Money is a major source of stress for the everyday person. Couples often land in my office because of their on-going fights over money. Spenders and savers find it hard to live together – finding that happy medium need not be difficult. Whether you are rich, poor or somewhere in between, everyone’s relationship with money is different and usually complicated. With consumerism reaching an all-time high and becoming a source of therapy for some, low saving rates and an inability to adequately pay back bank loans, money disorders have unfortunately become the norm.
Brad Klontz Psy.D., CFP and author of Mind Over Money believes that “money disorders are persistent patterns of self-destructive and self-limiting financial behaviours. [He believes] that they result from distorted beliefs about money we develop from our financial flashpoint experiences. Financial flashpoints are painful, distressing, and/or dramatic life events associated with money that are so emotionally powerful, they leave a lasting imprint.”
These financial flashpoints act as the negative anchor to the rest of our financial beliefs. They may have started in childhood while observing our parents’ relationship with money, and/or developed with our own personal experiences when we became (or so we thought) financially independent and experienced key stressors that threatened our ability to provide.
These financial flashpoints can leave a lasting impact. However, their power is taken away when we learn to identify these imprinted beliefs and change them into healthier ones. Becoming financially literate so that we enjoy a healthy relationship with money improves our financial health as well as our mental health. Our self-esteem and self-confidence soar when we take charge of our financial life.
In his book Mind Over Money, Klontz describes three categories of money disorders.
Money avoidance has to do with underspending as well as avoiding taking financial risks of any kind. Some people avoid paying bills, some avoid logging into their online banking fearing to face their financial reality. Other people are prone to feel guilty when they begin to reach financial success, making it difficult for them to ‘enjoy the fruits of their labour’.
Money worshipping is connected to the obsession of money and material belongings, like hoarding, gambling, overspending and workaholism. People who hoard material objects feel safe when they are surrounded by more than what they need. Compulsive buyers and over-spenders can use money and shopping to escape their worries and find temporary relief for their anxiety.
Relational money has to do with family finances. Some examples are: lying to a partner about your purchases, finances or spending habits; parents enabling adult children and not allowing them to financially develop on their own; or giving money and buying things for others even when you can’t afford it.
Pinpointing unhealthy financial behaviours and learning how to master and transform them into healthy ones is a process and improves mental health. Imagining a future that you can achieve will allow you to: become mindful of your spending habits, build your savings; maintain little to no debt and learn to invest wisely will give you the confidence to strive for much more than you thought capable.
If you wish to speak to me and gain a healthier perspective on your emotional relationship with money or need guidance regarding your career path, get in touch for career coaching Vancouver. We can schedule an appointment so you can learn about how I work, and discuss how we can work together to make you the best version of yourself.