How To Overcome The Fear Of Falling Back Into Bad Money Habits

Money Files

Today I discuss a problem that impacts current clients, past clients, and potential clients. There’s a sneaky thought you might have when it comes to managing your finances: I’m afraid I’ll fall back into bad financial habits.

This fear can hold you back from applying to work with a financial coach. It can cause you to freeze and go into a downward spiral when you have to put an expense on a credit card unexpectedly. Do not let this sneaky thought prevent you from reaching your money goals.

These powerful questions will help you find the reason behind your financial choices and keep you moving forward by helping you to…

[08:32] Identify your fears

[09:45] Reflect on success 

[13:39] Be your own lifesaver 

[16:06] Embrace continuous growth

Tune into this episode for six steps to overcome the fear of falling back into bad money habits. 

Are you ready to start asking for help with your finances? Apply to work with me, and let’s start working towards your financial goals.


Transcript for “How To Overcome The Fear Of Falling Back Into Bad Money Habits”

Hi, and welcome to Money Files. I’m Keina Newell from Wealth Over Now. I work everyday with professional women and solopreneurs to help them get out of financial overwhelm and shame so they can experience more flexibility and ease with their finances. Are you ready to gain confidence and learn to manage your finances intentionally? Tune in and grab financial tips that will help you master the way you think about and manage your finances.

Hello and welcome back to another episode of Money Files. I hope where every year tuning in from you are having a fabulous day or maybe a fabulous night. And I want to talk to you. I was actually preparing for another podcast and then I was like, oh, I want to talk about this. So I’m going to prepare for my other podcast, but I’m also going to talk to you today because this is a problem that impacts current clients, past clients, people that want to be my clients. But there’s a sneaky thought that a lot of you may have when it comes to managing your finances. And the thought is, I’m afraid I’ll fall back into bad financial habits. And if you are thinking about working with me, maybe like that’s your objection for why you don’t want to work with me, because you’re scared that you’ll fall back into old habits so you think it’s not worth it to actually work with a coach.

You’re like, I don’t want to waste the money. Now isn’t a really good time. I need to get some things together, which, if you’ve listened to any of my podcast episodes with my clients, they’ll tell you to get it together and just apply to work with me. Then there are my current clients who they’ve started to see some progress and they’re excited about the progress that they’re seeing. They’re saving for taxes. They’ve started to save in general in like just a savings account, building their rainy day fund. They’ve started to see their credit card balances go down, and so they’re like paying off debt. And somewhere in the middle of us working together, they have this sneaky thought that they’re going to go back to bad financial habits. And they’re scared, right?

They’re like, okay, Keina, but what do I do? Like I’m just scared that all of this is going to disappear. And then there’s the client that I’ve worked with and we have worked together, and maybe they’re in a space where they’re like, oh my goodness, I can see that my spending is creeping up. I can see that I’ve used my credit card more than I want to. And so they also can have the thought that they’re afraid that they’ll fall back into bad financial habits. And let me be really clear, this is just a thought. It’s your way of thinking, like you’re bracing yourself for failure because what your brain wants more than anything else is safety. You want to feel safe to spend money, you want to feel safe to go after your financial dreams like safety is the thing that you desire most.

And maybe if you haven’t worked with me, one of the reasons you don’t budget is because you feel like you’ll be restricted and you won’t have this level of freedom. And so for you that’s safety right now, or if you have worked with me or you’re working with me, you have created this level of safety for yourself because you realize like, oh, I can manage my money. And so when this thought comes in that you’re afraid that you’ll fall back into bad financial habits, it can cause you to freeze. And one of the things that I always share with my clients is like, I want you to know that you are becoming someone completely new when you’re working with me. When we finished working together, you are someone who is new. Like you’re not the same you before and I think I often, I think of all my clients, but my client, Brent, I can remember on a consult call that we had, and when we were on his initial consult, he didn’t even feel worthy enough to invest the money to work with me.

He just had never spent money on himself in this way. And so his thoughts about worthiness and self-worth came into play. Fast forward, probably about four months into working together, Brent is out here negotiating his salary. He’s making thousands of dollars more than he used to make and fast forward, even today, because I keep in touch with Brent, and we actually recently worked together for about, I can’t remember if it was like 12 weeks or something like that. I did a special offer for people that had worked with me in the past. And so Brent and I worked together again and see his growth. Like he’s now making more money than he is ever made before. And he’s just a completely different person and there are definitely still things that he wants to change with how he’s spending money or he wants to focus more on saving, but he’s not the same version of the person that came to me almost two years ago.

