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Financial Secrets Are Generally Bad For You

Why financial secrets are generally bad for you

Do you keep financial secrets that are eating at you? If you do, you’re not alone, but the way you’re handling your money and feeling might have a debilitating effect on your life. Maybe you owe yourself a little more honesty about your money so you can move out of denial about your problem and move on with your life.

Here are a few of the common secrets people keep about their money.

Never balancing bank accounts because the idea of doing it makes you afraid and ashamed. Many people take this tack when they want to avoid the stress and fear they associate with handling their finances. It would help if you could think of your bank account as a job and you as the employee hired to take care of it. How are you doing? Would you fire yourself?

One thing to keep in mind about this mode of financial denial is that when you avoid balancing your checkbook out of fear and shame, it will only make you feel more afraid and ashamed. Go ahead, try it. Balancing your checkbook will actually make you feel better. Clearing up your financial disorder will make you feel better all the way around.

Living paycheck to paycheck. Do you always tell yourself that this month will be different? That you won’t spend your checking account down to your last cent, and you will start that savings account? But as the days grind on you start spending on lunches, videos and other things that eventually take you down to zero again? Do you feel like you deserve a break and so you spend a little here and there to make yourself feel better, and again end up at zero? No money, no savings. Perhaps you are doing this out of self-pity. But you can make a choice to give yourself the things you need without spending any extra money. And if you can manage to save even just a little, you’ll feel less guilty and the good feelings will snowball.

Do you let your parents or someone else pay for things that you could pay for? Do your parents help out by providing luxuries for your family—like vacations or your child’s tuition to a private school? If so, you could be participating in a situation that will make you angry at your parents for making you dependent on them. You can choose to stop taking the money and pay for only the things you and your spouse can afford if it is making you feel bad. Or you can decide to accept the luxuries and not accept the guilt you have saddled yourself with.

Do you keep secrets from your spouse about how much money you make or how much you spend? Does your spouse like to control you through money, and this is how you rebel? Perhaps you are participating in a situation that furthers your anger over being treated like a child when you are an adult. But, again, it makes you feel guilty. You are probably avoiding confrontation with the offending person, but going ahead and getting what you need anyway. You’re an adult and you deserve a little financial freedom.

—adapted from Working Mother

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