Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Money Problems are more than Dollars and Cents

Who has money problems? Everywhere we look, if we shared check books, credit account information, and income to debt ratio; we’d find out that the majority of everyone around us – has money problems.

Unexpected repairs, emergencies, poor spending habits, living beyond the income to try to enjoy the activities that others do, and a thousand more excuses can be given to why we suffer with money problems.

Is it really possible to keep our total debt below our income and have enough to save for emergencies? 

The only person who can answer this – is the one who manages your income and your home finances. It depends on the individual and each situation. 

Solutions that help one person – may not help another. But how many choose to make their money situations worse by not changing how they budget and spend their money? How many make excuses to justify their money problems? How many rely upon another to get them through their money problems, instead of, solving money troubles their self? How many lean on “borrow” - as their money solution for every money problem they experience?

When we are emotionally stressed over money – our logical and rational parts of our brain that help us balance our emotions; does not appear to work. Why?   

Because we won’t let it or we’ve never been taught how to let it help us. Most can’t or won’t acknowledge these sections of the brain that balance us out. 

Many refuse to learn how to become more rational and logical thinkers. Instead, we comfortably choose the chaos and stresses we create as the primary emotional thinkers and responders – we are. 

But what happens when we keep doing the same old things with the same old results? Isn’t that exhausting and aging fast on us – what is the origin of all this?

Nature is the genetics and biochemistry of each human body and individual person. Nurture is what we were born and subjected too of the experiences that make us an individual of who each of us are. 

For many, we can build up years of bad behaviors and harmful repetitive ways of life that it clouds our judgment and our decision making abilities. We do not even admit, realize, or acknowledge the things that make each of us who we are. 

We are not taught that we can choose what our brains are capable of. We are not taught that we can learn about our emotions. We are not taught that we can control the bad that happened to us by learning the good. We are taught through our experiences and accept this as the final control of who we are to do what we do.

If our experiences were bad, we learned how to be bad. If our experiences were good, we learned how to be good. 

But in all this learning – most are never given the choice to the lessons and tools they want to use to become the person they choose to be. Most never value learning because of the wasted information we have been given that did not help us - so why should try on our own to learn how to better self?

Even the most elite and prestige of our society who appear to have it all – mostly do not. Why? Ask them if they had a choice? Ask them if they really got to decide for their self what they choose to be in life? Did their parents pressure them to become who they are as adults? Do they allow influence of others to dictate who they are and became? Do they really take  control of their life to create it and make it as they choose to be? Are they willing to put forth the effort to learn what they want or simply accept what they have been given?

Ignorance is not an excuse. Placing blame in not an excuse. It can explain why we do what we do or what we did. Sympathy and empathy can help us understand each other but it does not take away the accountability each will be responsible for. Sooner or later – the experiences, the choices, and the consequences will only fall on each individual person to answer for. 

A parent cannot forever protect their child/adult child from the mistakes they make. Accountability to our choices and actions will be answered by each. 

Facts and evidence will always be stronger than denial. The truth is that ignorance is a reality that most of us live in – especially – with our money and how we manage our finances.

This is not too belittle anyone. I survived these very same things I blog about. It is not easy to admit change must occur and it's hard to do. But it is worth the efforts to try and to keep on trying to solve problems and prevent problems - especially with money.

So please, do not take emotional defense nor emotional offense to this, just yet. For one second, keep an open mind and an open heart.

Answer these questions and then make your evaluation. The answers may surprise you about your response and who you are too. 

·        When you have money problems do you feel tightening or tension increasing the sensations in your spine, back of your neck, or pain in your head – what do you do?
·        When money problems require an immediate solution do you feel your blood boil, your tears swell, or your nerves feel like they are on fire or jittery inside you – what do you do?
·        Does your palms feel sweaty or your mouth increase in moisture when you are forced to think of solutions about your money problems – what do you do?
·        What tone of voice do you use to try to convince another that you need money?
·        Does your voice crack, waver in tone and pitch asking for money?
·        Do you use consistent volume in your vocal plea for money assistance?
·        How do you feel inside when another rejects to help you in your money problem?

In the answers you give to these questions, did you think about your answers? Did you consider what you really felt? Can you name the emotions that make you feel certain ways about money problems?

Now imagine yourself, in someone else’s money situation for a second. Imagine, they are just as hard pressed as you are to find solutions for their money problems – as you are yours. Their money problems are just as important as your money problems.

