Do you and money have a bad relationship? Then it’s time to kiss and make up. There’s no reason to have bad blood between you and your money. A good relationship is possible if you learn how to treat it right (or call in the professionals when necessary). Here are three signs you might have a bad relationship with money and how to fix it.
1. You frequently withdraw from emergency savings for non-emergencies
Do you always seem to be having a financial emergency? If you have a tough time controlling the urge to dip into your savings account for non-essentials, it’s time to set a plan in motion that will help you regain control. Start by putting your emergency savings into an online savings account. This way, you’ll have to wait a few days before you can receive the money since transfers often take 2-3 days. The waiting period will give you some time to think about what you’re doing.
Do you really need that extra shirt or another pair of shoes? Pay more attention not only to how much you’re spending, but what you’re spending your money on. This analysis will show you whether you’re being reckless with your cash. Once you see where your money is going, start making some changes. One good idea is to take a trusted friend with you when you go shopping. This friend can remind you to put back unnecessary purchases and give you the encouragement you need to kick bad money habits.
2. You have a financial dysfunction
Have you gotten to the point where you can’t seem to control your spending? Or are you compelled to steal an item from a store even if you don’t need it and can afford to make the purchase? If money is severely affecting your daily life, and you can’t get a handle on it, it’s time to get to the root of the problem. In fact, you could have what psychologist and certified financial planner Brad Klontz describes as a money disorder.
In a research study conducted at Kansas State University, Klontz and his colleagues define a money disorder as “maladaptive patterns of financial beliefs and behaviors that lead to clinically significant distress, impairment in social or occupational functioning, undue financial strain, or an inability to enjoy one’s financial resources.” Compulsive gambling, overspending, compulsive hoarding, and workaholism all fall under this umbrella of financial dysfunction. If you suspect you may have a dysfunctional relationship with money, you may want to speak with a financial therapist. The Financial Therapy Association has an online directory of trained therapists.
3. You rely heavily on credit
Are you a little too cozy with credit? It’s time to put some distance between you. Credit cards come in handy and offer convenience when it’s time to make a purchase, but they can get you into a lot of trouble if you don’t use them responsibly. Do yourself a favor and start traveling without the plastic. Live a cash-only lifestyle until you resolve your credit issues.