The author, Jamie Davis Smith.
Jamie Davis Smith
I’ve had a lot of anxiety around money ever since I finished grad school.
I talked about my financial worries with a financial therapist, and I got lots of practical advice.
She gave me some useful statements to remind myself of when considering purchases.
Like many Americans, I have a complicated relationship with money. Although I’m very privileged to be financially secure today, growing up my family lived paycheck-to-paycheck. Our housing wasn’t always secure, and we moved a lot, sometimes staying with relatives for long stretches of time.
When I finished graduate school, I dealt with a weak job market and looming recession, which compounded the stress I already felt about paying six figures in student loan debt.
Two decades later, I am fortunate enough to be in a stable financial position. I am extremely privileged to own a house in a great neighborhood with a very manageable mortgage. My husband and I are on target for retirement savings. We have more than the recommended three months’ worth of savings to cover living expenses in case one of us loses our job.
I was intrigued by financial therapy
Still, with four children — including one with significant disabilities and complex medical needs — it’s hard for me to feel financially secure.
This insecurity manifests in a variety of ways. I weigh every financial decision, whether it’s ordering a $10 appetizer at a restaurant or spending thousands on a family vacation. I know logically that I can afford these things, within reason, but spending on anything other than necessities causes me to feel anxious and stressed. I think that I could enjoy my life more if I learned to let go and find a better balance between saving and spending.
I was intrigued when I first learned about the concept of a financial therapist. Financial therapists are specifically trained to help people manage their relationship with money, whether it’s not having enough or, as in my case, being reluctant to spend.
I booked a consultation with Dr. Traci Williams, a certified financial therapist who is also a board-certified psychologist to see if her combination of financial know-how and psychology could help.
We talked about the ways I struggle
Within minutes of talking to Dr. Williams, she immediately homed in on my anxiety around even talking about money. “You are speaking quickly and using short phrases,” she said, and …read more
Source:: Business Insider