How Healthy Is Your Relationship With Money?
We all have an emotional reaction to money. Some of us fear it, others let it determine their level of happiness, while still others shut down at the very thought of it. How do you feel about money? Surprisingly, many of us don't know because it is often a "knee-jerk" reaction. Read about some reactions to money below and see which ones apply to you.
You Resent Even Having to Spend Any of It
If you've ever met someone who lived through the Great Depression or has gone through a difficult bankruptcy due to no fault of their own, you will see someone who will reuse tea bags, put knots in broken shoelaces, and use coupons at fast food restaurants. The fear of being broke again is so instilled in them that they over-compensate by hating the thought of spending one extra cent. This is as unhealthy as someone who has a shopping addiction. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being frugal, but if you do it out of fear, it's not good.
You Need to Spend All of It...NOW!
There is a physical and emotional reaction when we buy something we really want. It gives you a high and makes you feel truly happy. Some people get into a cycle of needing that rush so much that they are willing to buy themselves straight into bankruptcy. A splurge now and then is essential to keeping us happy and motivated, but if you get to the point that you feel nothing when buying that splurge item...it's time to take a step back and see what is really going on.
You Find Yourself Always Broke & You Spend it Before it Arrives
This can be one frustrating roller coaster ride that will drive a person to insanity or a nervous breakdown. You use to look forward to payday but now you are starting to resent it. If you find yourself continually broke, you are spending outside your means and doing so in a hurry. This is a true sign that money is not working for you, but you are working for it.
You Think Money Solves All Problems
Every day you hear about an athlete getting signed to a multi-million dollar contract. Let's not get started on winning the lottery jackpot! We lay in bed at night and think about how everything would be great if we were rich. Sadly, statistically that athlete will be broke within 3 years after retiring. And those jackpot winners.... many carry a curse of losing their loved ones, their winnings, and often become poorer than before they won. Money solves nothing. It is a tool to be used to make our lives and ourselves better, so we must educate ourselves on how to use it and keep it. Besides, think of the latest person you heard about who changed the world for the better. Usually it is not a wealthy person, but someone who stopped and thought "how can I make the world better because I'm in it?"
You're Terrified of It
It sounds silly but there is such a thing as the fear of money - both not making it and making too much of it. Some people don't go after a promotion because they worry about what they'll do or what could happen if they make more money. It can get so bad as to become a phobia. The best weapon against the fear of success is education. Teach yourself about how money works and how it can work for you... and that fear will disappear.
You Don't Ever Want to Talk About It
Talking about money is often socially awkward. If you talk about how much you make or how much you've invested, it can come off as bragging. On the other hand, if you know that a friend or family member makes less than you or is having financial issues, you steer clear of the subject altogether. Also, if you're struggling yourself with a financial crisis, you hardly want to draw attention to it. However, money is a topic that should be talked about. Yes, it should be handled respectfully, but getting ideas from each other on saving or investing is actually helping each other out.
Whatever your emotional relationship with money is like right now, it can always be improved. Consider reading some books on the topic or going to a counselor. The sooner that you consider money a friend who is there to get you what you need in life, the sooner you will be a lot happier.