No Shame in Your Game.
I recently spoke with a client, and she expressed to me how difficult it was when we first met to bring her financial information and paperwork to me. At the time, she had not filed her taxes for years, did not understand how to manage her bank account, and was terrified to ask for help.
I asked her to discuss the basis of her fears on that day. She held out her hand and ticked these items off her fingers as she spoke. “One, she said...”
1. Money is stressful, and I felt humiliated for not having it all together.
2. I did not want to look incompetent or stupid in front of “money people.”
3. I was afraid I would be treated as if I were stupid and talked down to.
4. I did not know what questions to ask.
5. I felt like my situation was so bad and too far gone to do anything.
These are common issues I have repeatedly seen in my accounting firm. It must have some roots in the assumption that as an adult, you should automatically understand how to manage money, bills, accounts, and taxes. Some people do and may have had some practical teaching on the subject somewhere along the way. However, many people, my client included, did not learn what they needed to know.
To compound this issue, there is often some innate fear around business and personal accounting. Most people do not all the rules around taxes or how money works. They have lived their lives hearing what the IRS can do to them, and they do not know where to begin, how to proceed, or, like my client, what questions to ask. It is common to fear what we do not understand, which can lead to non-action or avoidance. By the time they call my office, they have dug themselves into a hole that can seem impossible to get out of.
The good news is this: You and your situation are NOT too far gone, you are not stupid or incompetent, and although money matters feel stressful and impossible to you now, it will not always be that way. If you are shaking your head, so did the client in this story in the beginning, and today, she is up to date with the IRS, her bank accounts are in order, and she has learned to feel much more comfortable in financial situations.
Although there is no magic in the solutions, and it does require work, time, learning, and dedication to solve financial issues, you do not have to do it alone. We know the rules; we understand money, taxes, retirement, accounts, banks, and more. We will greet you with non-judgment, a handshake, and a smile. Let there be no shame in your game, and when you are ready to make the first call, write the first email or stop by the office, we are willing to help.