Money Shame & How to Overcome It 💪

For many, money is a measure of self-worth. And, money shame, is the feeling of embarrassment caused by aspects of our financial lives. But there are strategies to help you overcome and thrive.

Greetings, and welcome to the sixteenth edition of Wallet Wellness in 2024 - your midweek source of practical financial tips to elevate your money management skills!

We hope you had a chance to check out the last edition where we explored lifestyle inflation, how it manifests itself, its dangers and how to avoid it. In today’s edition, we will discuss money shame, and how to cope with it.

As always, be sure to check out the Concept Corner below for a deep dive into the money concept of the week.

Let’s dive in!

This week’s Wallet Wellness is brought to you by Vuka

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This is possible through the Vuka Investment Club that enables you access the Acorn Income Real Estate Investment Trust (I-REIT) behind the Qwetu Hostels and Qejani Student Residences. Learn More.


Conquering Money Shame: 5 Strategies 😃

For many, money is not just a means of exchange; it's a measure of self-worth. A  yardstick by which we judge ourselves and others. But what happens when that yardstick becomes a whip, lashing at our self-esteem, leaving us battered and bruised?

Money shame goes beyond the numbers in our bank accounts; it's about how we feel about our finances. It's a deep sense of embarrassment, guilt, or feeling not good enough about our financial situation, choices, or beliefs.

It can seep into our lives in various ways, from avoiding money conversations to feeling guilty about spending or constantly comparing your financial situation to others, fearing success because of negative associations, or hiding windfalls out of shame. This not only impacts our emotions, but also our wallets.

In today’s article, we'll delve into practical strategies to tackle money shame head-on and regain control of our financial well-being.

1. Identify and Challenge Negative Beliefs 🤔

This involves recognising and questioning thoughts like "I'm not good with money", "I'll never get ahead" or "I don't deserve to be wealthy".

This process helps develop a more positive attitude, reducing shame and improving financial well-being. It includes paying attention to your inner dialogue, listing evidence for and against negative beliefs, and considering more realistic perspectives.

  • Why This Matters: Without addressing these negative beliefs and identifying their roots (triggers), one may struggle to make positive changes in their financial habits and behaviors, which can further perpetuate feelings of shame and frustration.

  • What to Do: Challenge these beliefs by questioning their validity and asking yourself if they are based on facts or are they just assumptions.

  • Reframe: You can turn negative beliefs into positive empowering statements for example, instead of saying "I'm not good with money," you could say "I am capable of managing my finances wisely."

This shift in mindset can help you feel more confident and motivated to take control of your financial situation. Read More

2. Understand Where you are Financially 🧾

Understanding where you stand financially means being honest with yourself about your income, expenses, assets, and debts. This clarity can help you make informed decisions and feel more in control of your money, reducing feelings of shame or uncertainty.

  • Why This Matters: If one does not understand or keeps avoiding the truth about their financial situation, they may continue to struggle with money management issues and may not be able to set realistic financial goals or track their progress towards them. This can create a cycle of financial stress, uncertainty, and feeling overwhelmed by financial challenges and shame.

  • What to Do: Always have a comprehensive view of your income, expenses, debts, and savings. This will enable you to make informed decisions, identify areas to cut back, increase savings, pay down debt and gradually make you feel more confident about your financial situation and future. Learn more.

3. Evaluate Your Spending Habits 🔍

This involves closely examining your spending habits and adjusting them to align with your financial goals. By being mindful of your spending and making intentional choices, you can regain control of your finances and alleviate feelings of shame or guilt about past financial decisions. 

It's about empowering yourself to make positive changes and cultivate a healthier relationship with money.

  • Why This Matters: If you do not re-evaluate your spending habits, you may experience continued financial stress, missed opportunities for improvement, escalating financial problems such as debts and overspending, strained relationships, and a lack of financial control, which can  lead to negative financial patterns, increased stress, and emotional strain. Learn more

  • What to Do: Practice financial discipline; Create a budget, stick to it and keep track of your progress. Learn more.

4. Seek Financial Education and Support  📚

This means actively seeking resources to address money shame and improve financial understanding. It involves exploring underlying emotional issues through therapy, and learning practical skills such as budgeting, saving, and investing through courses, reading, and seminars.

Consulting with financial advisors and talking to a trusted friend or family member for support can also help build confidence and overcome money shame by taking control of your finances.

  • Why This Matters:  Educating yourself about personal finance and seeking support for money shame is crucial.

  • Without it, you may struggle with financial decisions and feelings of shame, leading to poor budgeting, inability to save or invest wisely, and difficulty managing debt. This can also impact mental and emotional well-being, causing stress, anxiety, and isolation.

  • What to Do: Consider boosting your financial knowledge through books and online courses, and seek advice from a financial advisor. You may also consider therapy to work through the psychological side of money shame. Read more.

5. Practice Self Compassion And Forgiveness 🧘‍♂️

This involves being kind and understanding to oneself, especially when facing financial challenges or past mistakes. It means acknowledging that everyone makes mistakes and that it's okay to learn from them.

By being compassionate and forgiving towards oneself, one may be able to let go of feelings of shame and move forward with a healthier relationship with money.

  • Why This Matters: With a lack of practicing compassion and forgiveness, those facing money shame may experience prolonged negative emotions, increased stress, and difficulties managing their finances effectively.

  • This can lead to a negative cycle where one struggles to move forward and make positive changes, as they are held back by feelings of self-blame and regret.

  • What to Do: Acknowledge your past mistakes without dwelling on them, treat yourself with kindness, forgive yourself, and give yourself grace and time to learn from the experience to make positive changes in your financial habits and mindset. Read more. It is also important to celebrate your progress along the way. 

Money shame can be a deeply personal and often hidden struggle that can impact our financial well-being and self-esteem. However, by confronting its causes and taking corrective action we can break free from the shackles of shame and take control of our financial future.

Remember, it's not about where you start, but the progress you make along the way that matters. So, celebrate every step forward on your journey to financial freedom and peace of mind. Read more.


Cash Flow

Personal cash flow is your total income minus your total expenses over a period of time. It can be negative or positive. It helps indicate in what direction your finances are heading. In this article, we discuss why you should care about your cash flow. Read More.

Money Psychology

Six Peculiar Money Habits

From hoarding, to underspending, to financial incest, whether these habits are learned from parents and friends when growing up or developed after the onset of the first paycheque, they define our personal relationship with money and could be a maker or breaker of one’s financial future. Read More.


Living in the Wrong Neighbourhood?

Are you living in the right neighbourhood? How does your neighbourhood affect your wallet? In today’s MoneyTok, we explore 3 signs that you may be living in the wrong neighborhood. Watch The Video.


3 Signs You Are Living in the Wrong Neighbourhood #Money254 #neighborhood #kenyantiktok #Fyp #Moneytok #Personalfinance #reels__tiktok

That's it for the sixteenth Wallet Wellness edition of 2024! We hope these financial tips have added some energy to your mid-week hustle. Stay tuned for more practical insights in our next edition of "Wallet Wellness" next week and watch out for Money Weekly on your inbox this Friday.

Also, don’t forget to download the Money254 App on the Google Play Store, and remember that we can help you compare over 300 loans, savings accounts, current accounts, and more if you’re thinking about your next product.

Cheers to your wallet's well-being!

Money254 editorial team.


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