REMEMBERING THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF YOUR FINANCES?
Memories of many years of poor financial management still haunt me. Sometimes it is in the moments and situations where I least expect it.
Today I stopped at an ATM to withdraw some money it was the same ATM that I have used for years and I was making just a simple $20 cash withdrawal.
The management of my financial situation has been far better than it ever was before. I’ve learned many hard lessons over the years and have come a long way towards a brighter financial future.
The emotional impact of my finances?
As I pulled up to insert my debit card I saw a receipt hanging onto the ATM from the last cash withdrawal. I couldn’t help myself I peeked at the receipt as I was inserting my own card . With a wave of emotions, it all came running back to me. The years of financial struggles, tears, hopelessness, and feelings of failure overcame me. The withdrawal amount shown was $20 and the remaining balance was $16.13. My heart hurts for the person on the other end of that withdrawal. I know your struggle my friend and I’m so sorry.
I realize that I don’t know the situation involved at all and I am making assumptions based on my past. My husband reminded me that this could be just one of many accounts and they could keep most of their money somewhere else. None of those thoughts ever crossed my mind. Why? Because in that brief moment I was that young woman again and I was right back where I used to be. I was receiving that same news at the ATM unexpectedly or worse the balance was negative followed by days of overdrafts I could no longer control. That hopeless feeling was so familiar and so overwhelming just like it used to be. Only this time it wasn’t me. Then I began to remember this is why I created Saving Joyfully. Saving Joyfully was created for those just like me struggling to learn to manage their financial situations.
Memories like this come to mind frequently as I watch others struggle with similar financial situations. I'm reminded of a lifestyle I no longer live but could so easily slip back into.
If you are struggling financially
If you are like I once was and you are struggling with your money. Maybe you have less than $20 in your account it’s not the end. Don’t give up! If I can turn my finances around completely so can you. There are many ways you can improve your situation right now even if it seems like you can’t. You might be tired, burned out, frustrated, and even depressed, but you can make it. There is help and hope. Remember, It’s not how much money you make it’s how you manage your money.
If you are just starting to make financial progress
If you’ve already made progress and you feel like your progress has stalled, don’t forget the financial struggles that once pushed you forward. Even today as I’ve made progress and no longer live paycheck to paycheck, I still am reminded of those days. I take these reminders as a blessing. Recalling what once pushed me out of that situation helps keep me on track.
Memories of my former finances keep me on the right track
I’m so grateful today for the progress that I have made so far with my money. I still recall those difficult years often and they still are very fresh in my mind. Each time I am faced with moments like this one I am reminded that overcoming financial struggles is always possible even when I may feel hopeless.
Someone once told me that what they appreciated about my blog was the honesty and emotional aspect which I frequently shared. They liked that I discussed the relationship between managing our finances and discovering joy. That has stuck in my mind since we had this conversation. My blog was created after a very difficult time in my life where I needed both encouragement to find joy in life and to keep making the right financial choices.
The emotional side of managing our finances
There is most definitely an emotional side to managing money that is rarely discussed by anyone. This emotional aspect can be either the reason you succeed or the reason you fail. Don’t let your financial situation control your emotions and even more importantly don’t let your emotions manage your financial life. Learning to recognize the emotional pitfalls that once controlled you and your finances can change your situation drastically. When you recognize that you can control more than you had once thought, it becomes clearer that you absolutely can change your situation.