By Agnes Hove:
The psychology of money
You have probably heard the saying: “Money makes the world go round,” and while many may not agree with the
sentiment of this particular saying, the fact is that no one can ignore the need for money.
We all need money to survive. In fact, a great part of our daily lives revolves around earning money, spending money and simply thinking about money. Yet our emotions towards money are quite complex. For example, most people want more money than they have, but few will openly admit to this fact. Maybe we don’t want to appear greedy. Many even go so far as to say that money is not important to them but, in reality, we all spend a great deal of time thinking about it.
How many of us relate to the monthly money-based roller-coaster ride – the “high” as our salaries reflect on our bank statements only to be followed by the “low” associated with payments and the long wait for the next paycheck?
Of course, money is also a great source of stress. Many people secretly worry constantly about money, finding it difficult to concentrate on anything else. Eventually, such concerns may well lead to illness. Money stressors are often the cause of relationship strain and even breakdown, while money is noted for being one of the top causes of divorce.
So, what is really going on here? Why does money cause such extreme emotions within us? Whether you have realised it before or not, you have a relationship with money. Just as with any other relationship, our relationship with money may be healthy and constructive – or unhealthy and destructive.
Be aware that whether your relationship with money is healthy or not does not simply depend on how much you know about money or finances. In many instances, we know what we should be doing, but somehow we simply fail to do it. We examine here some of the common barriers which may well be preventing you from enjoying a healthy relationship with money.
Your attitude towards money
There can be no doubt that your attitudes and beliefs about money have a profound effect on your experiences with money. Just consider how you talk about money – is it positive or negative? Do you have an attitude of abundance of scarcity? If you have a scarcity attitude, you see money as difficult to earn, limited in supply and hard to retain. Such attitudes are often influenced by the way in which you were brought up and, particularly, what you heard others say about money. Unfortunately, negative attitudes may easily become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Think, too, about what you say about yourself in relation to money. Again, if you regard yourself as someone who struggles to earn and retain money, then in all likelihood this will be your financial reality.
What are you able to do about attitude? Watch what you say about money and how you talk about money. We tend to underestimate the power of our thoughts. By simply becoming more aware of your attitudes and beliefs could well be the key to an altered experience regarding money going forward.