Everyone is going to experience financial stress at some point. Some aspect of finances are out of our control, but typically our problems are self inflicted. Is your relationship with money causing excessive stress in your life? Read these 3 reasons and let me know if any of them apply to you.

You are trying to impress others.

Many people start buying items to impress others and create a false sense of luxury in their lives. It could be a new kitchen table, a couch, designer jeans, a fancy bedroom armoire or a list of many other items.

We justify these purchases based upon the perceived wealth of someone else. We see that a friend purchased something and we work out a justification model in our own heads. We justify how we can purchase something similar, or even a step up. We want to appear to be in the same income bracket as those in our social circle. 

It’s not that we are trying to impress just our friends and family. We attempt to impress ourselves. That’s where things begin to take a turn for the worst. If you are constantly working to “one up” yourself, you are going to dig yourself into financial hole so deep that bankruptcy is the only solution.

You value money over time

You will always wish for more money. It doesn’t matter how much you make there will always be a drive to want more. There are low stress and high stress methods to obtain more of it.

The majority of people have accepted the social conditioning that money is earned by working more. This leads many of us to take a second job, or have our spouse return to work after having a child. The bottom line is we invest more hours into working, rather than experiencing life. We surrender our spare time in exchange for money that will barely cover the cost of increased medical bills, fuel, child care and shitty fast food. It’s tunnel vision and it prevents the best of us from seeing another solution.

On the other side of the spectrum we have those that can see outside of the tunnel. These people see that money can be generated through a system. Once a system is in place, it requires minimal maintenance. Of course every system requires monitoring and a little bit of maintenance, but it’s a fair trade off.

Here’s an example:  Currently by wife is a stay at home mom. This has been her job for the past ten years. We have hit tough times throughout these years and we thought about having her find a part time job. It’s easy to see how it would be tempting, until you look at the big picture.

Childcare is going to cost anywhere between $800 – $1400 per month. Getting to and from work creates an additional expense as well. Easily $100 a month in fuel. There is also a vehicle maintenance fee that must be calculated. An oil change every three months is going to cost $50. You will need new tires, brakes etc every year so you must amortize these amounts.  If we add up these numbers we can expect around $1500 per month in expenses for her to leave the house

Now let’s assume she finds a job for $18 per hour. At 160 hours per month, she will make a gross amount of $2,880 per month or $720 per week. Running this through a calculator on http://www.paycheckcity.com/calculator/hourly/result shows that the net amount will be $645.48 each week.

At the end of the month the net amount is $2453.16. Subtract the cost of her going to work and we are at $953 extra per month for her 160 hours of work. This means less than $6 per hour when you look at it from this perspective. Not only is this measly amount of money, she now has to deal with time schedules, traffic jams, stress at work etc. 

Personally I would rather spend 100 hours creating a product, online service or web based training. Then spending 60 hours of time to develop a marketing plan and sales funnel. Sure it’s a risk, but fortune favors the bold. 

The couch calls your name

Here’s a tip. Get out of your house and do something. I don’t care how hard you worked all week. Who cares how many hours you put it. If you waste your time, it’s only going to cause more stress. Oh, what’s that you can’t leave the house? You don’t have the money? The money you worked so hard for is gone? 

Excuses, excuses, excuses. 

Walk to the park, ride a bike, sit downtown and people watch, find a free museum tour, etc. There are so many free things to do it’s not even funny. It often takes a bit of creativity to make something free exciting, but it’s part of the adventure. Adding an element of creativity makes the moment far more exciting.

A few years ago I spent three hours of my Saturday morning making up stupid games with a friend. One of use would kick a rugby ball as high as possible into the air. The other person was to throw a football and hit the rugby ball mid air. Do you have any idea how difficult this is? Try it sometime. It took about two hours to figure out the timing of everything before either of us scored a point. Stupid game, great memory.

It’s time to change

I say all of this from experience. I’ve been in a bad financial situation in the past when I allowed money to control me. I sold a ton of items, I paid off bills then lived in the most minimalist way possible. For nine years I didn’t have any furniture in my bedroom besides a basic bed. We went without a car payment for five years. We stopped paying for extras luxuries like cable TV. We didn’t even own a flatscreen TV until five years ago. While everyone else was buying 70+ inch TVs we purchased a 27 inch. People made fun of our tiny TV, but it wasn’t there to impress them. I stopped caring about that a long time ago, and so should you.