Ep 77: Let us explore conversations around money and how that can create a better life.
Today’s podcast is about those complex conversations about money. Everyday we talk about money in one way or another. We may go through the drive through first thing in the morning getting a latte or a coffee or breakfast. And when doing so, we have a conversation.
“Small white coffee almond milk latte please” Then they ask if you want a danish or if you have a punch card, they might even ask how your day is going and you reply, good thank you. This is often our first money conversation of the day about money, unless you spoke to your child or your spouse about needing some cash.
And to my knowledge, these small minor conversations do not generally lead to or cause anxiety. We will refer to this type of money conversation as the drive through or #1 example.
Then there is the Verizon experience where either you are calling about your or a bill that has to do with service or money.This conversation nowadays is often easy and non taxing, but on occasion there might be a problem generally when you have lost your phone and trying to get a new one or you a technical problem that is not about money. This can cause tension and stress but it’s not because of money perse. We will refer to this type of money conversation as example #2. This one is any conversation that has minor stress and tension related to something you have spent money or or maybe even spend money on regularly.
Next we have the type of money conversation in where you were charged for something that you did not order or want and you are asking for a refund and possibly trying to cancel.This might be with a cable company or an online company in where your purchase has become problematic.
Generally, this can be very stressful because finding someone to talk to is difficult and getting a refund or resolution is frustrating. We will refer to this type of money conversation as example #3.
Next we have the situation where you procrastinate the money conversation because of money owed and its possible that it is owed to a collection agency or a bill collector. We will call this type of money conversation as the dreadful experience, example #4. This can be medical, student loans, overdraft fees, maybe you even owe a friend or family member money. Any situation that is painful for you to have.
So, of course there are many many scenarios that we all deal with each and everyday. And many of us have no anxiety around these typical conversations, but there is also a very high percentage of people that procrastinate conversations around money because of the anxiety that comes with money talks.
So, let’s explore why? Shame, guilt, worry, laziness, fear, and concern and even anger are often big reasons to avoid these types of conversations. Perhaps, avoiding money talks has worked in the past. Maybe you have put off paying money owed long enough and the situation has disappeared, Right? If you have, then you were dealing with this underlying stress of avoidance.
Another reason people avoid is they do not have the money to take care of the situation. Perhaps they feel that amount of money they have cannot be spared because they just don’t have enough money to spare.
So, this is where the art of artistic expression comes in. You need to make the calls. I want to encourage you strongly to make the calls that are hard to make. A phone call is critical for your personal growth. Remember, a phone call does not have the power to force you into paying. It’s a conversation. Find out what you can do, even if it is to just check in with them.
Anytime you find yourself responding to fear, shame, guilt, worry and or concern, remember this, almost always; a calm conversation will reduce your stress and worry. And also, most companies will work with you towards making some sort of manageable monthly payments. Sure there are some that will not, but most of the time they really will work with you.
Before I let you go, I wanted to discuss some tips that are on a similar page. Financial guidance so to speak.
Here are some tips that have worked for me and always work when they are applied. First make a Budget. How? Write down your income. Each month.Write down every bill to include once a month, twice a year, once a year. Even budget for Christmas and birthday gifts. Write down everything you spend money on ( track family members too).It’s ideal if they track theirs too). Then, if your expenses exceed income, then look where you can reduce. And make adjustments. Perhaps get a second job.
Second, Have a minimum baseline amount in your checking account and savings. If this is not possible now, write down what you would like to work towards.
Have a set dollar amount that you will strive hard not to go below. Of course when times are super rough, these tips are not easy and maybe not possible. But, finding a way to manage your finances first before the stress comes, is far easier than dealing with the aftermath.
And lastly, I want to encourage you to acknowledge the type of money conversations you need to have, if it is attached to large amounts of dread, explore why. Are you ashamed? Do you feel guilty? Are you embarrassed? Find out what it is that makes you dreading it so much. If you need a friend to sit with you while you make the call, this will help. Plan a day a month or a week to make those calls. And realize that the conversations almost always make life better. And since this podcast is about quality of life, then we want you to have the best life you can.
My name is Robyne Hemingway and you are listening to Hemingway’s Heart.