  • What would you say to them? 
  • How do you think they would answer these questions? What would you notice about their emotions and their body reactions if you could witness them living the questions above? 
  • Would their body reactions and emotional levels be the same? 
  • Would they react differently emotionally and in their body responses? 
  • Why do you think this is?

Our body responses of feeling our nerves become jittery inside or increased palm sweating and tension in our necks, spines, or head pains can be produced by the internal thoughts and emotions we are having – not necessarily by the external stimuli going on around us. 

How we feel about money and our money problems affect us personally within through our thoughts and our emotions. These processes occur deep within - before they ever reach the surface of our external body.

We cloud our internal thoughts and emotions by focusing on these overwhelming impulses that come from money problems. We feel anger, depression, anxiety, fear, defensive, and offensive. We want these pains of money problems to stop. But yet - we don't change our thoughts or emotions of money and therefore, we won't do anything different to solve the money problem either. We self-sabotage instead.

We are human beings. We are programmed by nature and nurture of our biochemistry and our life experiences that help us to solve problems – but these same processes; also helps us create our problems; when we are not aware to what makes a human being an individual person. We don't allow our self the ability to admit we messed up and that we are responsible for changing our ways to stop and prevent problems. We think mistakes, errors, and hard lessons are only for children to gain in their life lessons. 

Adults do have a harder time accepting their consequences and mistakes than children ever will. Who is immature and without forgiveness now?

Mental health and psychology is not just for those who are struggling with diagnosed medical conditions. These entities of learning emotional health and gaining new skills of rational and logical reasoning are for each person to try and gain. 

·        How do you know that you need help if you never ask?
·        How do you know what you are missing out on, if you never try something new?
·        How can you ever learn to overcome mistakes or repetitive issues – if you never seek to learn to try something new or different?

Money problems are always issues that run deeper than what appears to be on the surface. One can look at a checkbook to see the errors or view statements to know the interest being paid on an item is not worth the value purchased. One can view the logical and rational information that displays the mistakes of financing.

But what one cannot see – is the processes, thoughts, and emotions going on in the person who is struggling to overcome their money problems and the source that produces these mistakes. We cannot feel their emotional impulses that makes them create bad choices that produce their money problems. 

Prevention and awareness are healing elements to overcome money problems. There are no short-term fixes of money. Money problems can only be solved through dedication and persistence to eliminate the problem and working to make sure the problem never occurs again. 

Just as 100 pennies add up to equal a dollar - so does correcting money problems. It takes 100 little money problems to make 1 large money problem. Fixing those 100 little problems should be the focus - not the 1 huge money problem.

Imagine all the pennies that have been thrown away – tossed out and even trashed. It is with penny control that allows dollars to be controlled. Without having gratitude for one penny; a person will never appreciate a stack of dollar bills either.

The internet is a library of useful information. Most of us never even touch the surface of its potential to help our lives. The choice is ours. The freedom we have to live, explore, learn, and survive is within each of us to do as we wish. 

But in this freedom of living by the same old processes that we have been accustomed too – are we helping our self to grow, mature, and become more responsible? Or are we really all just insane by living in the same old processes that produce the same old consequences and having delusions that our outcomes will be different this time? 

Insanity is doing the same repetitive thing - over and over - and expecting a different outcome. What are the majority of us in our money problems? Are we financially insane?

·        To stop debt – one must stop spending.
·        To decrease debt – one must pay more than the minimum payment.
·        To save money on household expenses – one must change the way they shop to create savings.
·        To save money – one must stop spending money wrecklessly.
·        To decrease money problems – one has to admit there is a problem and work constantly toward the solution.

Common sense of money is easy to say and hard to do. Emotions affect the way we think and feel on the outside which makes us react on the outside. These reactions inside – each of us - affect how we spend, budget, and manage our money too.

Until a person gets tired of hitting the same hard wall or falling down to rock bottom of living life on the roller coaster of emotional highs and lows - afflicted by their money choices and consequences – they won’t change nor will their money problems.

An addict will not change their habits nor lifestyle nor will they want to learn new skills to help their life until they chose too.   

When an addict gets help it is because they got fed up with suffering from the choices of their addictions that keeps them in pain. They choose to break free to stop their addiction - by admitting they have a problem. They have a plan they are dedicated and focused upon. They work every day to the core of their emotions and thoughts to overcome. The hard price they pay to endure suffering withdrawal is worth it when the suffering ends through healing and recovery and stopping the addiction. They will gain a valuable lesson of their strength, bravery, resilience, and respect their courage that comes from healing and recovery to give them peace. Isn’t peace and stress-free what we all want as our ultimate goal of money? Are we working to achieve this?

