Money Nightmares

In the dream, she was scolding me: “You’re spending more than twice your income every month!” I could see the laptop on the table with my bank accounts on the screen.

“But Grandma!” I insisted, “Look at the numbers, that can’t possibly be true!”  I was getting upset.  I hated to be accused of financial irresponsibility.  It was true, I’d been slacking on the manual, monthly expense reports, and I had the stack of receipts in a folder behind my desk, haunting me.  But there was no way I was spending double my income.

I woke up in a cold sweat.  My own grandmother, accusing me of that kind of spending! It was an outrage.

Why was I feeling this spending guilt?  I wondered.

And then I remembered: that clawing, red number at the bottom of my banking app’s so-called “budget feature,” which they rolled out a few months ago.  Now, every time I open the app to check my balances, I get this scolding: “You’re overspending!” I think it irks me because it isn’t even true.

What good does it do a major bank to send me this kind of rude and invasive report, unasked for?  Why would they want to make me feel bad about it?

It all comes down to money, I guess.  They want me to click on their links; they want me to sign up for their budgeting tool.  They want me to engage more with their features and recommend them to people.

Well, they’re not getting any recommendations from me.

Cinch is set apart in two important ways: first of all, you go to the app, you make the conscious decision, when you’re ready and on your time, to make the good, financial decisions that will serve as the foundation for the life you want to have.  They are not shoving it down your throat.  The colors are soothing, and the tone is kind.  Cinch asks you, upon challenging you to a specific goal, to make the commitment to yourself.

Second of all, Cinch is not designed like other budgeting apps, that want you to fail.  Because of its subscription structure, it can act as an unbiased fiduciary that has your best interest in mind.  It doesn’t tell you that you’re failing in order to increase your engagement.  It recognizes that the best and most meaningful engagement is your financial success, and its language and features are based around this goal.

I am one of those people who despises phone notifications.  If you have 1,465 emails unread, don’t even let me peek at the screen.  I can’t stand those little red alerts, even if they’re falsified, like those annoying ones that come up within apps to tell you that you have a “recommended” follower or whatever.  I have to get rid of them, so I always click them, no matter what.  It’s like an itch.

I’m also a pleaser.  I’m tempted to log into the budget app just to satiate it, to prove that I’m in the green and that the technology is wrong.  It’s giving me actual nightmares that this computer thinks I am some irresponsible overspender.

But I have to be strong, to resist.  Because I know this little pocket robot doesn’t have my best interest at heart.

If you’re experiencing bad dreams about money, perhaps it’s worth investigating why.  The anxiety is real, and you are capable of soothing it and sleeping easy.


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