How Negative Self-Talk Makes You Bad with Money

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.

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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