You can change how you feel about money

Money Mood

You can change how you feel about money

Create new habits that can provide greater control over your finances.

 

Everybody acts differently with money.

Some people spend freely. Other people count every penny. However you personally act, that’s okay. 

What matters is that you can develop good money habits that will give you greater control over your financial outcomes tomorrow—and help you feel better about your money. Let’s find out how.

Why do I feel this way?

Ever heard that every snowflake is unique? So is every person with money.

People from different generations, raised by different parents who earned different incomes in different parts of the world, and who lived through different economic periods, learn very different lessons.

People’s money decisions are anchored to those experiences, especially the experiences early in their life.1 Your personal decisions are a product of your unique experience and how that experience made you feel. 

Did you grow up in a household that struggled? It would be understandable if you were anxious about money. Did you grow up in an affluent home? It would be understandable if you’re already confident. 

It’s not realistic to expect you to have perfect money habits. You’re you, and that’s the perfect place to start.

How can habits help?

Habits make decisions easier. That’s what a habit is—an action we repeat without thinking too much about it.

Good money habits help mitigate the effect of moods by providing a structure for decisions. When you have a structure to rely on, your mood has less sway. 

Consider the act of budgeting. 

With budgeting, you set aside amounts to spend on needs, wants, savings, and payments. You then monitor your choices to ensure you’re not overspending in any category, and that you’re saving enough to reach your goals. 

Done regularly, that act of monitoring your spending choices becomes a habit.

What’s your goal?

Here’s the thing with habits: they form best when you pursue a goal.

When you repeat the same action in the same context, you’re reinforcing the importance of the action to the goal.2

For example, let’s say you want to splurge and go shopping. But, you also have a goal of saving a certain amount for a bigger purchase down the road. How do you reconcile the competing desires?

If your actions are determined purely by mood, you’re likely to make the choice that provides the most immediate change in mood. That is, you’re likely to splurge.

But if you have a budgeting habit, then you’d be accustomed to checking your budget to see what you can afford. By checking with your budget, deciding to save, and then seeing your savings grow, you’d be reinforcing the importance of budgeting to your goal.

In other words, the habit of budgeting can turn an impulsive choice into a regulated decision. That feeling of control will increase your confidence in your ability to make progress toward your goals.

One small step, then another
All of us feel differently about money. 

However you feel, that’s ok. 

What’s important to realize is that you can change how you feel by developing healthy money habits. 

By starting small and taking one step at a time, you’ll begin to see what your money can do.

Go to the Upwise app

Download the app to see how Upwise can help you make financial progress you can see and feel. 
Resources

1 U. Malmendier and S. Nagel. “Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk-Taking?

2 Wendy Wood and Dennis Rünger. “Psychology of Habit”.

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