Updated: May 18, 2020
Fear and anxiety have taken a front seat in our lives during the Covid-19 scare. In addition to fears about our health and the health of our loved ones, our financial worries have increased. Not only are we worried about our actual finances, we often feel anxious about the concept of money? How can we tame our fear of money “monsters”?
Monsters are big. Kids are little, and monsters are big. Our paychecks are little, and our bills are big. Being small in the face of a towering troll is frightening, and money worries can easily take the form of a gigantic monster. As Daniel Crosby, behavioral finance expert, says, “so much subtext and hidden meaning [is] wrapped up in money….Money is shorthand for happiness, power, and personal efficacy, so it can be very scary.”
Monsters might hurt you. Kids don’t know what a monster might do to them, and a strong imagination magnifies the terror. Adults are no different when it comes to scary money monsters, especially when they lurch your way clothed in unfamiliar jargon. A bad investment can hurt you, and that’s a very real terror. You don’t always know if a financial decision will turn out to be a fiend or a friend.
Monsters pop out unexpectedly. Kids lie in dread for the moment the monster finally jumps out. Grownups wait in fear for the blindside of the car accident, the health crisis, the stock market drop, not knowing when disaster might strike. The uncertainty – just like anticipating pain in the dentist’s chair – makes life uncomfortable.
Monsters can sometimes be real. Unfortunately, actual scary things can happen to kids at night. Children can’t be protected from all danger, and neither can your pocketbook. Tornados tear off roofs. Life-threatening cancers develop. And, as the well-known billboard bluntly shows, when your teenage drove drunk and “just blew $10,000K,” it’s your financial dragon to slay.
How Do You Tame Your Money Monsters?