Adulthood is an indicator that you need to take charge of your finances. Budgeting, saving, handling credit cards, on top of being an uninformed young woman, is a challenge.
Amidst your quest for becoming a self-sufficient adult, you become broke-ish. Right? Guess what? You’re not alone. When you’re struggling to get ahead, the idea of getting control of your money and having confidence in your financial decision-making can be pretty intimidating. And that’s what happened with me on my quest to become a financially independent Pakistani woman.
Apart from jokes, we need to address a very important issue here today. This whole becoming a financially independent woman thing isn’t a walk in the park. And there’s a lot that goes into this becoming an extremely challenging task.
Firstly, there is a sense of shame associated with not having money as much as you feel you should…
Or not being able to afford what you once could… or not be able to afford what others can. You feel a constant fluctuation of self-esteem with the ups and downs of your bank account. I know I did.
Basically, money and shame are the toxic dynamic duo that just won’t quit.
Managing personal finances in a balanced way is something most of us never learn how to do until we’re deep in the woods. That’s probably because our practical-education system is flawed/non-existent. Or because most of the adults who came before us “carry” this money shame and pass it onto us.
The whole “scarcity mentality” thing is VERY real
Even when we ARE in a comfy spot when it comes to money, we cling to our old, dusty financial fears. Sometimes when we’re blessed with abundance, we still adopt a less-than mentality. We’re starved for an open conversation; we’re conditioned to make money our enemy.
The money problem is a way of bonding with others, casually!
It’s very likely that if the thought of checking your bank account balance makes you break out in cold sweats. You’ve got quite a few people around you who are reinforcing this. Family, friends, coworkers, media personalities – “money shame” is everywhere. Just like casual negativity, money problems can be a way of bonding with others: commiserating over how expensive something is or how you really can’t afford something.
So, how do we deal with it?
Apparently, there is no particular way to deal with it. You learn to do this sort of management with the passage of time. However, I do have a few tips which can help you become better at it.
Revise your financial history.
I recently had an experience of observing that I made more money than I did 4 months ago, while I was stressing so hard all the month about being broke. So, think back to a time you felt as if you had nothing. Then think of a time that felt more abundant. Remind yourself that money ebbs and flows just like the weather and the waves of the ocean.
Everyone has had these ebbs and flows. We just don’t hear about them. And no, you can’t just sit back and wait. But as long as you’re being proactive, not reactive. ESPECIALLY, when it’s toughest; more is on its way.
Fiercely educate yourself
I remember when I went to the bank for the first time, I knew nothing. I felt the need to be educated about accounts and finances, at least I should have known the basics. But it’s never too late to learn something.
Knowledge truly is power and wealth. Get some, for the sake of your financial management. Even if everything you read sounds like a foreign language at first, just read. Retain as much as you can. You will grasp the concepts as much as you practice the things.
Give more to get more
IT WORKS! This might sound counterintuitive, but when you feel financial fear making its way into your mind, spend a little on someone. It doesn’t have to be a very big amount. Maybe help your domestic worker get a new uniform or school bag for his/her kid. Or buy a coffee/chai for your coworker.
To combat the feelings of having nothing, we must actively create a sense of positivity. It’s about cultivating worth and value. The fact that you are able to give enough to make someone else smile can set off a chain reaction in your brain and heart that makes you feel truly rich.
The art of controlling the spender’s remorse
Yes, it’s an art, that we all struggle to learn. First, we buy something and later on we realize that we could have bought something better. *sigh* Happens every time when I do impulsive buying, which normally happens when someone else’s opinion (salesperson, friend, family, that ad you saw on Facebook) matters more than my own. But we can prevent it.
Let me ask you a question: If you have a certain amount of money that you can spend, how do you choose to spend it?
If a new outfit costs as much as a party at an expensive restaurant with friends, it better be a damn good outfit. The bottom line is, comparing and contrasting the ways you spend your money not only encourages you to slow down your impulses, it empowers you to feel control over the direction in which your bank account is going.
These are the small principles that I have been following lately. No matter what the ebbs and flows of your finances look like, feeling in control and financially independent is something that is incomparable. I have decided that I am not letting my experiences with money, lots of it or very little of it, rule my emotions and dictate my quality of life.
Was this helpful? Let us know your small techniques how you manage your finances, in the comments below.
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