a profitable venture.
Business people are also good sources of advice, especially if you plan to go into business. The simple joy of being debt-free and having control over your budget can be gained from those who have had the discipline of making money grow or, in other words, building wealth.
Creating wealth starts from developing the right money habits. It is never too late to start gaining power over your own life through proper money control.
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