Guilt: A big roadblock to financial success

The six deadly “sins” of personal finance are sins of emotion. Emotion clouds our judgment and leads us to make foolish decisions. This first in a series will explore the sin of guilt;  fear, greed, pride, sloth and envy will follow.

Tormented because your spouse wants a flat-screen TV for Christmas? Feeling inadequate because you can’t tithe 10% of your income to the church?
Feelings of guilt can be a huge roadblock to getting ahead financially. We feel guilt when we can’t lavish gifts on loved ones or can’t help others by donating to charities. When feelings of guilt drive us to make imprudent financial decisions, we harm our families and ourselves.

Giving is an important element of most people’s lives. It’s when giving is inspired by guilt that  can be damaging.

How much one gives – charitably or to loved ones – should be carefully calculated in light of the overall cash-flow picture. If giving will hinder the attainment of our other financial goals and objectives, we’re not being good stewards.

Give – but don’t do so out of guilt. Do so based on a clear understanding of your capabilities and your personal priorities.