We can solve our money problems – even if - our withdrawals hurt. Positive changes can produce short-term emotional tolls on us to do things differently or to live in a different way than we are comfortable with of our money situations. But we should. It’s a long-term investment in our health, increases our quality of life, and adds more than money to the value of our lives when we do.

If we do not change how we think, feel, and react to our money than we only survive with the same constant state of biochemistry misfortunes to allow nature and nurture to control us to deprive us of the full potential we can become. Humans control money. Money does not control us.

It is easy to throw tips out there about money management, financial control, and how to get the most out of our money – but it’s not so easy to peel off the surface of the problem to gaze deep within – is it?

Think about this. Help is not a sign of weakness. Help is a sign of strength. Seeking help of new skills and new learning teaches us to become better than we are yesterday. That’s progression. Not regression. This counteracts the negative effects of insanity in our lives to create positive effects with permanent healthy changes. We can have health relations with money - if work for it.

Moving forward in life requires a focus of a bigger picture and being able to peacefully enjoy the journey. This is what makes life worth living! It is admitting and doing the hard stuff to progress from the past emotions of yesterday – to live for the moment of today and to enjoy the hopes of tomorrow.

Denial is a choice that has harsh consequences. Ignorance is a reality of truth in each of us. Don’t allow your money problems to take away from you more than they already have.

Admit the problem. Own the problem. Work little by little to solve each individual problem. Work to make sure these little problems never swell into huge money problems again. Only you can be grateful for a penny. Only you can respect a dollar. Only you can control both.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Bankruptcy Prevention

Can bankruptcy be prevented? Does bankruptcy have to be the final solution to mend money problems? The answer depends on the circumstances of a financial situation and the emotions used. What emotional factors can play a role in deciding to file for bankruptcy or working to prevent bankruptcy?

Emotions produce two financial effects of how we manage money.  Instant gratification and delayed gratification are very real roles of emotions that affect how a person spends and budgets their income. The reasons of bankruptcy do vary of why bankruptcy is the only solution for many. But what if bankruptcy is preventable by building awareness about emotions and financial management? What can our emotions teach us in learning to rebuild after bankruptcy? What can be gained from mistakes and lessons of money?

Medical debt is a financial issue that can impact credit scores, decrease spendable money and place hardships on home budgets.
The less suspecting causes of bankruptcy usually stem from sources or activities that occur by spender choice. Job lay-offs and employment issues can play a role in choosing to file for bankruptcy too. However, the majority of home budgets suffer financial hardships due to their emotional spending habits and inabilities to control their money. Instant gratification becomes the emotional financial priority before delayed gratification of money is.

How does these things affect the way we spend money? Instant gratification is the enemy of money and the greatest challenge to overcome when managing finances. To convince self that it is better to wait and to be patient is the hardest reality of managing money wisely and responsibly. Delayed gratification produces immaturity, impulsiveness, and dangerous high risks of financial problems that produces unhealthy stress that often leads to bankruptcy.

“People who grow up without a sense of how yesterday has affected today are unlikely to have a strong sense of how today affects tomorrow. “– Lynne Cheney

Instant gratification is being happy in the moment, at all cost. Instant gratification robs people of time and money. This produces an unhealthy balance of home and work lifestyles. This deprives an individual from maturing to their real potential in life. Instant gratification does not produce growth but prevents it.

Delayed gratification produces happiness and solid achievements. This slower processes allows us time and opportunity to look for wiser options and mature solutions to create responsible and stress-free consequences. Work and home life become balance through delayed gratification because we are not simply rushing to feel the high of a reward but are we patient to learn it and earn it instead. Time and money are not valued with instant gratification.

People who misplace life quality with instant gratification are hurting the relationships they have and their self because they want the feel good of highs now without regard to the future consequences they are producing.

Marriages, partners, families, and children suffer in lifestyles of instant gratification. This is a bigger emotional issue than financial matters because it does impact every aspect of a person’s life. Delayed gratification forces us to analyze and evaluate our time and money honestly so we can responsibly manage both. Delayed gratification helps to build new skills and healthier goals of moving beyond past mistakes to produce positive changes with a hopeful future. Delayed gratification gives a sense of honest security that instant gratification never will produce.

With money, most tend to spend and budget in the immediate moment. Many feel they must spend their money now. They must fulfill their wants now. Many juggle their funds to stay afloat of financial priorities to barely keep their lights on.

