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Financial wellbeing

Do your emotions control your finances?


Dee O'Callaghan, Financial Coach - Financial Wellbeing Collective

08 Dec 2022 • 3 mins
couple chatting

Money is a lot more than just dollars and cents, our relationship with money is emotional. 

It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of keeping up appearances. Going to every dinner and activity with friends or family and feeling the guilt of overspending the following day. There are ways to break this cycle, the main objective is to reframe how you feel about finances and planning ahead.

Shifting your mindset

It’s not helpful to continuously compare yourself to others. Just because your friends or family are going out for dinner every week doesn’t mean you should too. This mindset can lead to ill-informed decision-making. 

So how do you change this cycle of comparing yourself to others? You need to start by noticing your actions and how they make you feel. What can you learn from them?

Journaling can be a very effective way to connect with your feelings and thoughts. This can include taking note of all aspects of your life, including your finances. Focus on the positives your money brings you and acknowledge the realities of needing to budget. For example, ‘My finances allow me to eat well each day; my finances deny me being able to eat out each week which is my wish.’ 

Set five minutes aside at the same time each day to make this a habit. You might be surprised how helpful it is to get your feelings down on paper and have a deeper understanding of your emotions.

How to start journaling

Plan for fun

Although you may not be able to go to every event, you can plan for the ones you really want to attend. Look at your budget for the next three months, how many group activities or dinners can you afford, and what is your budget for those occasions? You may realise that you’ll enjoy these occasions even more as you’ll be looking forward to them and can afford to take part in them – say goodbye to that next day guilt when looking at your bank account.

Alternate choices

Looking at different options to have fun with friends and family can help ease the burden on your bank account. For example, were you planning on going to the cinema with friends? Would a movie night in be just as fun? Or are you always going out to restaurants? How about you and your friends take turns at hosting a dinner night? At the end of the day, the enjoyment mostly comes from spending time with loved ones, regardless of where you are. 

Take your time

Changing your mindset can take time. It can be helpful to write out some goals and actions to take to get you on the right track. 

Find out more about goal setting

Want to strengthen your money management skills?

Did you know, Keystart also offers a free financial coaching program with the Financial Counselling Network? Eligible customers can access free one-on-one coaching sessions to help improve your money management skills.

Financial coaching service with Keystart

Keystart recommends that you seek your own independent financial advice prior to making any decisions about your financial needs. Any examples given in this post are provided for illustrative purposes only.