Boni Lonnsburry Creating Consciously Gary Quinn Finding Solutions with the yes frequency
Awareness Magazine : Southern California's Guide to Conscious Living Awareness Mag on TwitterAwareness Mag on Facebook
 
Home Button
About Button
Mission Button
Current Issue Button
Library Button
Advertisors Button
Ad Rates Button
Calendar Button
Classifieds Button
Subscribe Button
Editorial Button
contact

Awareness Magazine
5753-G Santa Ana Canyon Rd. #582
Anaheim, CA 92807
(714) 283-3385
(800) 758-3223
(714) 283-3389 Fax

 

 

Should You Break Up with Your Bank?

By David Cunningham, M.Ed

 

There’s a lot of attention on the economy right now and the difficult times we’re in — many people are worrying and pre-occupied with their finances and economic struggles. This type of stress can take its toll on you. It’s more important than ever to ensure that the financial choices you are making are right for you. Should you invest with that company? Or should you break up with this bank and move to that one over there? There’s a lot to consider, but before you sign your John Hancock on anything, pause and reflect on why you feel that you need to invest in a new financial relationship at all.  

One could say that the quality of your life is determined 1% by what happens, and 99% by how you react to what happens. While we can’t control everything that happens in life, we have a lot to say about how we react.   

Let’s look at what this means specifically related to finances and the choices we make about money. If you look at your personal situation and the impact of the economy on that situation, you’ll notice that you may have certain worries, concerns, thoughts and feelings about what’s going on. You have certain interpretations about what is going on and what it means. 

But those opinions, thoughts and interpretations are totally distinct from what’s happened.   

For example, your 401K may have dropped 50% from what it was a year ago. That’s what happened.  But that’s not where it ends. You and I add our interpretations to what happened. For instance, you might say, I’ll never have what I need now when I retire... or that My bank doesn’t care about me; they’re always charging me fees.

Even if we don’t say it out loud, this can start to become REAL for us, always there in the background coloring our thoughts, feelings and actions. We’re now living in the scary world of “We’re in big financial trouble, and we’re not going to be able to retire, and I don’t trust this bank.”  

What can give you power as an individual is separating what happened from your story about what happened. Then you can choose to deal with what’s actually happened and create a powerful plan for how to move forward, and yes, that might even mean choosing a new bank. 

Here’s a great exercise you can do to invest in your financial well-being so it is strong and healthy in any economy:

1. Get clear about the facts.

This is where you look at what’s happened and write it down. “My bank’s credit card fees have gone from this amount to that amount.” Or “Overdraft charges used to be this much and now they’re this much.” 

Or maybe it’s something like... “There’s been no change at my bank… but I have been turned down for a loan.” Putting it all down on paper in black and white gets you clear on what the basic facts really are. 

2. Delete your additions to the facts.

The fact may be that your credit card fees are higher. But what you’ve concluded about that fact isn’t necessarily true: “There’s nothing I can do about this.” Or “My credit’s not perfect, I’ll never get a great deal.” Or “If I just switch banks, everything will be better.” Our interpretations of the facts are not necessarily true, and regardless, they get you in trouble and limit what’s possible.   

3. Take action  

Now that you’ve separated what actually happened from your story about what happened, what powerful actions can you take? Maybe it’s taking the time to call someone at your bank to make requests and explore options, or a promise to make an appointment with a new bank to talk about options there.

Maybe you can speak to an expert, or consult with a non-profit about your credit card debt (which will follow you to any bank). Perhaps you’ll use this as an opportunity to grow your money and your ability to make choices for your whole life, not only choosing the best bank for yourself.

Remember, we say the quality of life is determined 1% by what happens, and 99% by our reactions. While nothing can take away the fact that sometimes life includes difficult circumstances (and annoying bank fees), there’s no more important time to have power and clarity than when you’re dealing with challenges. Getting clear about what’s actually happening and then taking effective action to get what you truly want, will not only enable you to choose the best bank, it will make a difference in every area of your life.

David Cunningham, M.Ed., is a communication expert and seminar leader for Landmark, a personal and professional growth, training and development company that’s had more than 2.2 million people use its programs to cause breakthroughs in their personal lives as well as in their communities. For more information, visit: www.LandmarkWorldwide.com