Money problems are emotional problems. Emotional instability stems from a lack of love, which then causes financial instability. Money problems are not bad habits that can be easily corrected. You must change your inner self to reach financial freedom.
Personal finance does not talk about the privilege of growing up in an emotionally stable household. Personal finance believes in pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. If none of us came from money, but some of us diligently saved and invested and are now millionaires, then you have no excuses. You hear countless stories of how a highly ordinary couple saved a $1 million by the time they hit their 30s. You wonder why everyone couldn’t do the same.
Emotional instability causes financial instability
People do not understand why poor people make terrible choices. They spend money on frivolous things they cannot afford like Nike shoes or Gucci purses. There is a lot of judgments made here, but we are not created equal when it comes to feeling hopeful and loved.
Some people know what a supportive family, a healthy relationship, and unconditional love is. Some understand hope and perseverance. The lucky ones recognize that who you are is not defined by what happened to you but how you react to it. But not everyone is this lucky. The idea of hope and love is more than fuzzy feelings. Hope and love enable a person to delay instant gratification, and to feel fulfilled without having to accumulate material things.
Money problems are the same as not having enough love
The presence of hope and love is the basis for healthy relationships, healthy finances, a healthy sense of the self. When you see a poor person walking down the street with a pair of kicks they really should not have purchased, perhaps what you are seeing is someone with a lot of doubt, insecurity. A poor person with an expensive purse is perhaps someone who does not feel loved unconditionally and struggles to love themselves. That pair of kicks may be the only source of comfort, the only thing they could control. And so, they decided not to deny themselves when they are already in so much pain. An expensive purse is invaluable if it makes a person feel a bit less dark and less lonely in this incredibly dark and lonely world.
My dad still buys lottery tickets. He is buying hope. Personal finance will call my dad ignorant for playing a statistically impossible game. But I don’t think so. It is comforting to feel hopeful through a lottery ticket when there isn’t much hope out there. He has had a tough life, and he knows that he is probably not going to retire comfortably. Buying that lottery ticket is his way of temporarily lifting the reality.
You must change your inner self to reach financial freedom
I did not save much in my twenties because I felt unloved by my parents and by unhealthy relationships. Even though I tried to change but for decades, I could not. Only after I started to love myself did I get better through cutting out toxic people and seeing a therapist. In a sense, I grew up with the help of a lot of self-help books and decent people.
My healthy financial behaviors today are a result of me gaining control of my emotional and mental health. If you have bad financial habits and you only don’t know how to stop them, then I’d suggest that you talk to a therapist. It is the best financial investment you can make for yourself. Tony Robbins – the biggest self-help guru out there, is constantly being hired by hedge funds to advise investors on psychology – not what to invest, but how to defeat your inner voice, the voice calling you inadequate, stupid, stripping away the feeling of hope and love.