According to Google, there are an unlimited amount of phobias. Since it’s October and Halloween is right around the corner, it’s only fitting I talk about some of the scares and fears involving money.
When I purchased my first home, I can remember being pretty naive to the whole home buying process. Although I had been a real estate agent right out of college, I didn’t have much knowledge of the lending side. ARMs, fixed rate, and jumbo, were all terms I neglected to understand and that ignorance came back to scare the hell out me post 2009 market crash.
I can remember having a monthly mortgage amount that tripled, even though my income remained the same because I’d blindly chosen an A.R.M. (adjustable rate mortgage). I had a depleted savings account because who was counting on the rain?!? I’d managed to defer my student loans as much as possible and at the time of my mortgage adjustment my student loan monthly payments became due. I vividly remember avoiding the mail and creditor phone calls and simply carrying on with my everyday life in a fog of denial feeling overwhelmed. The fear of the unknown was too real. Avoidance was easier.
Money fears are tricky because we can be terrified, yet hide and suppress those fears from others. Our past due ever-growing credit card balance isn’t jumping out at us in the dark, and our late fees aren’t chasing us as we run for our lives. We can torture ourselves in our minds, but no one has to see us visibly shaken or afraid. We can actually continue in or day to day, like everything is okay and no one would ever know the difference. But deep down that pit in your stomach grows and is a constant reminder that shit is just not right.
I’ve seen memes jokingly say that checking your bank account balance is the equivalent of checking your report card as a child. For those of you who were punished for poor grades, you’ll definitely relate to that nagging fear of exposing the truth once the bills are opened or the balance is checked. If only ignoring made the fear go away.
Now I’m deathly afraid of roller coasters (I hate that stomach drop feeling) and you couldn’t pay me enough to ride one, but I have forced myself to face that fear on several occasions. Facing fears involves an honesty and vulnerability that really frees you and your conscious. Admitting that you’re afraid, talking through why you’re afraid, and opening the mail, can really change your life.
Facing your money fears requires a sense of fed upness (I made up this word just now). It requires a level of tiredness where you know that you cannot keep living scared AF when it comes to your money. You have to adopt a sense of realness about your out of control spending and credit card balances and know that you want and deserve better.
It’s easier having help in a judgement free zone from someone who has been right where you are. Enough is enough, don’t you think? There’s no reason to be afraid any more, I’ve got you covered!