Controling YOUR Money, Rather Than Letting IT Control YOU

Stop counting and start saving

We live in a culture that encourages debt and denies the lost art of delaying gratification. And, like color that fades on a cheap paint job, the repercussions of this lifestyle are beginning to show.

For example, researchers at Ohio State University in Columbus have found that high levels of income-eating debt—especially big credit-card bills—may be related to high blood pressure, insomnia and even problems with physical mobility, vision and hearing. Additionally, a recent survey shows that the overall, number-one greatest source of stress is personal finances. And, what do couples and/or business partners report that they fight about most often? Money.

Money is a hot-button issue for the majority of people these days. Everybody, it seems, has money issues, whether it is concern about the lack of resources, or the fear of losing it.

While women may experience a debilitating lack of confidence about taking care of themselves, men have more concerns about providing adequately for their families and their retirement.

Meanwhile, we are showered with seductive messages to Buy Now, Pay Later. Which many of us do. Then we have to work harder to keep up with payments, which causes even more stress. For both men and women.

The language of money is complex and subject to misinterpretation.

Often it is the early messages we received about money that influence our current beliefs. So, one of the first steps in dealing with money issues is to check out old ideas that continue to color behavior and attitudes.

Couples, or business partners, who may have grown up with different values about money, need to talk about their beliefs. Not who is right and who is wrong, but what the basic beliefs are. According to the Institute of Certified Financial Planners, by better understanding their attitudes and values toward money, individuals may be more able to gain control of money instead of it controlling them.

Many books on how to deal with financial issues are available, and advice from professionals such as banks, consumer financial agencies, financial planners and advisors, and accountants, is always a good idea.

But maybe the best place to start is with a healthy attitude toward money. Some ideas: 1) live within our means; 2) spend only when we have the money; 3) develop an attitude of gratitude for what we have; and 4) feel more in control by being willing to plan and save for future desires.