There are a lot of people who genuinely dislike working on their personal finances. Whether that is budgeting, financial planning, understanding investments, debt, you name it.
Many people find personal finances to be extremely painful to work on for various reasons.
You might be in this category (I was a few years back) or you have at least seen other articles about hating personal finances or overheard others talking about their disdain for these financial topics.
But like anything else, avoiding the pain that something causes in your life, doesn’t make it go away nor does it magically get any better. (I guess if you inherit a lot of money, that could magically make it slightly better).
Below are a few reasons why most people dislike working on their personal finances.
Understanding Personal Finances is Confusing
I think this is also a pretty common reason to dislike working on personal finances.
Where the hell do you start? What do I do for XYZ? The math is confusing, how do I do this?
With a lack of financial education in our school systems, it’s no wonder personal finances can appear to be confusing.
Add in that the internet has a ton of information and opinions, many of which contradict each other, how is one suppose to know what to do when researching?
Extremely valid challenge, personal finances can be confusing when you have no idea what you are doing or where to begin.
But, I found if you take some time each week, read some books, and research for some trusted online publications, you quickly become more educated and realize your personal finances are not as hard as you or the media sometimes make it out to be.
You’ll make some mistakes, but you’ll also learn a lot. Additionally, you can also consult with a financial planner who can help you. Here’s how anyone can become financially literate.
Personal Finance is Boring
For me, I love personal finances and figuring out how to better my financial situation. But I wasn’t always like that.
It took a lot of financial mistakes and feeling like I was in rut that made me want to start learning and correcting my path.
But for years before, everything I heard about personal finances seemed like a bore. Budgeting with spreadsheets? Learning what a 401k is? Taxes? YAWN!
For many people, personal finances are not that interesting or exciting. And it’s funny because my younger self would never imagine caring as much about this stuff as I do now.
Regardless, dedicate some time and give it a chance. It doesn’t mean you need to be a financial nerd like me, but it’s important to spend a little bit of time every week.
Just like any chore, it’s something you need to get done but it can greatly benefit your financial future.
It’s Emotional and Depressing
You’ve seen the financial headlines or maybe have even read articles about personal finances. Either way, the data does not always paint a pretty picture about the debt, savings, and income levels of Americans. You can read some of the personal finance statistics here.
Besides seeing some of that data, without working on your personal finances, you probably have a somewhat decent idea of where you probably stand.
You might not want to face the numbers or where you currently are, the idea of seeing this information makes you angry, depressed, scared, or hopeless.
These are emotions you don’t want to feel so instead you might ignore your personal finances altogether.
Before 2014, I was ignoring my finances for fear of not liking what i’d see and being scared of where my future would be. But at some point I knew the only way to get rid of those emotions was to face it, deal with it, work on a plan, and remove those emotions from my finances.
Causes Relationship Tension
Talking about money or finances with family, significant others, kids, or even friends can make people cringe.
Many times for spouses, this is a common topic that causes issues or problems within the relationship. And the same can apply to other family members, when it comes to money advice or discussing one’s financial situation.
The challenge is, ignoring the conversations for the worry of relationship tension, does nothing to solve any problems. Many financial problems could be solved before they snowball out of control, by just speaking up.
Of course, you’ll want to tread carefully and not offer unsolicited advice, but there needs to be some financial discussions.
There may be some tensions by having a conversation too, but at least ease your way into it and have some open discussions.
It Can Be A lot of Work
There is a lot of work involved in working on your personal finances and having a firm grasp on everything. It can take years to fully fledged out everything and break any bad financial habits.
On top of that, the results of your efforts are not always instant.
We are a society of instant gratification, if we don’t see results immediately from our hard work, then it must not be working well. Personal finances is played for the long-run, some successes can happen quickly, but a lot of results are built up over time.
And It can be hard justifying all the efforts it takes, when you see little results at first.
For me, it was saving money. In 2014-2015, I was only saving a little each month, but it was a start to correcting my finances.
For months, the progress was a slow, tedious grind. It looked like I was making no progress on a monthly basis. But then in a year I was amazed at how much I saved, then year two, year three, etc. The same with investing in my retirement, it was a slow process but now five years later, I’m getting some great compound interest and returns from all the steady work of a few years back.
Besides that, reading books and educating yourself takes time too and a bit of work too. The material is not hard to understand, the challenge is there is A LOT of items to digest. It can be intimidating, overwhelming, and confusing, but you just need to get started!
How to Start Caring and Sticking with Your Personal Finances
Not everyone will find personal finances interesting or exciting to work on. But like I mentioned earlier, it’s a necessity to our lives. Ignoring it doesn’t make it better or ensure any problems go away.
There are a few things you can do to help alleviate your dislike for personal finances.
- Start small: Don’t try to attack every part of your personal finances, it will overwhelm you. Start off with one small piece and as it gets better, jump to the next one.
- Learn on your own: You have to start educating yourself on the basics. Read some books, read some financial news outlets, take a online course, consult with a financial expert, etc.
- Talk about money with others. Your family, your kids, and your significant other. You don’t need to cover everything at once, but dedicate some time each week to discuss together. You should be supporting each other!
- Be patient: Nothing good happens over night. You’ll have fast wins, but you’ll have better results in the long-term. Stick to your processes, keep learning, and keep going. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish on your own, even with debt or a lower salary.