But yet, the short-term and long-term suffering they do to self and others in this instant gratification stress continues on. A harmful cycle of excessive worrying about bills not being paid and fearfulness of services being disconnected or repossessions occur to threaten and decrease quality of their home life.  

Many continue to buy the new item they want or go on a vacation or spent their money with friends or family they couldn’t afford to enjoy instant gratification. The instant high of this lifestyle leaves them suffering until the next payday to get them by again on this never ending cycle. This vicious cycle of trying to force balance of instant gratification against delayed gratification does not work to produce a healthy living home environment nor does it help decrease stress.

To be employed or receive any income is delayed gratification. Each must wait upon their money before they can spend and balance their budgets. Every company possesses delayed gratification to wait upon customer payment and other factors to know their income and asset worth. If only we’d placed as much emphasis on delayed gratification of how we spend and budget money as we do waiting on it to arrival.

Here’s an example to consider.
If $50,000 cash was given to you as free money, what would you do with it?  How would you choose to spend the money? This answer will determine if you are an instant gratification financial manager of your home budget or if you are delayed gratification financial manager of your money.

Do you choose to use the money to pay off debt, pay off credit card balances, or pay off balances on recurring bills to prevent late fees? Do you choose to spend the money on what you want instead for personal desire? Do you buy an expensive item that you cannot afford future maintenance and repairs on instead?

Which of these options is the mature ones? Which one of these options are the immature ones?
Why do you believe delayed gratifications are the mature options?
Why do you believe instant gratifications are the immature options?

To pay off debt is to have maturity by using delayed gratification. Delayed gratification builds awareness to the debt responsibility already obtained for the services or items you wanted. It is doing the right and moral thing to pay off debt already owed before increasing new debt. It is wise and responsible to pay for the items you have already possess versus buying more items of what you cannot afford.

To buy more items through instant gratification while having debt pending is producing characteristics of not appreciating what you have. This displays that you do not respect money that has already purchased items in your life.  This creates a financial unbalance in your home and will affect how you perform and financially manage at work too.  How is instant gratification with immaturity healthy for a family or one’s mind, emotions, and thoughts? Instant gratification is not a healthy life to have nor does it produce healthy consequences.

Do not get caught up in the envy or desires of instant gratification of others’ financial choices. They do not buy your home or pay to live in your home. Do not let their life rule the tools and money you have to survive and live upon. 

Narcissistic people are dominating individuals who value relationships based upon the control they obtain from others. Their tactics can involve emotions, money, time, supervising or managing roles. Narcissistic people use others and when it comes to our money we must be aware to their tactics. Do not ever become manipulated to please others or be accepted by others because of trying to fit into a lifestyle you cannot afford. Do not be vulnerable with emotional empathy to give financial assist to others without using logic and rational thinking in financial matters. For it is only you who suffers the consequences, not them.

Many suffer from self-sabotage by buying wants before spending on priorities first. Home budgets, debts, and assets detail the real characteristics of their real life. Many try to justify their instant gratification with the mentality that as long as they stay afloat each month to keep their lights on or their credit accounts open with minimal payments – then they are doing enough for the next payday that will balance it out again.  They get comfortable in this unhealthy cycle. But what about the future?

How much debt has to be increased before reality confronts many with the tough choice of bankruptcy as their only option? What type of uncontrollable emergency will happen to force out the facts of poor spending and immature budgeting habits? What detriments will occur with income that will force awareness to the financial problems that exist and can be stopped?

Reality of instant gratification and delayed gratification occurs in how we manage, budget, and spend our money. But most are too busy complaining, worrying, or doing nothing to fix their money problems. When reality hits a curve ball of their immaturity and impulsiveness of mishandling of bills and impulsive spending – than it’s a completely different story. Self has no choice but to admit they could have prevented financial problems and prevent bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy can be prevented. Bankruptcy exists because of poor financial management skills. This is the only honest way to view bankruptcy. When debt increases to a maximum limit that cannot be afforded, bankruptcy is usually the only solution. When we live beyond our income and do not manage wisely, bankruptcy is what happens. We get comfortable with income and our health to live accordingly. But if either change, our financial lives must change with it. By focusing more on delayed gratification of how we spend and manage money; our future of uncertainty will fare better and with less stress than doing nothing at all or living in complete denial of how our emotions and our actions will produce the consequences of our futures.
What lessons can be learned after bankruptcy? Do people realize the errors of their ways to correct immature, impulsive, and instant gratification lifestyles or do they simply fall back into their old behaviors and emotional ways that got them into bankruptcy court to begin with? Do they repeat these same bad financial choices and budgeting habits?
The most difficult situations of money mistakes can be reversed to create valuable money lessons. Money mistakes are more forgiving and easier to overcome through delayed gratification than it is to gain forgiveness from people when making mistakes.  Money is mend-able when damaged than most of our relationships with people are.  

