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The Psychology of Money: What You Need To Know To Have A (Relatively) Fearless Financial Life

https://www.forbes.com/sites/prudygourguechon/2019/02/25/the-psychology-of-money-what-you-need-to-know-to-have-a-relatively-fearless-financial-life/#5c0e1390dfe8

forbes.com

The Psychology of Money: What You Need To Know To Have A (Relatively) Fearless Financial Life
Emotions and family history drive our individual relationships with money and personal finance. Learning about the influence of emotions, the impact of family stories and how to avoid avoidance helps you face financial realities and feel and be safer and calmer both psychologically and financially.

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The psychology behind money

The psychology behind money

Money is not a fixed entity. It is a complex of data points, challenges, and opportunities you encounter and have feelings about. Your decisions about money affect your emotions and behavior.

There are three factors you need to know about the psychology behind your relationship with money:

  • Emotion have a big role in your relationship with money.
  • Anxiety and avoidance create a vicious cycle in relation to money.
  • Psychologically, family and childhood will continue to influence you when you make money decisions.

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Emotion and money

The most important emotions about money to become aware of are fear, guilt, and shame. Without awareness, these emotions will interfere with your rational thinking.

  • Common fears include fear of having too little money, fear of looking foolish, fear of causing envy.
  • Guilt is about feeling bad about a negative impact you've had on others. You may feel guilty because you have more than your friends, or are not charitable.
  • Shame is feeling troubled when you don't live up to your own values. Shame related to money involves feelings of not having enough money, avoiding thinking about finances, avoiding doing what you're supposed to do with your finances, feeling ignorant, and overspending.

Other emotions that influence your handling of money include envy, greed, and over-excitement.

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How mental health influences your finances

Mental health problems can have a significant effect on your finances.

  • Excessive use of alcohol leads to poor judgment and inattentiveness to finances.
  • Depression can cause a loss of employment. People with depression also lack energy and a sense of purpose.
  • People with a mild expression of bipolar disorder can experience states with increased energy, decreased inhibitions, exciting plans, and are overstimulated to spend.
  • Adults with ADHD/ADD have the ability to pay intense attention to tasks that really interest them while screening out the tedious or mundane.

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Family and childhood influences of your finances

All families have their own psychology of money: what they can talk about, who should be in control, how important money is.

You may have experienced subtle pressures to correct the injustices perpetrated or suffered by previous generations. You may feel internal pressure to go against the family money mentality, or you may the first in your family to succeed and may want to give back to the family while neglecting your own financial needs.

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Harnessing money emotions

Emotions can be useful. They tell you what matters to you.

Mild anxiety is motivating for example. Harness your emotions to attend to what you need to face.

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Label your emotions

Use plain language. The more fluent you are with real emotional language, the more clearly you will be able to think about how you’re feeling.

Clarify your emotions

Get used to the idea of emotional complexity. When we feel upset, we're not feeling one single emotion. We are usually experiencing a blend of many emotions.

Training ourselves to look for and see this emotional complexity is key to better understanding ourselves when we’re upset and moving on in a healthy way.