3 habits that helped me overcome my fear of money management

  • Before, I hated thinking about my finances, but when my husband passed away suddenly, I had to take matters into my own hands.
  • We used to have quarterly “money dates” to review our progress towards goals, a habit that I have kept.
  • I have also found professionals who help me stay on track and maintain bank accounts for different purposes.
  • Read more stories from Personal Finance Insider.

I was afraid to watch my finances as some people dread going to the dentist. I would avoid it at all costs, which is a fitting phrase because it comes at a very real cost to my sanity.

My avoidance behavior towards


money management

only served to increase my anxiety about it and get overwhelmed. During my journey towards developing a healthier attitude towards money, I have adopted and perfected several good money habits that have helped me move from overwhelming to owning a home and running my own business.

I have regular “money dates” with myself

My husband passed away suddenly in 2017. I was heartbroken, a mountain of paperwork and the task of managing my finances on my own. Before his death, we had regular money dates. About once a quarter, we would pull out the spreadsheets and a bottle of wine, put on some great music, and focus on figuring out where we were financially, where we could do better, and where we needed to adjust our spending. , savings and investments. Sounds sexy, right? We would set a time limit, spending no more than two hours figuring out numbers, and then rewarding ourselves with a nice dinner. If we had had a good neighborhood, we would be celebrating by going out to dinner. Otherwise, we would stay home and cook. And not talk about money! It was my rule.

After his death, I stopped dating. Like so many of our traditions, it has become too painful to try for myself. It was only very recently that I brought this healthy money habit back into my life.

My money dates are a little different now: I’m a fan of Google Sheets, which I make as beautiful as it works. I review my finances every month instead of quarterly, and I usually make a pot of green tea instead of opening a bottle of wine. The principle is however the same. I take the time to see how my finances are going and where I need to adjust.

Since I bought my first home and became self-employed in the past 12 months, regularly keeping an eye on my money has become all the more important. I always try to find a small reward that I feel is appropriate, but for now, not being worried and overwhelmed with my financial situation is reward enough.

I gathered a team of professionals to help me

When I embarked on the adventure of buying my first home, I drew on the experience and expertise of a few key professionals, including my financial advisor, my mortgage broker, my real estate agent and , surprisingly, the branch manager of my local bank.

Jamie is a big hearted banker. She helped me navigate the mountains of paperwork related to my husband’s sudden death, personally answered my pressing money-related questions, and walked me through the process of buying a home. house, including preparing certified bank drafts in dollar amounts that made me feel weak. And all this even after deciding not to take out a mortgage with my bank. Jamie cares about me and wants to help me reach my financial goals. Building a relationship with someone I can trust in my local branch has been invaluable to me and it’s a good financial habit that I would recommend to anyone.

I have different bank accounts for different purposes

One money management practice that I swear by is having multiple bank accounts, each with a different purpose. I learned this approach from reading “Worry-Free Money” by Shannon Lee Simmons. The structure recommended by Simmons involves having one main checking account all of your bills are paid into, knowing exactly how much money you need to keep in that account, and setting up automatic transfers of the remaining funds to other accounts, each one. with a specific purpose.

For example, one account for short term savings and another for long term savings and fun fund, where the money left over after fixed amount automatic deposits is made every month. This fun fund is exactly what it looks like – it’s up to me to spend it on whatever I choose. The amount of money it contains is limited and helps control potential overspending.

The structure is designed to be flexible: I can add, delete, and rename accounts at any time based on changes in my life, financial goals, and income. It also allows me to spend less time budgeting by avoiding guessing how much money I can safely spend on extras while making sure my bills are covered and that I continue to save and spend. invest.

I am not naturally good at managing my money. I’m still learning. Adopting healthy money management practices and habits and adapting them as my life evolves has helped me manage my finances effectively and improve my attitude towards money.


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