In our modern world, money is a necessity. We simply cannot avoid it as we need it to function in our everyday lives. So when it comes to our relationship with money, it really is based on our prior experiences and education. Do you wonder why you’re a super-saver and your spouse never wants to spend? Or why you can’t bring yourself to look at your credit card statements and get a good handle on what is really going on? These are all due to money beliefs that influence our financial behaviors.
Since money is, and will continue to be, a big part of all of our lives, I think it’s important to take some time to understand our personal relationship with money. Brad Klontz, Psy. D. with Kansas State University, identified four different money patterns: money avoidance, money worship, money status, money vigilance. Just by reading the titles, I don’t think I want to be classified as any of these types, but we all fall into one of these four. Keep reading to see what each one means.
Money avoiders simply believe that money is bad and even believe that they don’t deserve it in a lot of cases. To them, money creates fear, anxiety, or disgust. Even though they fear having too little, they may self-sabotage their success by spending or giving away in an effort to have as little as possible that they’re responsible for. Money avoidant behaviors result in financial denial, financial rejection, under spending, and excessive risk aversion.
Money worship is a common pattern in American culture. The belief that more money will make things better and solve problems. It isn’t surprising to find most money worshippers with revolving credit card debt. Money worshipper financial behaviors include compulsive hoarding, unreasonable risk taking, pathological gambling, workaholism, overspending, or compulsive buying disorder.
“Money is status” believers have the idea that one’s net-worth is directly tied to one’s self-worth. This belief can lock somebody into a competitive stance of acquiring more than those around them or to keep up with their peers because they see a clear distinction between socio-economic classes.
For this group, money is a source of shame and secrecy. They will withhold information about their financials and find the discussion around money a sensitive subject in their households. They are not trusting of others and while they are watchful of their money, they may miss out on the benefits of enjoying their money over time.
At the end of the day, money is personal and it’s not just about numbers. We talk a lot about aligning your values to your spending and savings goals here at Beyond Balanced. So, what’s your money story?