In this series I am covering the 24 tell-tale signs that you could be in financial trouble. Over the next few weeks I will be presenting these signs, how to identify them and tips on how to address the issue.
Something as simple as your attitude about money can have a significant impact on the financial decisions you make. So what does it mean to have a healthy attitude about money? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
- Are you a buy now and pay later kind of person or do you save now and pay in full later?
- Are you willing to wait or do you demand immediate gratification?
- Is your shopping out of control?
- Do you have trouble saying no to yourself, kids, spouse or others?
- Do you waste money on gambling?
- Do you spend too much on tobacco or alcohol?
- What is more important to you: buying something or watching your money grow?
It is possible to do almost everything right in regards to finances yet have it all undermined by some unhealthy money traits. The questions above are just a starting point when looking at how you treat money. Maybe many of these apply to you or maybe just one applies. Either way, certain traits can have an impact on your financial success.
Whether you find yourself spending money when you aren’t feel good about yourself or you simply have a hard time saying no to your kids these actions can put your long-term goals in jeopardy. It may not seem like much money at the time but that isn’t the important part. It is that these can become habits. What may be small things now can evolve into a habit or attitude that can spiral out of control later in life.
Addressing Unhealthy Traits
This doesn’t mean you can’t buy things for pleasure and enjoy life, but what you need to recognize is when you are carelessly spending money for an underlying reason. For example if you go to the mall and shop when you are feeling depressed, that is an unhealthy trait. Not only are you spending money based on emotions but you are reinforcing this behavior subconsciously. You begin to attribute a sense of feeling good when you are down by spending money. This is a bad long-term habit to get into.
It is important to be honest with yourself and your habits. Many of these traits we aren’t even fully aware of. Don’t be discouraged if you find yourself with these unhealthy traits. They don’t make you a bad person, they just make it more difficult to reach your financial goals. Like any habit they can be difficult to break so start slowly.
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.