Overcoming Money Shame in Your Path to Financial Wellness

People make bad money decisions for a lot of different reasons. Ironically, one common reason is that they’re trying to hide their money problems. When you’re on the path to financial wellness, shame about money can keep you from making progress. To move forward, you must overcome your shame.

Don’t dig yourself into a hole trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Your friends and coworkers want to go to an expensive restaurant. You know you can’t afford it, but you’re too embarrassed to admit this, so you put it on a credit card.

Does this sound familiar?

It doesn’t have to be about dining out. Maybe you buy a smartphone you can’t afford or a new car you don’t need. You think the status symbol will impress your neighbors, and maybe it does – but that’s hardly worth sacrificing your financial future.

You don’t need to spend money you don’t have just to impress others. In fact, you might impress them more if you tell them that you’re sticking to budget.

Don’t be too embarrassed to look for a bargain.

Warren Buffet once used a coupon while treating Bill Gates to lunch. If the Oracle of Omaha isn’t too embarrassed to use coupons, you shouldn’t be, either.

According to CNBC, Buffett isn’t the only wealthy individual to use coupons. Lady Gaga also loves a bargain.

Looking for a good deal doesn’t make you cheap or low class. It shows that you’re smart with your money. As the saying goes, a penny saved is a penny earned. Use coupons, wait for sales, buy in bulk, purchase items used – whatever you can do to save a penny.

Do ask for help. 

If you’re really in a hole, clipping coupons and cutting back on avocado toast might not be enough. To achieve financial wellness, you may need help. Don’t be too ashamed to ask for it.

Talk to your friends and family about your money goals. Ask your employer for financial wellness programs, and share this article. Seek professional advice from financial experts or search for online tools, like these resources from GreenPath.

Do realize you’re not alone.

It’s easy to feel ashamed when you think you’re the only person struggling financially. The truth, though, is that you’re far from alone.

According to ValuePenguin, American households have an average credit card debt of $5,700. And according to CareerBuilder, 78 percent of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck. The majority of people are struggling with too much debt and too little savings. We’re all in this together.