Money dread: how to start neutralizing it

Ever get those pre-login butterflies when you’re about to sign in and check your bank account balance? Mmm, yeah. My least favorite flavor of nausea.

I’ve been tossing around the idea of home ownership, which has brought me face-to-face with an archnemesis who’s familiar to sooOoO many of us ADHDears: my wimpy fucking credit score.

Just kidding. Well, kind of? I used to have a legitimate sense of loathing for my credit score and what I believed it meant:

“Why the hell should some number decide so much about me and my opportunities? Why do my financial mistakes have to haunt me for seven entire years? And why—W H Y—do I need a credit card to build good credit if credit cards are part of the reason I have wimpy credit? THIS GAME IS RIGGED AND I WANT A FAIR REMATCH.”

I used to hate checking in on my credit score—and bank account, and unpaid balances, and all that funny money stuff—because I mysteriously felt like total shit every time I did.

At the time, I thought it was because of the red text lighting up my checking account, or the “can’t even lend you a can of beans” credit score, or the interest accruing on my student loans that could just send me to college a second time. It wasn’t any of those things! If you know me a bit, you know what I’m going to say next:

IT WAS MY THOUGHTS AGAIN. These rascals, I tell ya…

Really charming, uplifting stuff like:

“This would be better if you were more responsible and on top of stuff.”

“You’ll be broke forever because you hemorrhage money.”

“See? This is what happens when you indulge, you greedy fuck.”

Ahaha. Yeah. That wasn’t working. Here’s what DOES work:

Self-aware self talk for when you dread checking on money stuff

“This is just information.”

Your bank balance, credit score, unpaid bills—they’re all just MATH. Math is totally free of morality. It’s one of the most neutral, impartial things there is.

Numbers mean nothing about you, your level of responsibility, or your personal worth. They’re literally just data to work with.

So no, you’re not an irresponsible piece of shit, even if you only have $11 to your name. You’re still fantastic, and don’t you E V E R forget it.

“I appreciate every dollar that is and is not here.”

The money you do have now is more than you could otherwise have. Whatever money has temporarily cycled out of your account has gone on to make some helpful changes in your life.

Maybe it doesn’t seem that way at this moment, but if that’s the case, give it time: even if all you get is a valuable lesson, you still get a valuable lesson. 😉

Even if your account overdraws when your electric bill comes out, that money went to a good cause. You can appreciate more than just the dollars in your possession: try to also appreciate the real value they help you bring to your life, since that’s what really matters, anyway!

“I get to respect and love myself regardless of my balance.”

Remember: it’s always an option to be less of an asshole to yourself! No matter which numbers you see, decide in advance that you’ll treat yourself like a supportive friend, with very little interest in shame and judgement.

Because here’s the big reveal: your literal balance is actually irrelevant. You’ll decide what to think and feel about it, anyway. I suggest something like choosing to be proud of yourself for even being mildly concerned about it, in the first place!

Let it feel a bit lighter, gentler, and more fun to check in on your money. Yeah, it’s just a material possession, but having a simple, honest relationship with it is a solid investment into your mental health.

Because if there’s ever a favor you can do for yourself to make your life easier, do it. DO ITTT. You’re so absolutely worth it, I promise.

Here’s to less financial flogging and a mellower money mindset!

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