Watch Your Emotions to Improve Your Financial health

Unless we stop to think about it, we really aren’t aware how important our mood and emotions are in our daily choices. Especially those that involve money. But, if you think back on some of the big decisions you’ve made through the years, there will be a specific emotion that is attached to it. Whether you were sad, ecstatic, mad, jealous, or anxious – some emotion probably helped you quit that job. Some emotion probably was involved when you were negotiating for that expensive car or decided to open up your own business.

While I would love to think that we have perfectly rational minds– a mind that ponders if we need something, what the best alternatives are, endlessly researched pros and cons, and then analyzed and select the best one–we just don’t. Well, at least the majority of us don’t. I am sure some people think they do, but it’s not the norm. Spock (Star Trek) was really good at this, but as we learned even with him, that perfectly rational mind also creates problems.

Our emotions range from really positive to really negative. Sometimes our emotions (moods, feelings, disposition) can help us immensely. They help us be excited and leap at the chance for a new job or getting married. Other times, they can destroy us – falling for scams, paying way too much, buying a warranty we didn’t need, or just not understanding what we’re committing to.

I strive for “emotional-analytical congruency” in our money management. This is just a fancy word for keep your emotions in check while still using solid reasoning. Use your emotions to your advantage, but also activate your analytical mind to confirm things. This is difficult. Activating both “sides” of the brain (or more accurately getting all of these neural networks firing at the same time) requires some effort.

Here is 1 tip. Maintain a daily financial decision journal. Keep it by your bed. Journal daily what choice you made with money, why, and what emotion you were feeling. Look to see if you can find any patterns. I am sure you can. I find them all the time as I help coach people on their money.

Wealth is not elusive. We can all get there. But, it’s going to take rock-solid choices made daily!!


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