Marcia's Blog

3 fears that will keep you in debt

Sometimes we experience financial difficulties because of situations we can’t control such as a job loss or a medical emergency. However, other times we can be our own worst enemies.

Fear is one of those emotions that can wreak havoc on our finances -- if we let it. Here are three fears that could be ruining your financial future.

You’re afraid to assess your financial situation. I’ve heard people say they don’t know how much debt they have or they don’t know the balance of their bank account because they are afraid of what they’re going to find. Sound familiar? While you may think ignorance is bliss, if you don’t know what’s wrong, how are you going to fix it? Instead of fearing your finances, take a deep breath, list all of your assets and liabilities – and then decide how you can do better.

You’re afraid of what others think about you. We all want to make a good impression, but if you’re doing things you can’t afford to do in order to influence the opinion of others or keep up with the Jones’s, you’re digging yourself into a financial hole. There’s nothing shameful about being responsible with your finances. Sometimes you have to say ‘no.’ In fact, you may inspire others to spend more wisely too.

You’re afraid to seek help.  Some people know they need financial advice but they’re ashamed of their financial situation or afraid that they will be judged by a counselor. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. As a non-profit counseling organization, we see people every day who are striving to build better financial lives. We’ve seen every financial mistake you can imagine – and some you’ve never dreamt of. Not only will you come away from a counseling session empowered and inspired, but you’ll likely find that your situation isn’t as bad as you thought it was.

Fear happens to the best of us. Expect it and acknowledge it, but don’t let it stop you.