Do you hate budgeting? Or find paying bills such a huge chore and financial burden. Maybe you don’t open your mail until you see that red stamp on the envelope (yikes). If you relate to some of these situations then… you ARE an ostrich.
Know how an ostrich supposedly bury their heads in the sand to avoid danger?
“If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.”
Yep, that one. This is called the Ostrich Effect. It’s a tendency to avoid taking in negative information. In finances, this means we tend to ignore bad financial situations by pretending they don’t exist. 🏃♂️💨
Running away from your finances can be a bit problematic. You’d rather pretend your money issues don’t exist than deal with them.
By ignoring small problems, ostriches make their problems worse.
Let’s say you’ve been ordering a lot of Grab food lately, (maybe more than you should la). 🌯 You’re aware that you should probably check your bank balance to see what the damage is, but every time you think about doing that, you start to feel anxious—you know it’s kinda bad, but you don’t want to see how bad. In the end, you continue ordering from Abang Grab and almost never check to see how much money you’re spending. 🍕 🍜 🍲 🍱
You convince yourself these money problems ‘doesn’t exist’. Go Ostrich and bury your head in the sand, go through life, hope you don’t hit any bumps along the way and hope (pray?!) when you pull your head up — the sun is shining. 🌞
It just doesn’t work that way.
There’s more to the Ostrich Effect than just ignoring it. It’s a behavioral thing — maybe it’s pride or embarrassment. Sometimes it’s simply to protect the ego. But there’s a behavior working against us, and that behavior is keeping us from our best financial selves.
Facing your financial fears can be hard, or confusing, or stressful. 😣Especially at first. But the change in behavior/attitude is kind of like starting a workout or kicking a bad habit.
The first step is the hardest! Instead of avoiding or putting it off, jump in and just do it. 💪 Don’t ignore the bills and debts, it doesn’t make them go away. So how do you start? Where do you start?
Automate Everything You Can – Automatic payments are a godsend for your inner ostrich. Once you set up an auto-payment, the rest takes care of itself. You can put aside the panic of due dates and rest easy.
Stop Estimating – “Nanti la, lambat lagi due date” In a flur of panic, often times you’ll get your estimates all wrong. For example, you hate washing the dishes and always avoid doing it. One day, you decide to see how long it actually takes you to do it. The result? Less than 5 minutes.
Late payments on credit cards can damage your credit and your financial standing. How long does it actually take you to pay a bill? If you do it immediately (online), it probably takes less than 5 minutes.
Break It Down – You don’t have to tackle it all at once. Just one thing off your list is something, and it can get the ball rolling. Taking a couple of minutes to paying off something, even a small amount, is better than doing nothing. The momentum of starting make it easier to keep going.
Be mindful – Pay attention to your experiences as they unfold, observing what’s going on inside your mind. Avoid blindly following an emotional response or instinct.
Be kind to yourself – Stop being so hard on yourself. The point isn’t to catch yourself slacking off. After all, nobody’s perfect, and there’s no reason to feel ashamed of your faults.
We’re probably all guilty of this at one time or another, so it’s something to think about to shift your mindset. Habits are the hardest to change.
Trust yourself and start small. Automate just one account. Pay just one bill. Just do it. Take five minutes and do it now. 🙌
Stop being an Ostrich, use HeyAlfred to TRACK, BUDGET and SAVE. Know where your money is coming from and most importantly, where it’s GOING.
Takes you less than 5 minutes too 😉