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More Money (Avoidance), More Problems

Scared to open that app and look at your checking account balance? You’re not alone, and there’s a name for this problem: “money avoidance.”

In the moment, it might give you some relief to avoid thinking about your money, but Judson Brewer— an author, neuroscientist, and psychiatrist at Brown University— says it’s causing your more problems in the long run.

“Whether you’re worried about keeping the lights on or you’re feeling the pressure of student debt, financial woes are a heavy mental burden, and it’s only natural to try to turn away from them. There can be all sorts of signs, including procrastination, turning away, not opening our bank account apps — all of those are good signs of money avoidance,” Brewer said in a recent NPR interview on this subject.

Combine out-of-control student debt with money issues as a result of COVID-19, and you’ve got the perfect storm to cause a massive rise in financial insecurity.

In a recent Buzzfeed article, financial expert and therapist Amanda Clayman shared one way you can help avoid the unnecessary problems that come from money avoidance:

“Say to yourself, ‘Yes, I am avoidant. This is the way my brain and body are trying to avoid this upsetting thing. It’s part of my brain and body’s way of maintaining homeostasis, et cetera.’ We then give some recognition and respect to the wisdom of how our brain and body work and understand that there’s a reason and a purpose behind it. It’s only then that we begin to detach ourselves from the shame that gets triggered with money. Instead of labeling it as ‘bad’ or that we’re ‘weak,’ remind yourself that it’s hard because, well, it’s just hard. Cut yourself some slack. The anxiety that you were holding off with your avoidance, it keeps coming up because it has something that it wants to tell you.”

Have you been avoiding your money issues? There’s no shame in asking for help. Thousands of others just like you have joined our not-for-profit financial cooperative as an alternative to the big banks to get judgement-free help with their money.

At Caro, we’re a community of like-minded individuals focused on one common goal: to find real solutions for real people. We want to change people’s lives with creative problem-solving solutions to the financial challenges life throws at them, both simple and complex.

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