Is fear of finding out hampering your finances?

Among the many challenges of our modern world, such as information overload and fear of missing out (FOMO), is a relatively new phenomenon called FOFO: fear of finding out. And while FOFO can affect any aspect of our lives, it is particularly evident in people’s financial affairs.

The problem with FOFO

FOFO manifests itself in your financial life in a number of ways – for example, not opening or checking bank statements, accounts or letters from service providers; not taking phone calls from creditors; and not having a budget, or simply ignoring the budget you have.

However, ignoring your financial problems won’t make them disappear – it only makes matters worse. Unbudgeted spending spirals, interest levies and late-payment charges can only intensify your financial challenges.

How to stop ignoring your finances

People tend to fear what they don’t understand, and the financial world is known for its complexity, jargon and hefty penalties.

A sustainable solution to beating financial FOFO would be to gain a better understanding of your financial affairs. This will not only alleviate some of the fears you have regarding your finances, it will also enable you to address your specific financial challenges and lay the foundation for improving your situation going forward. Here are 3 simple ways to get on track.

1. Face your fears
Taking a good look at your financial affairs may reveal that your situation is not as dire as you believed. It will also help you identify the trouble areas that could be easier to remedy than you realise.

2. Book time in your schedule
Ideally, you should spend at least 15 minutes a day on your finances. Set a time – even if it is just 15 minutes a week as a start – to open, check and file your bank statements and the accounts you receive. Begin to draw up a list detailing your income and expenses, as well as your credit agreements with the outstanding amounts and the interest charged. Just starting to make sense of your financial situation will begin to dissolve your fears.

3. Tap into the support
You don’t need to become a financial expert to overcome your FOFO. You can call on your financial coach, who can meet with you once a month or on an ad-hoc basis to provide support. They will help you to understand your financial situation, draw up a budget, consolidate debt and plan for your retirement.

The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a financial professional. E&OE.

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