The psychology behind money - Deepstash
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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MORE IDEAS FROM The Psychology of Money: What You Need To Know To Have A (Relatively) Fearless Financial Life

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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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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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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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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RELATED IDEA

Our relationship with money is emotional

Money is so much more than dollars and cents. Our relationship with money is emotional. Hopes and fears, guilt, and shame can all play a significant role in our financial life.

And those feelings can be tied to lots of things: our upbringing, our environment, and all the money messaging in the world and the media.

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Falling in love

To us, being loved in a relationship is perhaps the highest ideal. It gives our lives meaning and purpose. Being loved validates our sense of self-esteem and soothes our fears of loneliness.

Our brains are also wired to fall in love. Dopamine provides a natural high and ecstatic feeling that can be as addictive as cocaine. 

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The psychology behind our relationship with money

Anything important in our lives is emotional. Our relationships are emotional. So our money is emotional.

The problem is when we think money is all about math. We think questions like, "Should I buy a house?, or "Should I negotiate a higher salary?" is purely mathematical.

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