Earlier this week Michelle wrote a great post about how sometimes we let our financial situations control us.
I’m no different from her, I’ve spend many days and nights worrying and fretting about my money. I’ve worried that I won’t meet my financial goals, I’ve worried that I’m not going to have enough money in case of an emergency.
These things cause me to work way too hard to achieve my goals, to overreach and push myself to the point where I don’t have any time left to enjoy my life, and even if I had the time, I’m too frugal to spend money doing the things I love!
While it’s definitely true that taking care of your finances is important, at some point, it just becomes an obsession, and your money is controlling you, more than you are controlling your money. Fortunately there are lots of ways to take a step back, and remember that money is, after all, just money.
Limit Time Spent Checking Accounts
One of my big issues with allowing my money to control me is that I routinely will do my debt goal calculations more than I need to. I’ll check and recheck my budgets, my projected debt free date, and my Mint.com accounts, even though I know that nothing has changed since I looked at them last.
This is a terrible habit that keeps money at the forefront of my mind, even though I know that everything is taken care of. To combat this, I try to limit the number of times I check my accounts in a single day.
Make (and stick to) a Plan
To help me stop worrying so much, I make a plan to achieve my financial goals. My plans are really detailed, usually broken down by month.
That way, I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’m going to meet my goals. As long as I stick to the plan, I know I’ll be successful, so why worry about it?
Take Some Time Away
The biggest thing I do to make sure that my money isn’t controlling my life, is to step away from it.
This could be anything, a walk outside, a run with my dog, or just a mini vacation in the form of a camping trip or visiting family members in another city. Anything to get away from my spreadsheets, my goals, and my bank accounts. I usually come back from my breaks refreshed, and with more perspective about what is really important.
Having financial goals usually requires a lot of sacrifice, frugality, and hard work. It doesn’t have to mean that your money takes over your life or that you can’t enjoy yourself while working towards those goals.
Unfortunately, sometimes money gets the best of us, and it takes over our lives. Using these simple tips, you can make sure that you are in control of your money, and not the other way around.
Now, why do you think money controls your life?
What steps do you take to ensure this doesn’t happen?