from the world's big
How to make healthy financial choices every day, according to a financial psychologist
How reframing your emotions and changing your daily behavior can help you save money.
- There is a psychological connection between your emotions and your spending habits. Many people live in a "reactionary" mode where they spend money in reaction to the day's events.
- Living in "intention mode" can help you reframe daily financial decisions - "how will this get me closer to my future goals?"
- Financial psychologist Dr. Tracy Thomas shares her tips for harnessing the power of emotion and intent to create a healthy, financially stable life.
How your emotions drive your financial habits
Your feelings and emotions deeply affect your financial habits...learn how to control them for better financial decision-making.
Image by Lightspring on Shutterstock
Dr. Tracy Thomas is a psychologist and self-proclaimed emotional scientist who helps highly driven, emotionally sensitive people harness their emotional strength to live an elevated life.
"At one time," Thomas explains, "emotional-sensitivity was believed to be a weakness. However, new work into emotional sensitivity reveals that emotionally sensitive people aren't just overly-emotional, 'touchy' or 'hyper-sensitive'. Without knowing it, they actually possess an incredible gift of creativity, intelligence and intuition."
Your feelings deeply affect your financial habits.
When emotionally sensitive people combine their gifts with drive and motivation, it becomes an asset that can lead them to wealth, success, and happiness.
There is a psychological connection between your emotions and your spending habits. As human beings, our emotions drive most everything we do — and the choices we make with our money are deeply affected by how we interact and react to things that happen in our lives.
Living in reaction is something we do most of the time, according to Dr. Thomas. When we're in a reaction, we tend to create chaos. We aren't able to harness our emotional energy into creating positive investments and outcomes.
Living in reaction means that we're often simply reacting to our immediate situation, immediate wants, immediate "needs" with little thought to the needs of our future self.
The more reactive you are, the more you will simply "engage with life" instead of investing in building the life you truly desire.
Acting with intention when it comes to your financial life doesn't mean removing all emotion from the situation at hand. In fact, you are just redirecting those emotions.
To act financially with intention, Dr. Tracy Thomas suggests that we consider what our future self would want us to invest in today. Making emotional choices doesn't have to be a bad thing - as long as those emotional choices live to serve you in the future instead of in the moment.
Living in a state of reactivity also creates distractions. We are sidetracked from our original, long-term goals and lose sight of what we really care about. Ridding your life of financial distractions can help you focus your energy on giving your future self what they desire most.
Changing the way we think about finances
Reframe what it means to "save money" into something that is more positive by placing emotional meaning in your investments.
Photo by ShutterOK on Shutterstock
Most people, according to Dr. Thomas, are reactive by nature. We react to our immediate emotions, needs and desires - often putting our long-term goals at risk. The first step in changing the way you interact with money is recognizing that there are emotions and behaviors in your life that need to change.
Monitor your behavior: Am I going to be intentional or reactive today?
A big part of this change, Dr. Thomas says, is monitoring your daily behavior and really taking note of when you are reactive and when you are intentional.
From there, you will be able to identify healthy and detrimental behaviors that are affecting your ability to live a financially healthy lifestyle.
When you go to spend any of your money, Dr. Thomas suggests you ask yourself these kinds of questions:
- Is this an intention? If so, what is my intent with this purchase?
- Is this a reaction? If so, is this a valid reactionary expense or something I can avoid?
- How will this purchase (or lack of purchase) bring me closer to my future goals?
- Will this decision create my desired outcome?
Think about money as a motivation, not a restriction.
Thinking about money in terms of "savings" can feel restricting and often unmotivating. However, thinking about money in terms of "motivation" for your future goals (whether that be a house, a car, a trip, etc) can help you reframe what it means to "save money".
In your mind, no longer is "saving money" something you "have to do" - it's something you want to do. Saving money becomes a goal in itself, rather than something that feels like a burden or responsibility.
Refocus on what you are really invested in by adding meaning to your investments.
Reframing what it means to save money includes refocusing on what your investments are, both financially and emotionally.
If you are currently invested in a home in which you want to do major renovations, that can be a financial motivator. Saving money (to later spend on renovations) will increase the value of your home.
If you are currently investing in a trip for your family, this can be a great emotional motivation. Creating life-long memories and providing a fun vacation for your loved ones is a wonderful goal to keep in mind that will help pull yourself out of reactionary choices and help you think more rationally when it comes to saving money.
The importance of thinking about your savings on a deeper, emotional level
According to Brian Tracy, a leading sales, management, and business success advocate, one of the most important things we can do to better our financial choices is to become a life-long student of how to save money.
