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Finance and Psychology, how to manage a budget without feeling uncomfortable

Finance and Psychology, how to manage a budget without feeling uncomfortable

The idea of budget planning comes to everyone sooner or later. The level of income is not of fundamental importance, because money tends to “run out” of any size purse. But the thought of keeping track of spending can cause inexplicable psychological discomfort. Let’s understand where it comes from and how to overcome it.

Parental attitudes

In psychology, attitudes are stable judgments that are once fixed in our heads and begin to influence our thinking. The deepest attitudes are formed in childhood, due to the child’s lack of critical thinking. Often it is the parents who are the authors of these attitudes.

There are many examples of financial attitudes that mom and dad can unknowingly infect a child with:

  • “If you didn’t live rich, you shouldn’t start.”
  • “Big money makes big trouble.”
  • “You can’t make a lot of money honestly.”
  • “You can’t spend money just on yourself.”
  • “You can’t tell how much you make,” etc.

The insidious thing about attitudes is that without special work one does not know how they affect one’s behavior. To isolate your imposed beliefs, you need to do a little introspection. A sheet of paper or a text file is suitable for this task, in which it is necessary to write out all the phrases regarding your attitude to money. There is no need to filter, you have to write down everything.

After doing this, look at the resulting list. Which of these phrases resonates most strongly? What exactly do you feel? The stronger the unpleasant emotional response, the more this attitude affects your life. It’s the one you need to work with.

Working with attitudes is about rephrasing them. You can’t just throw a belief out of your head. It has to be changed so that its meaning turns from negative to neutral (or at best, to positive).

For example, the attitude “you cannot tell how much you earn” can be rephrased as “I can decide myself who to tell about income and who not”. It is important that the attitude should be softened, and not have a completely opposite meaning.

There is no universal advice for paraphrasing. You should be guided by your inner response. If you feel that in this form the attitude does not cause you negativity, then the work is done correctly. For fixing a new attitude, you can print it out and hang it up in a prominent place. Or put it behind your phone screen saver.

Psychological barriers

In the course of life a person acquires experiences. This experience influences his character, changes his emotional sphere, forms his views and beliefs. And with that come new psychological difficulties that hinder efficiency in one sphere or another.

These are the traits and characteristics that can put a negative spin on financial behavior:

  • an increased level of anxiety;
  • low level of self-discipline;
  • tendency to make spontaneous purchases;
  • the need for thrills;
  • Hedonism (pleasure as the main value in life);
  • chronic lack of internal resources.

Having one or more of the qualities on the list does not mean that a person cannot budget. But he or she will have to either work on overcoming barriers, or find a way of budgeting that suits him or her. For example, if there is a significant tendency to spontaneous purchases, it makes sense to initially set aside a portion of the budget for them. And if self-discipline is low, it is important to find a way of calculating finances that does not require filling out a table every day or checking in an app on the phone.

Bottom line

The idea that a person can achieve anything if they set the right goal is close to the truth. If you feel an acute n urge to start counting money, you are definitely capable of starting to do so. Analyze your attitudes, find a way of budgeting that suits you personally. Don’t be discouraged if the habit doesn’t form immediately, because it takes time. Be confident and calmly continue. Then everything will definitely work out.

Vsevolod Yefimov