If you’ve ever scrolled through social media posts only to be gripped with envy when you see a friend posing in front of their beautiful house or enjoying themselves at a luxurious resort, then you understand how easy it is to want what other people have. Financial envy is real, and sometimes it can be ugly.
“Financial envy is absolutely normal. It’s part of the human condition,” says Yvonne Hampton, who holds a doctorate in personal financial planning and runs a financial therapy practice in the Kansas City, Missouri, area.
And it’s not necessarily a bad thing, she adds. “It’s an opportunity to dig more deeply internally about why we have that feeling so we can work through it and be happier in our own lives.”
If you’re wondering how to turn the so-called green-eyed monster into a positive force in your life, here are five steps to take.
1. LET GO OF SHAME
“A lot of progress can be made simply by acknowledging: ‘Yes, I feel envious,’” says Rick Kahler, a certified financial therapist and certified financial planner in Rapid City, South Dakota. “Be compassionate toward yourself,” he adds.
Then, you can more easily turn toward the concrete steps that help you meet your financial goals, whether it’s paying off debt, saving for a down payment or building up an emergency fund for greater financial security.