And so when I’m talking about your financial self-concept, for any of you listening, your thoughts about money right now can be completely different in a year from now. You get to decide if those thoughts are supporting you and moving you closer to your goals or if they are thoughts that are going to be crummy thoughts that keep you frozen and not moving forward towards your goals. But I have a podcast episode and we can put in the show notes about financial self-concept. But that’s a great podcast episode to listen to. So you can just really like do a thought download, do a brain dump to think about how do I view my finances? How do I view money? Because I think it’s one of the best things that you can do to monitor your own growth that doesn’t just look like the numbers in your bank account so to think about your self like doing things differently. 

Even another client recently contacted me, Vanessa, who also was on another podcast episode with me, and she was telling me how she’s like negotiating her salary. And when she came to me, she couldn’t have fathomed negotiating her salary and earning more, like that was not who she is. And so now she has this identity and belief that she’s someone who asks for what she wants, like your thoughts about money, your thoughts about how you talk about money, how you manage money, those things all build to create your financial self concepts. But going back to this thought that is simply just a thought. I’m afraid I’ll fall back into bad financial habits. Another thought you might have is like, oh my goodness, it’s happening again. And I want you to be clear with yourself. It’s like, what is, it’s, so name that even for yourself, like I’m using my credit card again. I’m dipping into my savings again, whatever that is, I want you to know that you can have control of the thought and you can change where you currently are. 

The thing that I don’t want you to do is freeze. The freeze response keeps you stuck. And it’s okay if you freeze for a week. It’s okay if you freeze for two weeks. It’s okay if you freeze for a month or maybe even freeze for a couple of months. But I want you to know that you have the tools necessary to change. And this doesn’t matter where you are, whether you are someone who’s considering working with me, whether you’ve worked with me or you’re currently working with me, I want you to know that you have the tools. And the simplest tool you can use is to ask for help. And if you are someone listening to me right now and you’re like, Keina, I am frozen when it comes to my finances, I want you to go to my website right now, and apply to work with me. Book a call because you don’t have to go through this process and this journey alone, and you can get unstuck because you’ll actually have the help and support that you need.

So let’s say you’re afraid that you’ll fall back into bad financial habits. You’ve paid off debt, you’ve built up your emergency fund, like you’re feeling really, really good about where you are financially. And then there’s a circumstance that happens. You have to charge an expense to your credit card, and you think like, oh my goodness, like here it goes. The debt is coming back. What you have to recognize is in that story, and in that moment you are being triggered by old stories or your brain might be creating new stories. Like, I make too much money to be swiping my credit card. I should have learned by now. I haven’t had any debt for the past year. Like, just be mindful of the stories that you’re telling yourself. Because if you’re not paying attention to the stories that you’re telling yourself, the next steps you can take could either put you in the place you desire to be or put you further into a place that you don’t desire to be.

So I love asking people to reflect on what’s actually going on. I want you to do the work off stage, if you will, before you go on stage. And when I’m saying on stage, I’m thinking about like you actively trying to solve for the problem. But if you can take a moment and actually engage with yourself and get in your own head, that’s going to prepare you for the actions that you desire to take. So imagine you’ve had to charge an expense to your credit card. And what I want you to do is I first want you to ask yourself like what was the expense for. Because as you’re telling yourself the story, like here I go again. Be really clear what the expense was for. Was it because you had to fix your roof? Was it because in your business you had to pay a contractor $5,000 more than what was actually in the contract?

But actually name what the expense was for. Then I want you to ask yourself like, could I have planned for this expense? And the answer might be like, yes, you could have planned for the expense because you knew three years ago that you may need a roof. Or maybe the answer’s like no, because you did your due diligence and you actually did have money in savings and you vetted the contract and you went through and you itemized and you budgeted. And the reason that I’m asking you to ask yourself could you have planned for the expense is because also, here’s where we can start to identify like, was this an impulsive purchase? Was this like a necessity and something like that, that seemingly feels out of your control? Because it’s going to allow you to have compassion in this moment and to know like, I’m actually not the person who swipes my credit card.

