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Re: Financial guilt?

Hey @Phantom99 - I don't think we've spoken before so nice to e-meet you. Welcome to the forums. A lot of what you said really resonated with me in terms of the financial anxiety/guilt. Although my situation is a little different from yours, as my parents have lived in Australia for some time now and are okay financially, I still find myself worrying about money - not just for myself but also for others. I think it is part of my anxious nature - gotta love anxiety!! 

 

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that I think it's really great that you've managed to pay off that loan you had. You sound incredibly sensible with money, and for that reason, I can't imagine you having too much of an issue in the future around not having money. I don't know about you, but I find having an "emergency fund" really helps put me at ease.

 

An emergency fund is "is money you set aside to cover urgent or unexpected costs. This could be car repairs, unexpected travel or an urgent medical bill. It provides a financial safety net so you don't have to borrow money if something happens to you or your family." Generally speaking, "a good target is to have enough in your emergency fund to cover three months of expenses." I've taken this info from the moneysmart.gov website, because I couldn't have worded it better, but if you want to read more about it you can click here.

 

So, let's say your expenses (rent, bills, food, petrol etc.) are around $5,000 a month (total guess by the way), then your emergency fund should be around $15,000, but it can be bigger (or smaller until you work up to it) if you like. Knowing that money is there in case of an emergency might put your mind at ease a little, and help you feel less guilty for spending money on yourself.

 

Once that is set up, then you can split your income into different savings accounts (just be cautious about opening up too many accounts because the bank might charge you for them). I don't personally do this because I still live at home, but I have friends who do it, I've seen it a lot in financial books, and I plan to do it once I move out. So how it works is that you set up your pay to be automatically distributed into, say, 3 different accounts - one for bills/everyday living, one for long-term saving/emergency fund, and one for spending or treating yourself (e.g., holiday). That way, when you spend money, you won't feel guilty because it's literally from the "spending" account and you have "earned it".

 

These are just some ideas and you have to do what is right for you obviously. All in all, you sound really sensible with money, so I don't think you should beat yourself up over spending $100. It is okay to do nice things for yourself sometimes. And it's okay if you don't always stick to your budget - it can happen - life happens! The fact that you are thinking about money in a smart way, and have good money-related habits in place (e.g., not eating out), is really good, as it's those types of things that will probably make the biggest impact on your savings.

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Re: Financial guilt?

Nice to e-meet you too @Maddy-RO! Oh it's so good to hear that it's not just me who has these anxieties.....None of my friends worry like me and my whole family is just cheerful and very 'go-with-the-flow' people so I've never really had any one to talk about this stuff to!

 

And oo - might need to look into that automatic bank account thing - that would actually help my budget go further since it would literally give me a 'spending ceiling'. Everything under would be guilt-free that way, like you've said. 

 

Thanks so much for taking your time to help a girl out. I honestly don't know why I didn't post on here before - this has been an ongoing (and increasing) issue for like 2 years now. The support on here has already passed any other help I've gotten and I'm so much more relaxed and reassured already. Really appreciate it, and here's to us trying to work through these annoying levels of anxiety Smiley Happy 

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Re: Financial guilt?

Hey @Phantom99 

I totally empathize with you! I also worry about finances quite a bit. Not only for myself, but for my family and even my boyfriend! It's definitely tiring and can be a little draining at times to be worrying about it for so many people. I kinda come from the same background. My parents have never had too much money and so the same kind of thoughts was also ingrained in my head in terms of really thinking so much about how everyone was spending money. My sister for example is a spender, whereas I'm a saver. She enjoys shopping and things whereas I don't. I think I had a few experiences where my anxieties often made her upset because I'd tell her to spend less and when I reflect on it, I went about it the wrong way and made her feel guilty. I'm learning about having a better balance and communicating my anxieties in a better way.

 

Yes, it's really good to be sensible with money! I'm so proud of you for being able to responsibly save money and look after your family. Like the others said though, make sure you also take time to look after yourself! It's alright to treat yourself or your family as long as you make the decisions sensibly. 

 

Personally, I like to put aside money that I know I can spend on myself. This was a great tip by many on this discussion thread! It can really help make a difference and stop you from feeling so guilty about spending. 

 

Let us know how you go though! That was such a great topic you brought up and I'm glad you did because the responses helped me too! Heart