If you’ve never taken a look at my YouTube Channel, (click the above link to visit it!) you might not know that my video tagline is “Taking the Fear Out Of Finance”. This is because I believe finance shouldn’t be ‘scary’. But I have never directly talked about fear!
So, today I’m going to tell you 3 of MY financial fears, and how I overcome them. Maybe you’ll see yourself in some of these and realize you aren’t alone, or you can share this with a friend you think might be going through something like this. Either way, I hope it helps someone out there to hear these!
Being Left Out:
The first money fear I want to talk about is being left out.
This is one of my biggest fears, I get SERIOUS FOMO for almost everything. Sometimes, I actually attend events I KNOW I don’t want to go to because I’m afraid something cool will happen there. (Anyone watch How I Met Your Mother? If you do, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I said I am definitely worried of becoming a blitz!) This kind of thinking can really affect your finances.. I had financial goals like ‘getting out of debt’ and ‘saving for a house’, but I would still pay for things I didn’t want or need because I was afraid of being left behind. How many of you have gone on a trip or agreed to go to a dinner you couldn’t afford because you didn’t want to miss out? I bet everyone has done this at least once in their life.
What do you do?
There’s no easy solution for fixing this, the only thing you can do, is start understanding yourself. Recognize when you’re in those moments, and speak up about it. It’s HARD. But talking to your friends about money is important. They love you for who you are, not how much money you have. (and, if they do just care about your money, you shouldn’t be friends with them!)
If you talk about money with your friends, you can PLAN for larger outings. Make sure things like big trips or concerts are planned a few months ahead so you can make an informed decision and work it into your budget in advanced. When you’re ‘in a moment’ that a friend is asking you to pay for something you didn’t anticipate, it’s REALLY hard to say no. But if you start talking regularly about money, it’s easy to say something like “Thanks so much for inviting me out, but I’m focussing on debt payoff, and going out for dinner right now just doesn’t align with that. You guys go without me, and maybe next week we’ll stay in, cook something ourselves and watch a movie instead?”
I’m not going to lie, it still hurts when you see those instagram stories of the things you missed, but you also get really proud of yourself for sticking to your guns and making a healthy, mature, choice that aligns with your priorities!
Alright, the second fear is something I call: Keeping up with the Kardashians. We all look around at our friends, family, coworkers, and we want to be included. We want to have the nice cars, go on the nice trips, we want the latest gadgets and toys. Part of me thinks this goes along with the fear of missing out, but for me, it’s worse. For me, it’s not wanting to be judged for NOT having those things. I don’t care if I’m missing out on the experience of having a big trip, but I AM afraid of what people think of me if they saw that I COULDN’T go on that trip.
I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how STUPID this fear is. It’s totally human nature, we all want to be loved and accepted, and we’re worried that others are NOT going to accept us if we don’t look the right way, act the right way, or have the right things.
We’re afraid that people will think we’re uncool, or broke, or, insert-any-other-negative-adjective-here! We want to prove we’re not so we look around at everyone else and try and copy what they do. Let me tell you the secret. EVERYONE FEELS THIS. Everyone is the centre of their whole world, so they THINK that people are looking at them and thinking about how bad they are at __blank__ but seriously.. NO ONE IS LOOKING. No one cares what you wear, no one cares what you drive, no one cares how much money you make. The ONLY reason people care about this, is to relate it to themselves. They want to know what you drive so they THEY can make sure their car is the same. They want to know how much money you have because THEY want to make sure they have the same. If anyone is hating on you, it’s because THEY have the problem. You are unique. You will never be anyone else. There will always be things that you admire about others that you don’t have, and there will always be people who admire you for something they don’t have.
What do you do?
Get comfortable with yourself. Make your choices for YOU. Know that anything you’re buying, doing, or saying, about your money isn’t for anyone else, it’s for YOU and YOUR plan. YOUR priorities. I know, it’s totally easier said than done, but THAT is the only thing that’s 100% guaranteed to make you happy. You don’t want to be a Kardashian anyway, they have to deal with too much shit.
My third money fear is a BIG one. Failure.
We are ALL afraid of failure! And with money, it seems so much more crushing. In today’s society, not making enough, not having enough, that’s seen as a failure. I was TOTALLY afraid of this. I’m STILL afraid of this I don’t know if that ever goes away.
What do you do?
We have to learn to embrace it. The fact is, money is how our society runs. To be functional adults, we have to deal with it. We have to understand the basics of finance, and how to manage personal money. But, how many of us actually have those skills? We’re not often taught this in school, and if we are, we’re too young to care or realize the impact of the actual lessons. On top of that, if you’re ‘bad at numbers’ or grew up terrified of math, it can be petrifying to even THINK about finance. You know you need the skills, but ignore it, because you’re afraid you’re afraid of looking stupid. You’re afraid of admitting you don’t know because you don’t want to seem like a failure in front of your peers. Start. Slow. Take it one step at a time. Start talking to your friends about money. In an comfortable space, with people who love you! Work with a financial coach, any good financial coach will create a judgment free zone for you to work through what you need to.
You will never be free of the fear of failure. But, to get over this one, you just have to start doing it. You have to embrace the chance of failure and do it anyway. There’s a great quote by J.K. Rowling that fits this situation perfectly. She said:
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
Let me know in the comments down below what your biggest money fear is!