TomorrowMakers

Does talking about your financial situation stress you out? Look for these warning signs that indicate you may need help.

5 Signs that you may need financial therapy

The concept of financial therapy is not something that has evolved randomly. Similar to psychotherapy, a financial therapist will help you improve your mindset around money. Whether you are a spendthrift or obsessively frugal, your financial health is as important for your well-being as any other part of your body. 

Established in 2010, the Financial Therapy Association was set up to help eliminate the number one source of stress – money. As a welcome stress reliever in people’s lives, financial therapy is a medium to tackle other underlying problems of stress and anxiety that are triggered due to poor money management. 

Can you benefit from financial therapy? Check out these signs and find out for yourself: 

1. Avoiding financial problems
Do you experience a lingering reluctance to avoid having financial conversations or clear pending obligations? If your bills are piling up, you could be in financial denial. A lot of anxiety is triggered by money and finance-related problems. Failing to nip these issues in the bud can slowly become an overwhelming experience and result in self-destructive financial behaviour. 

If you see the following signs, it’s time to pay heed to your financial health: 

 

  • Avoiding settling bills before the due date
  • Frequently borrowing money or living on credit
  • Lack of personal financial knowledge regarding your savings or debts
  • Living under the delusion that money will come

2. Being obsessively frugal
While leading a minimalist lifestyle is great, there’s a fine line between sensible spending and chronic underspending. Being obsessively frugal can be damaging for your mental and physical health. If you are an aggressive under-spender who neglects basic needs, you need financial therapy. Neglecting self-care or skipping essential expenditures like healthcare simply because you do not want to spend money is a sign that you must seek professional help. 

Related: Here are 6 signs that your emotions might be ruling your spending habits

3. Taking on the role of financial enabler
As a parent or primary caregiver, it is natural to ensure your loved ones are financially sound. But a financial enabler suffers from the habit of sharing their wealth that could potentially deter the receiver from becoming independent in the future. A trait that is often seen among parents of mature children, this altruistic behaviour becomes a problem for both the receiver and the giver. 

Here are some signs to help identify whether you are a financial enabler: 

  • Your financial support has made the receiver completely dependent on you 
  • You lack the resources to help someone, yet you go ahead with the action 
  • You are subconsciously resentful of your decisions but cannot curb the desire to help 

Related: Know how to relax while on a shoestring budget

4. Being financially reliant on others
A situation prevalent in many households is financial dependency on the breadwinner of the family. While there is no harm in being a stay-at-home parent, individuals who are completely dependent on their spouse to make financial decisions often end up in bitter relationships. With a single person handling the entire money of the house, the dependant tends to lose self-esteem and self-worth.

If you are experiencing any of these signs, consult a professional financial therapist: 

  • You lack the most basic financial knowledge
  • You are blindly dependent on someone else to handle your financial needs
  • Feelings of financial dependency trigger resentful feelings towards another person
  • You suffer from inadequate self-worth

5. Aversion to wealth creation
It may seem too good to be true, but aversion to money is a serious problem faced by many. Therapists call this disorder ‘financial rejection’. Often, those suffering from this problem have been through a traumatic experience where earning money is deemed as an act of exploitation towards others. For instance, a family member of the 26/11 Mumbai attack would have received compensation for the loss of a loved one. Money earned through a negative experience can sometimes set off this symptom. 

Related: 10 Ways to ensure mental well-being at no extra cost

Last words
Whether you feel chronically adrift in troubled waters or are simply experiencing one of these negative signs, it is best to consult a financial therapist. Any stigma you have about money can be changed for the better with a holistic approach by a trained professional. Check these 6 Tell-tale signs of financial infidelity and 6 ways to deal with it.

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