Feeling overwhelmed with money? Ask yourself these 3 questions
I’ve worked with hundreds of clients (I’m a financial advisor if you didn’t already know that), one thing I have consistently found with the hundreds of clients I have worked with is that, at some point in time or other, we have all had the feeling of being overwhelmed by money issues.
That feeling, if left to fester and grow can have major impacts on other areas of your life. I’ve seen it affect people’s productivity at work, their relationships, as well as their health and well-being.
Spending more time worrying about money isn’t going to improve your situation. Only planned action can.
I’d like to share with you the three questions I use to help my clients overcome anxiety around money, and get them started them on a path to a confident financial mindset:
1. What do you really want?
2. Why do you want these?
3. What are the values that are most important to you?
Like most things, answering these questions can be simple. The doing is the hard part.
Let me share with you a story…
My close friend, James (not his real name for confidentiality), came to me one day, asking for help in getting more organized with his finances. He is single, 42 years old, and makes a relatively good income of $80,000 per year as a business manager of a retail store.
During the meeting, I found out his biggest issue was around his spending habits. I asked him, “Where do you think most of your money goes?” He couldn’t give a clear answer.
I asked James: What do you really want? Why do you want these? And what is most important to you?
James expressed that he would like to have enough to start a family, and retire sooner than later with his mortgage paid off.
When I asked him why he wanted these, he had no hesitation telling me that his parents worried about money a lot when he was growing up. It became apparent that his “why” was about doing better for the family he will have in the future.
When it comes to his values around money, I found out that stability and of course, a sense of financial freedom were important to him.
When he answered these 3 questions, he suddenly became more motivated to change, and the right action steps became clear to him!
We looked into his spending habits to gain some insight and awareness. After taking him through a budgeting exercise, we found out that he was spending $2,000–3,000 a month on eating out. This was way more than what he thought he was spending, or even wanting to spend, on food!
We then worked together on a budget that didn’t restrict his current lifestyle. We also drew out a plan to efficiently invest his money to prepare himself to have his own family one day, and achieve the financial freedom he wanted for himself.
Every time I touched based with James, we kept his goals, purpose and values around money always top of mind. This was the game changer.
It gave him the drive necessary to spend below his means and follow through with the action plan even when things got boring or tough.
It changed his everyday decisions around money and he felt excited every time he saw his freedom fund go up. I could tell that, even after just a couple of weeks of focusing on his goals, he had gained confidence in his financial future.
Connecting with our goals, our purpose and values help us gain clarity on what to do next. It also reminds us that life has a bigger vision for us, and that our problems are really small humps that we can go over, around or under, to get us to where we want to go.
Once we connect, align our decisions and take action, we overcome negative feelings and our situation starts to improve greatly.
Feeling overwhelmed by money issues? Ask yourself these same questions. If you need help, I’m here for you.