Four Ways to Overcome Financial Shame

< Back to Money Minute

I had my credit card stolen the other day, but I didn’t bother to report it because the thief spends less than me.

– Silly Joke


It is a fact that all of us have made financial mistakes or at least taken financial missteps.  Although, financial mistakes and problems are extremely common, our own financial problems are often a source of shame. This embarrassment can be just another obstacle to overcome.  Here are four ways we can use to overcome our financial shame.

1. Take On An Outsider's Perspective

Take a moment to look at yourself from an outsider’s perspective because we are always harder on ourselves. Most people are their own worst critics because they can’t step outside their own heads. The problem is when we feel embarrassed about finances that can quickly escalate to shame.  These feelings can be strong and a significant barrier to taking steps to improve your situation. Viewing yourself from an outsider’s perspective can allow you to be more gracious with yourself.

2. Talk To Someone About Your Situation

Talk to someone you trust about your situation. Maybe it is family member, good friend or coworker but speaking to someone about your embarrassing situation can be very cathartic. Saying the thing out loud that has been screaming in your head has great power. If fact, when you state your embarrassment you take away from its power. You have diminished it with one flat statement.

3. Give Up On Perfection

Looking at Instagram pictures and Facebook posts leave the impression of our friends and family living the perfect lives. Not true! We all post our best pictures on social media. These are the pictures where the lighting is just right. We do not post the ones with spinach in our teeth. You think everyone is judging you. If someone judges you harshly, it is because they don’t care. Those that care will empathize and support you.

4. Act Now

Finally, you need to act. You can and get started with IRIS.  IRIS is a safe space for you to connect with a Financial Specialist and allows you to discuss your finances and debt situation in confidence. You will get clear financial guidance to take on your personal situation.


“Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.”

― Alain de Botton

< Previous Next >

Get Started with IRIS

Financial health happens when you partner with IRIS! Securely submit your financial information to IRIS and receive a free, comprehensive financial plan within hours! This plan is reviewed by one of our live Certified Financial Specialists. It's the first step on your journey to financial health!