With finances being one of the most common sources of stress, anxiety-induced habits of negative self-talk and pessimistic thinking can affect how you deal with your money situation. As common as budgeting problems are, how you approach your personal finances can have a powerful effect on your money money management. From second-guessing your expenses to internalizing shame about spending money, these are the signs of negative self-talk and how you can improve your financial skills.

1. Identify what negative self-talk is to you

For some, it's a sense of creeping doubt that you don't have as strong a handle on your finances as you think. For others, it's pressure to live a lifestyle that isn't realistically feasible for you yet. In whatever form it takes, having an inner voice in your head that denigrates your own money instincts and abilities to learn better habits is a serious deterrent to your financial growth. Even if you were raised by a guardian who instilled in you anxieties over money, assess your own situation and your own habits realistically. Acknowledging your natural strengths is just as important as acknowledging your limitations.

2. Know your triggers

Psychology Today emphasizes the importance of triggers of self-criticism, writing, "The critic is a voice that you have internalized based on outside influences and learning such as other people's criticism, expectations, or standards." Maybe you're more prone to question your financial skills around bills' due dates or in certain environments, like work or the bank. Keeping track of your negative thinking by jotting down notes in your phone or in a journal can identify the patterns that trigger the habit, which is the first step to changing your environment and controlling your responses to certain situations.

3. Talk about money

Speaking about your finances may feel Iike a social faux pas, but when it comes to your partner, close friends, or family members, you should be willing to open up and break the taboo. But as The New York Time details, "It's hard to learn about something when you're discouraged from talking about it. In that way, silence becomes a tool for oppression." Embarrassment and insecurity are common feelings everyone shares about money; discussing them in the open is more likely to relieve those fears than actualize them.

4. Think positively (and create a budget!)

After you've identified your patterns of negative thinking and you're willing to open up about your insecurities about money management, the final and most important step is to make positive change. Staying educated about the economy can help you stay affirmative about what you've achieved, which boosts your confidence when you sit down to plan for your realistic goals. Experts spoke to The New York Times about using budgeting apps to track and plan your spending. Looking to the future with a firm grasp on your bad habits and room to grow is the best anyone can hope for. As author and financial expert Kristin Wong says, "Even the 'experts' slip up every now and then, because to be bad with money is to be human. So don't be too hard on yourself."
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The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

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