Understanding money can be fun

  • Know that emotions about money are okay. Use your feelings to understand your values, your needs, your wants.
  • Educate yourself about money. Know what compound interest, investments, etc. mean.
  • Money can inspire and motivate you. It can help you create joy. For example, buy a gift for a friend or give some support to your parents. It can help you feel happy about being generous.

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Why Are We So Emotional about Money?

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Your feelings do not correspond with your debt. You may think you will be happy if you pay off your debt, but you will always have something else to worry about. This just means that your emotions don't give an accurate picture of your financial situation.

You may be afraid that there will never be enough money. This scarcity mindset makes you play not to lose instead of to win. You don't want to negotiate your salary because you're scared of losing your job.

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The psychology behind our relationship with money

Anything important in our lives is emotional. Our relationships are emotional. So our money is emotional.

The problem is when we think money is all about math. We think questions like, "Should I buy a house?, or "Should I negotiate a higher salary?" is purely mathematical.

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  • The easiest way to reframe your mindset is to switch how you think about it. Instead of thinking about what your loan couldn't do for you, consider how you benefited from it. Maybe you met good friends, or you had valuable experiences.
  • Investigate your ideas, thoughts, and feelings about money. Ask why you want to be rich? What does money mean to you?

We all can have a rich life, but everyone's definition of rich is different. Money could be one part. What else would it include?

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It is normal to feel negative about money. For example, you may be paying off a college loan and feel anxious and guilty when thinking about your debt.

You may fixate on all the feelings around the terms of a loan, the interest on the loan, how much money you have to make a payment, the job you'd have to do to get to be where you want to be. These feelings can be made worse when you compare yourself to others. You can't go on vacation, but your friends can. Or they just bought cars, but you can't. 

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