In looking at my blog stats, I can’t help but notice when I mention the word “budget” or “finances” my readership sinks WAYYY down to a depressing low. In my opinion, I think this is because of two things: 1) It’s snoozerifically boring and/or 2) it totally freaks people out. Even though I understand both of those reasons, I have one harsh yet real phrase for those of you who fall into either or both of those categories: get over it.
Believe it or not, I’m more sympathetic towards those who think the topic is boring. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m part of an extremely small percentage of people on this earth who think budgeting is fun and exciting. And I get that. I also get that many would rather be closed in a casket with a million spiders than talk about money and bugeting. It’s uncomfortable. It’s at times embarrassing. It’s SCARY. Well, let me enlighten you: so is being broke (thank you, Dave Ramsey.)
I’m not saying you should broadcast a screenshot of your bank account on the evening news, or that you should display the amount of debt you have in skywriting. What I am saying is you should face your financial woes head on (and yes, EVERYONE has them.) Ignoring them and secretly praying that you’ll win the lottery is NOT a good financial plan. In fact, it’s not a plan at all.
I grew up with my mom telling me FEAR was an acronym for “false evidence appearing real.” And trust me, there are times when I have to repeat that to myself hourly. It’s not easy to face your fears, whether they be needles and blood or ghosts and extra terrestrial life. Fears allow your mind to wander and your imagination to become completely overworked. Of course there are things that deserve to be feared, like losing a loved one or growing old and being alone. But I think what my mom was always trying to tell me was most of the things you fear will never come to fruition. Sure if you’re claustrophobic there are times when you’re going to be faced with a teeny tiny space (like going down a tube slide at the playground or being stuffed into an elevator.) But being buried alive? Or having to crawl from New York to California through a tunnel with a 3-foot circumference? Probably never going to happen.
So whatever scares you, whether it be birds, clowns, bugs or your checking account balance, know that your fear is bigger than life, and it could most likely be scaled down significantly. I understand facing your fears takes baby steps, so I’m not suggesting you sit in the front row at the circus if Bozo is your worst nightmare. But start thinking about how you can settle your fears in small doses. That way when your child wants to have a clown at his/her birthday party to ride a unicycle and make balloon animals, you won’t start having heart palpitations. And more importantly, when it’s time to sit down and do retirement or estate planning, you don’t wear headphones and a blind fold to the meeting, or worse, keep rescheduling the meeting with your financial planner until it’s too late.