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Money Story: Breaking Free from the Cycle of Money Shame and Improving Money Management

Blue background, a pair of hands holding one hundred dollar bills. The writing on the image: Money Story, Breaking Free from the Cycle of Money Shame

Money is a crucial aspect of our lives, yet it’s a topic that many of us feel uncomfortable discussing. From debt to overspending, we often experience money shame and feel embarrassed about our financial situation. However, it’s time to break free from the cycle of money shame and start taking control of our finances. In this post, we’ll explore what money shame is, the impact it has on our mental and emotional well-being, and how to overcome it and improve our money management.

What is Money Shame?

Money shame is the feeling of embarrassment or guilt about our financial situation. This can stem from debt, overspending, or a lack of savings. Money shame is something that many of us experience, but it’s rarely talked about due to the stigma surrounding money. We’re often led to believe that we should have everything figured out when it comes to our finances, but the reality is that money is complicated, and it’s okay to struggle with it.

Money shame can also be generational. If you've experienced poverty, which I have, you learn the language of "lack", not having enough and you begin to see money as bad. You also view those who have wealth as bad. You begin to equate money with bad, instead of viewing it as a tool that you can make work for you.

The Impact of Money Shame

Money shame can have a significant impact on our mental and emotional wellbeing. It can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, and even depression. Beyond the emotional impact, money shame can also impact our financial situation. If we feel embarrassed or ashamed about our financial situation, we may be less likely to seek help or advice, which can make it harder to get our finances back on track.

Overcoming Money Shame

So, what can we do to overcome money shame and start taking control of our finances? The first step is to recognize that money shame is a normal feeling and that many of us experience it. Next, it’s about shifting our perspective. Instead of viewing money as something to be embarrassed about or a taboo topic, we need to start viewing it as a tool that we can use to achieve our financial goals. We have to improve our relationship with money.

Once we have that perspective shift, it’s time to start taking action. This can mean creating a budget, paying off debt, and saving money. Finally, it’s important to surround ourselves with a supportive community, whether that’s friends and family who understand our financial situation or a financial advisor who can provide guidance and support.

Improving Money Management

Breaking free from the cycle of money shame is only the first step in improving our money management. Here are some tips for getting on track with your finances:

  1. Create a budget – This is the foundation for good money management. Determine how much money you bring in each month and what your monthly expenses are. This will help you see where your money is going and identify areas where you can cut back. Click here for a link my free budgeting sheet!

  2. Pay off debt – Debt can be a significant source of stress and embarrassment. Focus on paying off debt, starting with the debt with the highest interest rate. How do you eat an elephant? One chunk at a time. You put what you can into paying off the debt that is anchoring you down and keeping you from the life you want to live.

  3. Save money – Pay yourself first! Aim to set aside ten percent of your income. If that is too much, set aside twenty dollars. Whatever you can spare and place that in a high-yield savings account that you will not touch! Create an emergency fund and start saving for your future. Automatically transfer a portion of your income into savings each month so that you can reach your savings goals.

  4. Seek professional advice – If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your finances, consider seeking the help of a financial advisor. Many employers offer services to employees that offer financial advice. They can provide guidance and support on a variety of financial topics, from budgeting to investments. If seeking professional advice is something you are not able to afford or find, read!!! I found that reading up on financial wellness and getting out of debt has helped me a great deal. Here are a few books that you can purchase on Amazon or borrow from your local library.

Breaking free from the cycle of money shame and improving our money management takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. By taking control of our finances, we can reduce stress and anxiety, and achieve our financial goals. Remember, your financial situation doesn’t define you, and it’s never too late to start taking control of your finances.



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