In my parents’ generation, talking about money was taboo. I’ve been very open about the serious financial problems Duane and I had, because we both know how not talking about it only made the problem worse. For a long time, Duane and I put our heads in the sand, hoping the problem would go away. But we had to face it, to talk about it and to take action.
Yes, it’s embarrassing to admit it we had money problems. It’s probably something you’d like to think would just disappear if you ignore it too. But our financial problems taught us that they don’t go away by themselves. You have to take positive steps to overcome the problem. Our experience also taught us that there is a solution.
In all the years Duane and I struggled financially, we searched for and tried many ways to overcome this major source of fighting in our family. We bought books, put ourselves on strict budgets and spent hoursà often every day, just trying to deal with our financial misfortune. We had to collect empty bottles to turn in for the refund just to buy groceries. Using a budget, we’d make some headway but felt so deprived that at some point we couldn’t handle it anymore and we’d go on binge and fall off the wagon.
We also felt guilty! Every time our kids would ask to go to special school or church outing, we’d have to say “Sorry sweetheart, but there’s no money!” We even turned down programs that would help us work through our financial difficulties, saying “Sorry, no money!” When the investment opportunity of a lifetime presented itself, we’d reluctantly say “Sorry, no money!”
Years of following the same pattern, depriving ourselves, followed by binging, and feeling guilty about it, we realized that spending every waking moment of our lives worrying and thinking about our lack of money did not bring us closer to our goals, and certainly wasn’t helping us lead the life we’d imagined.
Finally, we decided to take a different approach to managing our finances. Instead of the “binging and dieting” approach of splurging and budgeting, we decided to change our money lifestyle. We faced our limiting beliefs around money and shifted them. (It’s amazing how changing your thoughts really can change your life!) Finally, we made small but significant changes to the way we managed our financial health. Before long, we were able to stop spending all our time thinking about money because the situation was fixing itself automatically.
If you’re tired of having to say “Sorry, no money!” and you’d like to learn to manage your finances more successfully, join us on ADHD Money Management: Finally Dollars and Sense group coaching program (http://tinyurl.com/adhdmoney) that starts on Monday, February 9th at 8:30 pm. Don’t wait, space is limited!