Our expenses are growing and we are having trouble keeping up

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We might be juggling funds, using credit cards or family loans just to stay afloat.
These provide momentary relief, but then the problems resume.
Worry about money becomes a distraction.
But despite our sincere intentions, our money habits don't seem to change.


Sometimes we’re spending in ways that we know are destructive, and we don’t want to admit this to others, or to ourselves.All of this leads to a vicious cycle of secrecy and shame, with one perpetuating the other.The worst part of living this way is that by trying to hide our problems, we often isolate ourselves from the people and resources that could actually be of help.The more isolated we become, the worse things can get.Others spend hours scheming about the things they want to purchase.They’re unable to calm their thoughts, and it disturbs their sleep.Worries about money take up the emotional and mental space that was once devoted to enjoying life and being with loved ones.Today will be different. But every day ends up just like the one before.We want no more of the shame that results when we have neglected a financial responsibility or broken another promise or told another halftruth.But somehow our old ways of spending, or avoiding, or deceiving, resume despite all the pain we want to avoid.People with unhealthy relationships with money often experience the same types of emotional turmoil as those with other kinds of addictions.For those who struggle with their relationship with money, the path of healing is Financial Recovery.I encourage my clients, and now I’ll encourage you, to approach the process with what Buddhists call beginner’s mind.When my oldest grandson, Mathieu, was in kindergarten, he came home one day and announced proudly to my daughter Terri that he had been named student of the week.Terri praised him effusively, and off he went, smiling.A few minutes later he was back.Mommy, he asked, what’s a student?In the way of the very young, Mathieu had not been afraid to ask such a basic question.Whenever we’re approaching something new, it serves us to reclaim an innocent curiosity.This allows us to be open to learning about even simple things.It makes us teachable.But with beginner’s mind you’ll be able to welcome the simple ideas and solid steps that make the journey possible.Identify your situation.Define what you’d like to accomplish.Get started by becoming conscious of and connected to your money.Doing these tasks thoughtfully and thoroughly sets a strong foundation for the work ahead.Identify Your SituationWhen I meet new clients, I listen as they share their stories and describe how much of their lives they spend worrying about money and how they feel like a failure for not being able to manage this problem.At this point we may talk about the consequences they are about to suffer because of their financial chaos.Perhaps they feel crushed by debt, can’t seem to save money, or just don’t know where their money goes.Creditors might be calling.An attorney or accountant may have told them that bankruptcy is their only remaining option.They may have already depleted their home equity loan or inheritance.Foreclosure on their house or business may be looming.At the start, neither of us knows the exact solution to your money problems.So, let’s take it one step at a time, starting with the following exercise.In your money journal, write the following questions and then take as much time as necessary to thoroughly answer them.Am I always worried?Coming up short all the time?Do I feel financially insecure?Do I feel out of control with my spending?Is my debt burden what’s troubling me?Am I unable to sleep because I’m worried about money?Am I having conflicts with my loved ones?Are money troubles stopping me from being happy and enjoying life?These factors are hard to quantify but must be factored into your current money picture.The gains of engaging in this process are not just financial.Have I been ignoring the reality of my financial circumstances, pretending that they will somehow, magically, get better?Have I felt obsessed with my money problems?Have I lost control of my spending, finding myself making purchases I can’t afford, even though I’ve promised myself I wouldn’t do so?Have I suffered painful consequences of my financial behavior but

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