In this moment, I’m leveraging my credit card to handle this situation, but I know I can move forward. And so we want to interrupt your brain from thinking about you going back into old habits or you creating a new story that you make too much money to be in this situation. And then the third question I want you to ask yourself is like, what would’ve happened in the past? And I used this as an opportunity for you to recognize and uplift yourself. Maybe in the past you wouldn’t even have recognized the fact that you were getting ready to use your credit card or in the past, this expense would’ve been something like for food, or it would’ve been for something that like wasn’t actually a necessity, a whole bunch of clothes that you didn’t even end up wearing because they just ended up in your closet.

But just pay attention to what would’ve happened in the past. Maybe you wouldn’t even open the credit card statement to actually see that you had a bill, but recognize what would’ve happened in the past. And this is going to help your brain see how you’ve changed. Like yes, you may have some credit card debt, but what would’ve happened in the past? And then question number four I want you to answer is like, how is this situation different from anything that’s happened in the past? Maybe you actually have a credit card to actually be able to use. And so you’re able to have a credit card for emergencies. And so you’re thankful that you have a credit card for emergencies. Like if I change the circumstance that happens, maybe this is a medical expense. And you’re thankful that you actually have the money available, the credit available to cover the medical expense.

And the next question I want you to ask is like, what tools do you have? So I want you to think about being your own lifesaver. Right now you’re in a pool and you’re drowning because you’re scared that you’re going back into old habits but I want you to think about what tools do you actually have to be your own lifesaver? Do you have a budget? Do you have access to savings? Do you have the ability to create more money because you’re a business owner? Do you have the ability to create a debt payoff plan, but actually get clear on the tools that you have so you can be your own lifesaver? And then I want you to ask yourself, what do I want to do moving forward? Like what is your plan? So you can take the time to write out your plan. If you charge something on your credit card, maybe you know it’s $3,000, $5,000, $10,000.

Maybe you want to shift the amount that you’re putting into savings and you want to actually be able to put it towards your credit card balance or maybe you know you have a bonus coming up and so you’re going to redirect how you’re using those funds to put this towards your credit card. And you’re going to also make sure that you’re going to buffer or create a buffer in your savings account for miscellaneous expenses. If it was for the roof, maybe you decide that you’re going to increase your home repair. If it was for your car, you decide that you’re going to increase your auto repair. So like the next time you have more money and you don’t have to put something on your credit card. And so as you’re making your plan, make sure you consider how do you want to plan for something like this in the future?

So you’re going to go through these steps and these steps are going to help you understand like you can do this. This is not a matter of you falling back into old financial habits. And you have your budget. You can look at your behaviors, you can look at your mindset, but those things are the additional tools that you have to keep moving forward. And if you’re listening to me and you’re like, Keina, everything you’re saying sounds amazing, but I don’t feel like I can support myself right now and I’m speaking to you, whether you are someone who’s considering working with me, a current client, or a past client, I want to say out loud for you, I am here to help you. I’ve had clients come back to me and work with me. And it’s not about not being able to do the work on your own. Sometimes we want to shame ourselves and say like, we should be able to figure this out. Especially if you worked with me, your brain is probably like you worked with Keina, you should be able to figure this out. 

And there are a lot of things you can figure out, but like building your muscle about money and around money, it’s a muscle. And so maybe you just need to come back for a couple more reps, a couple more sets. And when we work together for a second time, like we get to build on whatever results you created in the past. And so the problem that you see in front of you, it is like a mole hill. It is not a mountain. And so we can solve for whatever problem that you see in front of you, and then we can start creating new results for where you want to be five months from now. So I’d invite you, even if you’re listening to me and you’re like, oh my goodness, Keina, you can apply to work with me again, I will welcome you back with open arms. I have clients that have worked with me for years. I have clients that have worked with me for two five month coaching sessions and so that is normal. And it’s fine because you’re going to continue to create the results that you desire to create in your life. So thank you so much for tuning in. If you go to the show notes, you can find the link to apply to work with me. And have a great week. I’ll talk to you later. 

Thank you so much for listening to Money Files. If you’re ready to take the next step to reach your financial goals, head to and let’s get started.

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