Topics We’re Talking About: Emotions in Personal Finance


Hello readers and a very happy, happy Friday to you!

Aaand once again, for the sake of emphasis: happy Friday.

Keep that call for happiness in mind because this week we’re talking about the emotions involved in personal finance, namely some of the ones that make you feel squishy and uncomfortable. Guilt, shame, stress to name a few. Not exactly the most positive bunch of emotions.

No matter how in control we feel of our finances, we’ve all faced an emotional low point in our journey. An unplanned purchase, unexpected medical debt, discomfort in spending when we’re so used to saving – there’s a lot going on behind the scenes of every bank account. Consequentially, tough external circumstances often create an internal climate of negative emotion. The result is an adverse impact on your financial and mental health.

But these are entirely normal challenges and the feelings that go along with financial management shouldn’t be brushed aside. They’re rough, but they’re also so very valid! And when you think about it, financial success is often created out of many moments of doubt and worry. These emotions can even be powerful teaching tools, highlighting areas of concern that might need a little extra bit of unpacking or attention. That being said, it’s not easy. Reframing your perspective and seeking support from your community are a couple ways to overcome the emotional hurdles. We found some great posts to help you do just that.

Here are our top picks of the week for managing emotions as you forge ahead with your financial plans:

How We Do Guilt-Free Splurging – Our Freaking Budget
Financial responsibility isn’t simply about saving at every opportunity. It’s about spending responsibly! But what happens when each swipe causes that little nugget of guilt in your stomach? Our Freaking Budget explores how to get over the worry that’s keeping you from a balanced financial life!

Feeling Guilty About Spending Money? Why I Decided I Wouldn’t – Object Wealth
There’s nothing worse than budgeting for an event or an experience only to feel guilty about the cost in the moment. Christa shares why feeling guilty over expenditures detracts from the true value of the expense!

The Anxiety of Returning Things – The Billfold
Along with spending and guilt, there can also be some major emotion involved with returning things! The acknowledgement of making a financial slip can be tough to come to terms with – even if it means getting your money back. A thoughtful piece examining the hows and whys along with tips to overcome the emotional aspect of making returns.

4 Things You Need To Know About Stress – Mind Body Green
Money is stressful! If you’ve ever laid in bed worrying about your financial future, then you know what I mean. But the physical and mental reaction of stress can be controlled and managed to clear your mind for future decisions. Mind Body Green shares tips on how to manage stress and to take back control of your wandering mind.

How To  Enjoy Saving Money! – First Quarter Finance
Saving isn’t all about penny pinching and withholding – it’s pretty darn fulfilling to watch your bank account grow. Here’s an awesome article to show you the major emotional perks of getting your savings on!

How Long Did You Wait To Get Serious About Your Debt? – Six Figures Under There’s a lot of emotion involved with facing your debt but the experience shouldn’t stop you from taking back control of your finances! Six Figures Under offers some great perspective on the process and helpful tips to keep you motivated.

A few more things before you go out to seize your emotions to get on track with your finances. A big thank you to those mentioning ReadyForZero this week:

Color Me Frugal
Mom and Dad Money
Money Saving Dude
Stacking Benjamins

And in addition to sharing these awesome mentions, we wanted to give a shout-out of our own to MagnifyMoney – a company devoted to illuminating banking practices and spreading financial power and know-how. Nick and Brian started MagnifyMoney to bring true transparency to banking products, helping people to understand the pros and cons of every product and make the switch to products that both earn them and save them money. And they’re bringing years of banking experience to the table to do it! In Nick’s words,

“I spent nearly 15 years in banking creating these products. You see an advertisement for 5% cash back – but will you really get that? At Magnify Money, we’ve poured through the fine print of thousands of products and created tools that make it easy for people to compare products based upon their individual situation. You input your information, and we can tell you how much something actually costs, or how much you will actually save. But we don’t just want to make switching and saving easy. We also want to reward companies that create simpler, easier and more transparent products. That is why we created the Magnify Transparency Score. An ‘A’ means the product has few gotcha fees or loopholes. A ‘C’ means you are told one thing (5% cash back!), but will probably receive another (1%!).”

With these ratings, people can finally view ratings based on actual scores and not based on advertising dollars. Now that’s what we call empowerment!

Lastly, we have a very special intro for a very special new section of Topic’s We’re Talking About…User of the Week! We think you guys are rad and we want to make sure that we give you the virtual high-fives you deserve. That’s why we’ll be featuring a top ReadyForZero user each week as a way to congratulate the hard work. First up, we have a Krystal who is totally winning over her debt:

Want to see yourself here? Let us know on Twitter about how you’re doing!

Phew – this post packed a punch so I’ll let you get to reading the awesome reads and learning the awesome learns. Oh, and don’t forget to take a deep breath and smile! Happiness is an important emotion to acknowledge, too 😀

Image Credit: Diego Sevilla Ruiz

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  • AvgJoeMoney

    Hey! Thanks for the shout out. It was fun talking to Michael on the podcast and hearing about how he used Ready For Zero to clear $25,000 of debt. Big-time motivational guy!

    • Claire Murdough

      Awesome podcast!!! Such an inspiring listen 🙂

  • Six Figures Under

    Thanks for the mention Claire! 🙂

    • Claire Murdough

      Happy to share it – great post!!

  • Hey Claire, Thanks for mentioning my post. Emotions and mindset are such important aspects of success that people don’t always think about. Great post!

    • Claire Murdough

      Had such a fun time reading through your older posts! Can’t wait to share more in the future 🙂