When I was in the 6th grade, I had a sleepover at my best friend’s house. While I was there, we played hide and seek in the dark with other friends in her basement. On one round, the lights went off. When someone was found, I turned the lights back on to see my friend with her head hiding underneath the rug, her body completely out, like an ostrich burying its head in the sand. I laughed, because what kind of hiding place is that?? But in reality, that is exactly what I used to do with my finances. I would hide my head under the rug, pretending like the problem didn’t exist. Have you felt that way before? Sometimes it just seems easier to hide from the problem than to deal with it head on. But this only makes the problem worse. Here are the reasons why you need to stop ignoring your finances, and start dealing with them head on.
YOU’LL FEEL LESS STRESSED.
The most important reason why you need to stop ignoring your finances and start dealing with them head on, is so that you will feel less stressed. Being brave and dealing with your finances will help you to feel in control. When we’re in control, we feel less stressed. One thing that Danny and I do once a week is sit down and have a money meeting. We look at exactly how much money we spent that week. We look at how much we earned. We review our financial goals and how much debt we have. We talk, and we deal with our situation head on. This is true even if you are single or otherwise managing money on your own. Be actively engaged with your finances and you will find that you feel much less stressed about them, even though you might think that the opposite is true. Ignoring you finances = stress. Dealing with your finances = much less stress.
YOU CAN CREATE FINANCIAL GOALS AND ACTUALLY ACHIEVE THEM.
Another reason to stop ignoring your finances is that you’ll actually be able to achieve financial goals. If you understand your current money situation, you can set goals for yourself. Maybe you want to get out of debt. Maybe you want to save up for a new car or a house. In order to achieve these kind of things, you’ll need to stop ignoring your finances. Tackling your finances head on will enable you to assess where you are versus where you want to go. It is sort of like the difference between trying to find a new place using your own intuition versus actually using a map. If you use a map, you are certainly more likely to (A) arrive at your destination and (B) arrive at that location in the most effective way. The same is true of your finances. If you have a map (your plan that you’ll make once you stop ignoring your finances) then you will likely meet your financial goals. And you’ll likely achieve them much sooner and more efficiently than you would have otherwise.
YOU’LL ACCRUE LESS INTEREST
If you stop ignoring your finances (particularly your debt) you won’t accrue as much interest on your debt. I think this is true for the same reason that weighing yourself frequently when you are trying to lose weight helps you lose more weight or otherwise stay on track. It helps keep your eyes on the prize. Accruing less interest means you’ll have more money. Having more money is good.
YOU’LL SPEND LESS MONEY
If you stop ignoring your finances, you’ll also spend less money. When you are in tune with your debt, financial goals and dreams, you are more likely to keep your spending under control. And that’s what we all want right? We want to be in control in all aspects of our lives. Especially when it comes to finances.
YOU’LL SAVE MORE MONEY
In addition, by spending less money when you stop ignoring your finances, you will save more money. Which will obviously help you pay off more debt or otherwise achieve financial goals.
You can be brave and start tackling your finances head on instead of burying your head in the sand. Your debt is not going to magically go away on its own. The down payment for your house is not going to magically appear. You might not win the vacation of your dreams. BUT, by not ignoring your finances, you can make those things happen because you are smart and you are able. Now get to budgeting! (and if you need ideas on how, be sure to check out this post on how to create a budget that actually works here).
Have you been burying your head in the sand regarding your finances or debt? What scares you the most?