This sad and truthful fact proves how we can turn our negative money mistakes into positive money lessons. Mistakes teach us our weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and incompetency. Lessons teach us the values of how not to repeat those mistakes and how to prevent future occurrences. Learning these factors of life in our financial and money situations is as important to mature and learn from as every other topic and life event we endure as adults.

Math is the core component of truth and fact of our financial situations. Math details our truth, integrity, responsibility, and maturity that is represented as evidence in how balanced our personal financial lives are. It does not matter what show we want others to believe about us. All that matters is that our home budgets and financial matters are balanced with facts and evidence with truth of who we really are. If we have no integrity of truth and facts of honesty at home in our financial matters, we will not have this in our jobs nor with others either. Money details more about us than we realize.

Excuses possess validity about the existence of a problem that requires a solution to fix or stop the problem. Get to the source or origin of the problem – not the excuse. Do not offer quick fix remedies of money problems for this only increases instant gratification. Denial, ignoring, or seeking quick fix money solutions to excuses is a clear indication of an instant gratification problem. Do not allow instant gratification to sabotage your emotions, wants, and health with unrealistic and illusion financial blinders on. The truth will come out of how well you cope and manage your money emotionally, as well as, rationally and logically. 

Money is a tool that requires responsibility and maturity to manage with logical and rational reasoning. Emotional security of money comes only from delayed gratification to do the moral things with money, the first time. 

This information will help you answer the hard questions about your money situation to understand the truth of your money, math, and how well you balance your financial matters personally or professionally. Do not allow instant gratification of money mistakes to ruin your present or your future. 

Acknowledge money mistakes. Work to correct money mistakes. Be real. Be honest. Math will not lie. The truth and evidence of your spending and budget habits will not lie; even if, most verbally and visually try too.

#1. – Do you have more debt than your income can pay? Do you have a plan to pay off your debt?
#2 – Do you ignore or communicate with your debt collectors?
#3 – Do you spend your money constantly feeling like you are on a thin, thread constantly dreading something will break your financial situation?
#4 – Do you have excessive highs and lows with your income, money, or bills? Why? It is emotional? It is logical? It is mature or immature?
#5 – Do you feel your employer is at fault because you do not make enough money to cover your lifestyle of debt and bills? Do you secretly blame others for not liking you because you can’t afford to do what they do? Do you blame others when you have no money to spend? How much of your spending, managing, or budgeting of your money do you hold yourself responsible and accountable for?

Your honest answers to these questions should give you a truthful evaluation of your home financial situation.

To prevent bankruptcy is to:
#1 – Budget and plan what to do with your money before you shop. Stop spending money or borrowing money before income arrives. Decrease instant gratification spending habits by changing the way you budget and spend money.
#2 – Pay bills before the due dates. Create a plan to pay off debt earlier than the statement date. Increase delayed gratification by paying bills first and decreasing debt to decrease stress and restore healthy financial balance in the home.
#3 – Communicate with debt collectors and bill companies when having financial hardships or becoming aware of income changes. Most businesses do have compromising solutions when you reach out for help. They do not want to lose customers. How can a business help you if you are fearful to contact them or won’t communicate with them?
#4- Use imagination scenarios to help you control money and to be a mature budget-er and spender. What if you were a parent – how would you teach your child to spend money wisely and responsibly? What if you were a teacher – how would you teach your students to budget their incomes? If you were a bank executive – what would you teach your clients to help them manage their checking or savings account to prevent overdrafts? If you only had $10 cash left to spend – consider new ways to spend it by valuing it with delayed gratification instead of instant gratification. Imagination scenarios can relieve the pressures of making tough money choices and helps produce usable skills to improve spending habits and to control budgets. It’s harder to waste money if you think you could be hurting a child by not managing money wiser or that you would be adding stress to another by the choices you make with money.
#5 – Lastly, if you would not advise someone else to spend or budget their money in a harmful way – than do not do it yourself.

Each must learn their method of managing and budgeting their money responsibly. The internet provides financial tools, emotional skills, and valuable information to stop and prevent money mistakes to produce positive and healthy life balances of work and home financial management. Focus on your math. Focus on your emotions. Be honest of how your emotions affect your spending and budgeting abilities. No one can make or break your financial situations but you. Good luck.