What Are You Afraid Of? My Biggest Financial Fears
I’m scared of a lot of things, including writing this post for the world to see. I’m scared that I need to know everything there is to know about personal finance or I am a terrible blogger. I’m scared that I am not as financially prepared as I think I am. I’m just scared. On a small scale, I have completed all of the right steps to put my financial future on the right path, but on a larger scale I am so much farther behind many of my friends, family, and co-workers. How do I know how much income I’ll need per month, 40 years from now? How do I know where I’ll even be 40 years from now? I don’t even know what I want to be doing 4 years from now.
I would categorize myself as a planner, yes. But when it comes to planning – one month ahead is as far as I’ll explore. Thinking past that chills me to the core. The most pressure I’ve ever put on myself to accomplish a goal is paying off my debt. And this is a new feeling for me. It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotional turmoil. My brain tells me what an idiot I am every single day.
You've posted that you’ll have your debt paid off by the New Year to everyone! If you don’t do it now, you are a failure!”
Failure. A word no one ever wants to hear. And that is my biggest financial fear. It is vast, it is wide, and it will take you out so quickly no one will ever know who did it. If you fail to plan ahead when it comes to money, the failure you see will not only affect you in that moment, but for a long time to come.
I fear I will fail to provide myself with the opportunity to afford all of the things I want in life. I fear I will fail to save enough money for a successful retirement. I fear that I will never be able to support a family, if I do end up having one. But mostly, I fear that I will be forever facing some sort of debt.
Of all those fears, the one that I am grateful to have is a fear of debt. I wish I wasn’t the only one who was fearful of having a negative number sitting in their account and draining them of so many possibilities. I want to be afraid of debt, but I don’t want debt to control me.
I’m afraid that the moment I start to feel a little bit confident something will drastically change my income, budget, or expenses. I want to be happy for all of the progress I have made but until I have completed paying off all of my debt I don’t see that happening. I still fear buying one dinner, one oil change, and one haircut. I have spent the least I’ve ever spent in my entire life on my personal appearance. I worry that I will lose who I am because I am so dialed in to my current goal.
Every day is a challenge to find a healthy balance between enjoying life, work, and thinking about what I want for the future. It’s seemingly impossible to choose a career because the opportunities are endless. But fear is only a small part of who I am emotionally. So why should I keep letting it consume who I am?
It’s time for me to put fear aside and start forcing myself to live outside of my comfort zone. It’s time for me to trust that I have built a strong enough budget which means I won’t have to worry about overspending. It’s time for me to put more effort into the things I love without the fear of failure. We only have limited time to experience so many outside prospects. We will only be as successful as we push ourselves to be.
The bottom line here is that my financial fears are only holding me back from tackling them. Why am I letting my fears persuade me out of things that I have wanted to do for years? It’s about understanding moderation and overcoming each financial barrier as it comes. It’s not about me knowing how much money I’ll need per month, 40 years from now. It’s about me knowing who I am as a person and the type of lifestyle that best reflects my personality.
When you are faced with the serious stresses that debt and personal finance cause everything else in your life becomes more difficult. You convince yourself that you should have never let this happen to you and that you are not intelligent enough to make financial decisions.
The reality is that we are all bound to make these financial mistakes.
No one is out there to tell us not to.
No one other than you can create a financially literate person. No one out there but you can control your debt load. No one other than you can fight your fears. No one.
So yes, I am scared. I have fear. But I also have a lot of motivation, creativity, and perseverance. I have more chance of success than I do of failure. I have the right mindset to move forward without worry that I am making the wrong decisions. And that is exactly what I am going to do.
What are some of your greatest financial fears and how do you battle back?