Investing is about more than just what's in your bank account - it's a way of life.
Dr. Tracy Thomas also believes that changing the way we view our savings (and money, in general) is about more than just making smarter decisions with the money we have - it's about changing the way we view money at all.
"Your savings goals are really your outcomes for your life. It's about creating something you really want." says Dr. Thomas. If you spend your life in a reactive process, savings tends to lack the powerful drive that successful, wealthy people give to it.
While impulsive, emotional purchases are key signs of bad spending habits, there is merit to pulling yourself out of that reactionary spending mode and still maintaining and emotional intelligence when it comes to your spending habits. Completely separating your emotions from your finances can only make things more difficult, as there are no motivating, impactful meanings behind your financial decision-making processes anymore.
The key is to take yourself out of emotional reactionary spending and still maintain an emotional motivator to creating a healthy financial life.
Thinking about your finances as a powerful and emotional driving force that will create a better life for yourself and the things that are important to you in your life (your business, your family, etc) can make things more cognitively clear when it comes to making day-to-day financial choices.
"The budget is not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of our values and aspirations." - Jacob Lew
- Why We Make Bad Decisions About Money (And What We Can Do ... ›
- Why Lesbians Are Better At Saving Money - Big Think ›
- 5 realistic ways to save money - Big Think ›
- Personal finance in the COVID-19 era, with Sallie Krawcheck - Big Think ›
Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti get stuck in an infinite wedding time loop.
- Two wedding guests discover they're trapped in an infinite time loop, waking up in Palm Springs over and over and over.
- As the reality of their situation sets in, Nyles and Sarah decide to enjoy the repetitive awakenings.
- The film is perfectly timed for a world sheltering at home during a pandemic.
China moves to Russia and India takes over Canada. The Swiss get Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi India. And the U.S.? It stays where it is.
What if the world were rearranged so that the inhabitants of the country with the largest population would move to the country with the largest area? And the second-largest population would migrate to the second-largest country, and so on?
A recent analysis of a 76-million-year-old Centrosaurus apertus fibula confirmed that dinosaurs suffered from cancer, too.
- The fibula was originally discovered in 1989, though at the time scientists believed the damaged bone had been fractured.
- After reanalyzing the bone, and comparing it with fibulas from a human and another dinosaur, a team of scientists confirmed that the dinosaur suffered from the bone cancer osteosarcoma.
- The study shows how modern techniques can help scientists learn about the ancient origins of diseases.
Centrosaurus apertus fibula
Royal Ontario Museum<p>In the recent study, the team used a combination of techniques to analyze the fibula, including taking CT scans, casting the bone and studying thin slices of it under a microscope. The analysis suggested that the dinosaur likely suffered from osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that affects modern humans, typically young adults.</p><p>For further evidence, the team compared the damaged fibula to a healthy fibula from a dinosaur of the same species, and also to a fibula that belonged to a 19-year-old human who suffered from osteosarcoma. Both comparisons supported the osteosarcoma diagnosis.</p>
Evans et al.<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The shin bone shows aggressive cancer at an advanced stage," Evans said in a <a href="https://www.rom.on.ca/en/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/rare-malignant-cancer-diagnosed-in-a-dinosaur" target="_blank">press release</a>. "The cancer would have had crippling effects on the individual and made it very vulnerable to the formidable tyrannosaur predators of the time."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The fact that this plant-eating dinosaur lived in a large, protective herd may have allowed it to survive longer than it normally would have with such a devastating disease."</p><p>The fossilized fibula was originally unearthed in a bonebed alongside the remains of dozens of other <em>Centrosaurus </em><em>apertus</em>, suggesting the dinosaur didn't die from cancer, but from a flood that swept it away with its herd.</p>
Dinosaur fibula; the tumor mass is depicted in yellow.
Royal Ontario Museum/McMaster University<p>The new study highlights how modern techniques can help scientists learn more about the evolutionary origins of modern diseases, like cancer. It also shows that dinosaurs suffered through some of the same terrestrial afflictions humans face today.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Dinosaurs can seem like mythical creatures, but they were living, breathing animals that suffered through horrible injuries and diseases," Evans said, "and this discovery certainly makes them more real and helps bring them to life in that respect."</p>
Join the lauded author of Range in conversation with best-selling author and poker pro Maria Konnikova!
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Malcolm Gladwell was not able to make the live stream due to scheduling issues. Fortunately, David Epstein was able to jump in at a moment's notice. We hope you enjoy this great yet unexpected episode of Big Think Live. Our thanks to David and Maria for helping us deliver a show, it is much appreciated.