注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

开放大学空中学院&手机学院

人工智能+金融+教育+财经+汽车+水电+服装+物流+电商+医学美食+煤气阀

 
 
 

日志

 
 
关于我

宁静致远 专心致志 持之以恒 风雨无阻勇往直前,自强不息

网易考拉推荐

5 steps to escaping your money trap  

2009-12-03 16:13:54|  分类: 远程英语 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

If you're repeating the same financial mistakes, you probably won't get ahead until you figure out what drives you to make the decisions that sabotage success.

TE itxtvisited="1">By MP DunleaveyTE>

MSN Money

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column about money traps -- why it's so easy to get stuck making the same money mistakes over and over. This week I want to talk about how to get out of such traps.

You're in a money trap when you make choices that have consistently negative financial fallout yet you're unaware of the pattern you're following or you can't see any alternative.

What makes money traps so tricky is that while you may be aware of the mess you're in, it's hard to spot what you're doing wrong because you've been following the same rules for years.

That's because most dysfunctional financial behavior "is the result of all your life experiences around money," says Reeta Wolfsohn, the founder of the Center for Financial Social Work. "A lot of this is learned behavior, and the good news is that it can be unlearned."

A double whammy

A money trap has two parts: behavior and belief.

Your behavior is what traps you financially. Some examples:

  • Sticking with a business idea that's not viable.

  • Staying in a home that's too expensive.

  • Supporting others at your own expense.

  • Believing the future will take care of itself.

What keeps you stuck in the trap, repeating self-sabotaging actions, is a set of bedrock beliefs about whatever decision you're making: that there's no other way to do things and that you don't have a choice.

It's as if you're following rules you've never stopped to question:

  • "It's OK to do X."

  • "I can't possibly do Y."

  • "I must do Z."

A common money trap

That unquestioning belief is how Bethany, a member of the Women in Red who lives in Olympia, Wash., describes her husband's money block.

"The money block I see most frequently is 'It'll work out somehow,'" Bethany says. "Basically, you're behaving like a head-in-the-sand ostrich. Life is too short to spend it worrying about pesky little financial details."

Like other people stuck in money traps, Bethany's husband has lived his financial life by the unspoken mantra "live now, pay later" -- with perilous consequences.

In college, Bethany says, her husband borrowed tens of thousands of dollars in student loans with no idea how he would pay them back. After graduation, they had to wait for the six-month grace period to pass and for the loan statements to arrive because he didn't even know how much he owed or to whom.

It didn't matter if bills were paid late or if he never seemed to have extra money to save for retirement or if he "Visa'd" a new laptop he couldn't afford, Bethany says, "because it was all going to work out somehow."

In his case, believing that money matters take care of themselves dovetailed with another classic money-trap belief -- "money is toxic" -- as if dealing directly and responsibly with money is so stressful that it can only make matters worse.

"It has been hard for my husband to overcome this block because any attempt to discuss money matters will leave him very anxious and stressed," Bethany says.

An epiphany

Money traps typically stem from a set of magical (or irrational) assumptions about how the world works, and these feed a pattern of unhealthful money choices. Take the "someone else will save me" scenario:

Nancy Munro, a successful corporate consultant in West Palm Beach, Fla., and a member of the Women in Red, says she was stuck in that trap until about five years ago.

Although she earned plenty of money, she says, she never kept track of where it was going -- and it was going. Munro had always saved for retirement, thanks to her various jobs. But until she had her epiphany, "I had no emergency fund, I was $10,000 in credit card debt, and I had big medical bills from two major operations."

Worse, she wasn't paying attention to where her paychecks were going. "I'd look at my balance to see how much more I could spend," she says.

Then Munro's father died. Her mother was left with little to live on. "She lost the house, the cars, pretty much everything." And Munro woke up. "I realized that the knight on the white horse wasn't coming, the money fairy wasn't flying in, that no rich relatives were going to die and fix my problems with an inheritance," she says.

"I had to force myself to accept the fact that finding this money, either by earning more, spending less or reallocating what I had, was my responsibility."

5 steps out of a trap

Once you realize (or finally admit) you're in a money trap, how can you escape? You have to both address the belief that's misguiding you and fix the resulting behavior.

"Until and unless behavior changes, nothing changes," says Wolfsohn, a leader in the rapidly growing field of financial social work.

In other words, you can't analyze away a money block. But you do have to connect your financial predicament to its origins, Wolfsohn says.

It's not an overnight process. But here's a start.

Step 1: Examine early money lessons. Because our world views are shaped early in life, start by asking what you were taught about money and what you learned by example or observation, Wolfsohn suggests. Financial behavior is learned from the messages we get from our family, caretakers, friends and neighbors.

Not all these messages are spoken outright, but expectations and notions of what is "normal" can be conveyed in many ways, Wolfsohn says. Bethany agrees, saying that both her husband's financial behavior and her own are patterned on how their parents treated money.

Step 2: Name your money block. Next, connect the financial rules you absorbed, right and wrong, to the beliefs that are keeping you stuck in a money trap. In "Are you stuck in a money trap?" I defined seven common traps:

  • "Someone else will save me."

  • "Money is toxic."

  • "I'll do the thinking for both of us."

  • "It's not my job."
  • "If you look good, you feel good.

  • "Money doesn't matter."

  • "I would if I could, but I can't."

You may have more than one money block. You may discover others. But when you realize, as Munro did, that misguided assumptions have led you to make rotten money moves, you can begin a new relationship with money, based on realistic and responsible action, not false hopes and fantasies.

Step 3: Take a serious look at your financial habits. When Munro decided to take charge of her money, she locked herself in a room with paper, pencil and bank statements and didn't come out until she knew exactly where her money was going.

"Once it was all written out, it was easy to spot the leaks and waste, and confront the notion that it was not about the amount I was earning -- it was about what I was spending, how and where I was spending, and why."

In two years, Munro paid off her credit card debt and today is a champion saver.

Step 4: Set new goals. Wolfsohn advises creating a "money mission statement" to help you move in a new direction. Make it short -- about 25 words or less -- and specific.

A mission statement such as "To be debt-free and enjoy financial peace of mind, and to save for a new car" will remind you to take financial steps in support of your goals, especially when you feel like giving in to old habits.

Post it on the fridge, your computer, in the car. (See "Secrets of successful savers.")

Step 5: Let the trap you're in help set you free. All money blocks contain the seeds of a solution. I'm overcoming my own block -- that I'm not equipped to handle money (bad DNA, rotten parents, etc.) -- by reversing it. I'm educating myself to become a smarter money manager.

If you think someone will save you, you're right -- you will save yourself.

If you think "somehow it'll all work out," you're right, but the how is up to you.

Getting out of a money trap won't happen overnight. I can testify to that. But even small steps lead to steady progress, as Bethany is finding with her husband. "Now he has goals. We're working toward a down payment, and as you get little habits in place, it gets easier."

  评论这张
 
阅读(67)| 评论(0)
推荐 转载

历史上的今天

在LOFTER的更多文章

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2017