Money creates strong feelings, both good and bad. Just because you have a lot of money doesn’t mean you’re happy. And some people with just a little bit of money are the happiest.
Why are we talking about forgiveness in regards to money and financial coaching? For many, forgiveness needs to be part of the process so you can move forward with your financial plan.
Too often, we get caught up in the pain and history from the past that’s rooted in the origins of money. You may be angry about the debt you have or feel like you made the wrong choices when it comes to money.
Or, maybe you didn’t learn about money, finances, and how to use debt responsibly from your parents. Regardless of your reason for holding negative feelings about debt, you need to let it go.
It’s okay to have these feelings, but it’s best to acknowledge them and allow them to move on. You can do this by writing a letter forgiving the person you harbor your feelings to (your parents, yourself) and then burning it safely. This may mean you have to write several letters.
Do this as often as you need to until you can finally feel the release of forgiveness. It will help you move past this time in your life and have clarity to move forward with your financial plan.
Today, you’re going to hear from Mandy about her feelings about debt and what she’s doing to overcome them.
Christine and I met on LinkedIn after I commented on one of her posts. When I saw she was a financial coach, I decided to reach out to her about the best way to get rid of my debt.
Like most people, I have student loan debt. Neither of my parents went to college, and I can remember from the time I was young being told I had to get good grades so I could go to college.
There was never a discussion on how I would pay for it, just that it had to go. From their perspective, you could only go so far in their generation without having a degree. So if I wanted to be better than them and have more options, it was the only route I could take.
So, I did what I was told. I went to school, got good grades, and then went to college. I was never counseled on student loans and what they really meant. Just that if I wanted to go and couldn’t pay for it, these were my options.
My parents weren’t in a position to pay and didn’t offer PLUS loans. So, I took out loans myself. The first year, I took out the full amount I was offered, even though I was still living at home and didn’t need to.
I did use some of the money for my following year. But then continued to take out loans, a little at a time, throughout school.
I also worked, so I paid some of the interest while in school, but not enough. I continued to take loans, just to cover class costs, and financed my books and other needs with my salary.
I took a break after receiving my Bachelor’s, paid on them for about a year, then went back for my MBA. You guessed it, took out more loans and only paid the interest on my deferred loans.
Here I sit, with 3 college degrees and a sizable amount of debt. I’ve been paying the standard 10-year repayment plan for about 3 years now. I reached out to Christine to find out what she thought my best option was to accelerate my payments.
After hearing my story, the first thing she said was, “I sense a lot of negative feelings about your student loan debt, tell me about that.” So I did, telling her what I wrote here.
She told me all the same things that are in this post. I need to forgive to be able to move on, and stop harboring my feelings at something that doesn’t really exist.
At first, I didn’t really think much of it. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized she’s right. So I’m writing a letter to my parents and myself, so I can release my negative feelings and move on.
One thing I’ve learned after reading and hearing it over and over, forgiveness is not for the other person. It’s for yourself. Releasing the negativity, pain, and frustration will allow us to heal and move on.
This time, with a solid plan in place (thanks, Christine!) and a new way to look at my debt. Yes, it’s there, and will be for a few years. But, I got 3 college degrees, a ton of experience, and lots of other things out of those years.
When I really think about it, that money means a lot of positive things to me: new ways of thinking, education (which I really value), moving forward, taking risks, and confidence in myself.
And those things you really can’t put a price tag on. I guess in a way, I did. But choosing to think about the positive things going forward and leaving the negative in the past is the only way to move forward.