Life is filled with countless little moments and choices you make each day that create a butterfly effect throughout the rest of your life. Those choices can create ripples for good or for evil, influencing each moment that comes after. You will come face to face with seductive offers that are designed specifically for instant gratification and to fill a void temporarily. These seductions bathe the brain in warm waters of adrenaline and endorphins, and the brain wants to keep chasing those highs until it’s fully sated. That is a very dangerous game, and to play it with your finances is a quick road to Brokesville.
The creation of the seven deadly sins as an idea began as a way to identify flaws that could bring about the ruin of a soul, and it’s persisted in modern culture throughout ages because those flaws are so human and relate to most situations in life. While many might only relate the talk of finance and banking to greed, each of these seven vices can play a major role in how you manage money. Identifying and acknowledging this is the first step in rooting out each sin to avoid becoming entangled in seven vile money traps that aim to corrupt you out of a fulfilled relationship with your finances.
FINANCIAL SIN #1: PRIDE
Ask for help before things get out of control! A little finance hiccup can quickly spiral out of control with overdraft fees, late fees, and all kinds of penalties. Reaching out for help doesn’t mean that you’re not independent or capable.
It means you ARE capable – of finding and understanding the resources available to you. You don’t want to lose your home because you were too proud to ask for financial assistance. Show some humility and put pride in its place before you get kicked out of yours.
FINANCIAL SIN #2: GREED
Don’t accumulate wealth throughout your life just to be buried with it. If you have more money than you can spend in a lifetime, look into ways you can help out your local community or a social cause you’re passionate about. The greed of hoarding money without a true purpose not only hurts others, it also removes any meaningfulness from your own life.
We’ve all seen A Christmas Carol and learned from the tale of Scrooge, right? Remember, though, to find a healthy balance between helping others and yourself. Helping others at a detrimental expense to yourself will only lead to short-term change, but being charitable, even in spirit, is worth a lot more than is sometimes realized.
FINANCIAL SIN #3: LUST
That new iPhone model may be sexier than your current one, and Siri may tell you all the things you want to hear, but will they keep your bed warm at night? No. Because you needed that money to keep the electricity running for heat.
Consumerism is built on appealing to your deepest desires and impulses, and giving into them without thinking is condemning yourself to a bank account full of disappointment. Practice some financial chastity, and keep the seduction where it belongs – far away from your wallet.
FINANCIAL SIN #4: ENVY
Everyone’s financial situation is different, and people learn and grow in their own time. If you’re constantly focused on comparing yourself to others, you’ll always be blind to the opportunities in front of you.
Take all that effort you’re expending on constantly watching others and assessing how you measure up, and put it into researching a savings or investment strategy that works for you. Instead of fueling that sense of envy, be grateful that you have your own lived experiences that you can use to fuel your financial goals.
FINANCIAL SIN #5: GLUTTONY
Close your DoorDash app and turn off those new item notifications from your favorite stores. No one needs to order breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. No one needs boots in every color or print. Take that money and invest in yourself.
Learn a new culinary skill. It’s way more cost-effective, insanely healthier because you can choose fresh ingredients versus heavily processed pink meat that is one step away from not being able to be legally considered actual meat, and it makes you more valuable if the zombie apocalypse ever actually happens. Of course, you don’t have to abstain completely from indulgences that make you happy, but by tempering your impulses, you have more control to make your experiences about quality over quantity.
FINANCIAL SIN #6: WRATH
Be kind to yourself and others. People aren’t born with financial skills, they’re developed. Give yourself time to learn how to build your credit or how to buy a car without selling your soul, and then share that wealth of knowledge with others. Don’t be discouraged if you slip once in a while, and don’t Karen out on others.
The hardest falls sometimes teach us the greatest lessons, and being wrathful toward the experience that tripped you up will never allow you to see all the clearer paths you have ahead of you. A little patience goes a long way and often leads to deeper understanding, connections and overall financial health and wellbeing.
FINANCIAL SIN #7: SLOTH
Don’t be lazy about creating a savings plan. Do you want to travel the world? If you’re not actively saving, the only place you’ll be traveling to is the backyard. With just a little effort, you can sail the seven seas, climb Everest, or drink from a coconut on the beach. Instead of watching creators on TravelTok live out their dreams, you could be the one eating a croissant atop the Eiffel Tower.
Wealth isn’t something that can be built on its own. You have to be willing to put in the work to make it work. Even those earning a passive income will tell you that it doesn’t just happen. A system has to be built and put into place before you can start earning. Be diligent about building that system, whatever that might look like for you, and you’ll be jetting around the globe in no time.
Each one of these banking sins can be overcome by practicing their counteracting virtues. It’s important to note that these “sins” can also have a positive effect, especially when it comes to making money moves because they make you evaluate your own financial status and can help you set benchmarks for financial goals.
• If you’re feeling proud about asking for help, that can help you assess your financial portfolio to see where you can grow so you don’t end up in that spot again.
• Greed gets you to a place where you don’t have to worry about every penny.
• Lust shows you what interests you, and you can develop those interests further to enrich your life.
• Envy allows you to see what can be achieved and gives you inspiration.
• Gluttony gives you a stomach ache which will, hopefully, keep you from repeating the same mistake.
• Wrath shows how strongly you feel about something.
• Sloth slows you down enough to give you time to develop yourself and your ideas in the hopes of creating something amazing.
Finding a balance between sin and virtue helps create action with true intention.
A good money mindset is a habit that has to be built and developed. Register for free on MoneyEdu using code SWBLOG21 to take a quick assessment of your finances, build a budget, take financial courses and more. Did we mention it’s free?
December 1, 2022
Published by SunWest Credit Union
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