Are Your Childhood Experiences Contributing to Your Debt?

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

One of the things I read recently was “5 Signs You May Be Broke in 10 Years” by Farnoosh Torabi over at Yahoo! Finance. Among the items on the list provided was that argumentative parents can actually lead to you having more debt. Torabi cites a study that indicates that college students who had parents that fought over money are three times more likely to have debt.

However, that’s not the only childhood experience that can influence your debt levels as an adult. There are some indications that growing up with the idea of scarcity can lead to debt as well. You might have felt the pinch of your parents’ lack of means, and it’s hard for you to keep living like that. Or, you decide to spend when you “have the money” — even if the money you have is actually credit, and not truly money in the bank at all.

Determining WHY You are in Debt

The first step to overcoming your debt is to figure out the why behind it. It’s true that childhood experiences like your parents fighting about money, or feeling that resources were scarce, can contribute to your debt. You can acknowledge that those childhood experiences might be barriers to paying down debt and improving your situation.

However you also need to look at other factors. While the past can influence you, you can’t blame everything on the past and then fail to try to move forward. You need to look at your debt situation, and figure out what is causing it. Are you living beyond your means? What motivations do you have for spending more than you have?

Whether you are trying to impress your peers with new gadgets and fine living, or whether you use shopping therapy to help you deal with other problems in your life, it’s important to pinpoint your spending behaviors. Look at the motivations behind them, and use that as a starting point for improving your finances and getting out of debt.

How to Get Beyond Childhood Experiences

Now that you understand the issues that face you when it comes to debt, it’s important to move beyond those childhood issues. In some cases, it can help to talk to someone else about your feelings. If you really feel that you are concerned about the way you view money, and how your views of money are holding you back, you can work with professionals to help you develop a healthier view of money — and your relationship to money.

Also, don’t accept that money has to be the root of problems, just because it seemed to cause problems in your childhood. If you have a partner, talk to him or her about money, and make it a point to work toward common goals. One of the reasons that couples fight about money is due to lack of communication. You can make an effort to be a better communicator, and work with your partner to move forward.

Once you understand the root of your troubles with money, and acknowledge how you might be influenced by the past, you can begin improving the situation, getting out of debt and developing a better relationship with your money.

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