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June 9

Emotions and Money-A Toxic Chemistry For The Unwary

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Emotions and Money-A Toxic Chemistry For The Unwary

Emotions And Money

Humans are more emotional than rational, especially around money. About 98% of the time, humans act on emotion, not rationality. But to succeed, you need to hone your emotional competency. Doing so is especially important since emotional competency affects your money management skills. Envy can lead to overspending, while fear can limit your opportunities to build wealth.

So how do you build emotional competency on finance-related decisions? Here are a few steps to get started.

12 Powerful Benefits of Emotional Awareness

Stick to a Budget to Control Your Emotions and Money

When you purchase items based on your emotions, you fall prey to emotional spending. This bad habit stems from negative emotions, like stress or anxiety. But it can also come from positive emotions, like pride or happiness. Retail therapy is another word for this phenomenon, and 49% of Americans are guilty of it. While retail therapy can be therapeutic to some degree, the bills that come later could cause even more stress.

The best way to avoid emotional spending—and overspending—is to plan a monthly budget. Determine the income you’re making and compare that to your expenses. Include estimated costs for essentials like rent, utilities, and groceries in your budget. Don’t forget to cover leisure spending.

Finalizing a budget plan is only half the battle. The other half is summoning the willpower to stick to it. Do set restrictions to help you control your spending habits.

Emotions and Money: Make Smarter Investments

Emotional investing is another potential pitfall. Financial markets are volatile, and watching wide swings can induce fear and panic among investors. Plenty of investors experienced this at the beginning of the pandemic. To minimize their losses, they sold their holding. But stocks eventually rebounded, and those who held out made huge profits.

Diversify your investments. Since it spreads your capital out across different markets, your securities are less likely to suffer from the same market swings. Diversification puts you in a better position to control your emotions. If you use some of your funds to purchase stocks, it can generate huge returns. But stocks are relatively risky as major events can instantly trigger a crash. You can offset that risk by opting for safer investment options. The real estate market is more stable than the stocks and cryptocurrencies markets.

A good savings option is safer than any of those markets combined. An excellent choice for savings is a certificate of deposit (CD). A CD is a bank deposit that earns interest in a predetermined amount of time. Most CDs have fixed rates, so once you’ve applied for one, you’ll know exactly how much interest you can acquire by the end of the arrangement. Though you can’t double your investment, you’ll be able to calm your emotions by knowing that market volatility does not affect CDs. A savings account can go alongside your securities. They continually earn money and remain stable despite stock market fluctuations.

Emotions and Money: Remain in Control

You cannot get rid of your emotions. But emotions should always stand behind rationality, not the other way around. One way to practice this is to refrain from making snap decisions.

Practice money mindfulness. Pause to reflect on external and internal factors before you make an expense: are you buying that gadget because you need it or because you feel left behind? It might even be helpful to keep a journal with detailed accounts of your expenses. Write down what you felt when you made a purchase and compare your notes. You might see revealing trends. If you noted that you were stressed before you made an unnecessary purchase, you should find ways around this. Manage your negative emotions through practices like meditating or going for a run.

You need to develop your emotional competency. Emotional competency ensures that you stick to your financial plans, even when your emotions scream for you to do otherwise. Mastery over your feelings helps you gain confidence. With that confidence, you can achieve your financial goals and even your life goals.

 

  • .. yes, Doug … I certainly will be joining you & the ‘Tribe’ for the Developing Emotional Competency Course … there is : …When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. … A teacher can light the way and ease the way – in other words, facilitate learning – but the learner has to walk the path. (Buddhist proverb) … yes, Doug … to walk the walk & talk the talk … all the way to Mastery, right?

  • Thanks Penny. Your journaling idea is perfect! You might consider taking our Developing Emotional Competency Course here to help you understand the power your emotions have over your entire life.

  • … this is excellent … I’m regularly ‘going off the grid’ of my financial boundaries .. I’ve decided to expand my journalling, into creative monetary side-bars that include mid-range to long-term savings goals … complete with illustrations or cut n’ paste order catalogue photos so to keep my mind alive to my goals (needs before ‘wants’)… & not to veer off into expensive temporary gratification … set a firm amount monthly these discretionary temporary one-off spending diversions, such as favourite seasonal expensive foods, or become able to take advantage of a pop-up sale to purchase that high end suit at 50% off….also, to expand on a new creative element … possibly develop a hobby or interest that can assist in eradicating your stress & lead the hobby to at least paying for itself, or of course; optimal in creating extra income… create space for enjoyment in creation itself, … this also enhances social time; even online, with new found friends & interests … even knitting clubs, & … online tutorial bake-offs trying out your new recipes with promotion of your new Cook Book … have fun, be happy, enjoy new wealth … ‘Live long & Prosper’ …

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    About the Author

    Jade Grace Allen is a content writer interested in emotional competency. She is a contributor to this website blog.

    Jade Grace Allen

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