The Seven Capital Sins of Financial Wellness
Are you a sinner when it comes to personal finance?
Whether the result of ego, insecurity or just plain laziness the barriers that are preventing you from eternal wealth and prosperity boils down to simply human weaknesses. These human weaknesses are nothing new, and have been named in history, so we mortals could better fight the enemy that is within us.
In the gospel of finance, the following seven capital sins of financial wellness could land you in financial purgatory if you don’t take active measures to combat them. Luckily, we have some tips and tricks to help absolve you of these fiscally harmful wrongdoings.
Gluttony is not only about eating and drinking, but also about over-indulging and over-consuming: buying based on immediate short-term satisfaction. We understand the rush from instant gratification that shopping creates and how easy it has become to shop. There is no denial that shopping addiction is a real affliction, and you should seek help if your urge to consume is uncontrollable. However, if you feel that setting certain habits might be enough for you, we recommend trying the following: First if you see something online or in a store that you want to compulsively buy wait until the next day. If twenty-four hours later you still feel that you want to buy it, then ask yourself the following: How many times will I use this? Will the third or fourth time give me the same pleasure as the first time? This simple routine will help you eliminate compulsive shopping and reduce over consuming.
To stop battering your budget with your constant need for more, is all about self-control. Wanting more will always generate the need for you to make more. Try to get off the hamster wheel by understanding what are your “wants” versus your “needs.” Once you figured out what you really need, make a list of things for which you are grateful. Practicing gratitude rather than focusing on the things you don’t have will go a long way on making you be more content with what you have and help you stick to your budget.
I guess you do not need us to lecture you on the consequences of not caring about your finances and its effects on financial wellness. We know keeping your finances in order is hard while juggling work, gym, laundry, cooking, cleaning (we could go on!). But, you cannot expect others to solve your problems and the good news is nowadays there are so many ways that allow you to manage your personal finances from your couch! Plenty of set it and forget it saving platforms: direct ACH debit from your account, round up your purchases, recurring investments, etc!
Great examples of these tools are apps like Mint that helps you create a budget and keep track of it pretty much effortlessly, investing platforms like Acorns will round up your purchase and deposit it in your investing account, and School of Whales recurring investment feature allows you to save money by debiting from your account every month without you having to do absolutely anything.
Why do we keep idolizing people whose only merit arguably is being rich and famous? Do we really believe on the everlasting happiness portrayed by others in social media?
Let’s do ourselves a favor and stop trying to match those lifestyles. Are we really happier when we get ourselves in debt? Spending more than what we can afford to get the plastic surgery procedure that will make us look like the “beauty” we saw in Instagram or buying that designer bag that cost two months of your salary will move you far away from financial wellness. Don’t envy what others have! Trust us, you want it, but you don’t need it. If you need to envy something, covet being in peace with your finances. That’s something to be jealous about!
Lust is envy’s evil sister. We know, envy is evil as well, so let’s not get into technicalities. But to understand lust in the context of personal finance, we need to see it as the lovechild of excess, jealousy and greed. We want things, we want them now: luxurious, opulent and providing of immediate pleasure.
Like with gluttony, exercise self-control. A good habit to manage lust is before spending ask yourself, will this expense give me as much pleasure when the credit card bill shows up next month? Will the pleasure outweigh the anxiety I feel when I check my bank statement?
Nobody likes a showoff. That being said, we get it: We all want to let the world know how well we are doing; we want to prove to our friends from school that they were wrong on their vote for less likely to succeed! We need to show them that we made it!
The reality is, nobody cares…In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Don’t go over budget (or worse) go into debt, just so you can parade your luxury car around town or to have the biggest house.
Don’t get into an infinite race to keep up with the Joneses or fall into the trap of not wanting to look cheap. You’ll be a lot happier if you have peace with your finances and that is something you should be proud of it.
Do not get angry at the fact that you cannot afford certain things. If you really want something and you feel it is a justified expense, plan, save and work for it. But do it strategically; don’t go into debt unless it is smart debt. If you go out of budget, be easy on yourself and get back on track. It is a process, and consistency is more important than perfection. Getting mad will not help you fix the issue. If your better half is creating financial issues, breathe, don’t bring the wrath, discuss it, create a plan, work together and look for guidance.
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