Imagine yourself on a couch at a psychiatrist’s office. You’re having trouble with someone and they’re sitting at the opposite side on the same couch. You’re complaining how this person takes advantage of you, manipulates you, and causes you anxiety.
You make eye contact with the person on the couch, your troublemaker, and see the stoic eyes of Benjamin Franklin’s $100 bill looking into your soul.
You then realize that he doesn’t care about you and that this is a one-sided relationship. Your mind has a sudden epiphany, “To heck with him. I’m going to show him who’s boss!”
Discovering Your Money Disorder(s)
This is your therapy session to discover how you’re struggling with your relationship with money. You’re wired to act a certain way and you didn’t consciously choose a difficult relationship with money. Past experiences create your instincts and cause you to make decisions to avoid harm. This is especially true in the world of Personal Finances.
The 11 money disorders identified in this series of three articles are discussed by Brad Klontz, Psy.D. and Ted Klontz, Ph.d. in their book Mind Over Money: Overcoming the money disorders that threaten your financial health. It’s a great read and I recommend you check out the book for yourself (Click here for the Amazon link).
The authors created three categories of money disorders which will be discussed separately in each article. The next two articles will be released in the following months. Keep reading to learn which money disorder plagues you.
1) Unreasonable Risk Taking – You focus on the possibility of doubling your money even though you might lose it all.
Adrenaline junkies enjoy lucky streaks to see what they can get away with. For example, spending an anticipated bonus before the person receives the money. Chances are you know someone who loves telling people how he/she won big in the stock market. To quote the book, “Many studies in behavioral economics have shown… that overconfident traders initiate more trades than their more restrained, realistic counterparts, which can create the illusion that they are beating the market. But in reality this volatility tends to reduce their profits in the long run.”
- Gambling with money intended for other responsibilities
- Believing that their next big investment will be the big one
- Gambling addiction
2) Workaholism – My self-worth equals my net-worth.
The constant pursuit of more money forces people to consistently run on the never-ending treadmill to accumulate more and more. To the point of sacrificing the other areas of their lives. Many people have troubled personal lives so they immerse themselves into their work since they feel valuable and accomplished in work surroundings.
- “Money cures all problems”
- Thoughts that he/she is sacrificing himself/herself for their family by working hard
- “Once I get to this higher salary, I’ll then focus on other things.”
- Becoming immersed in work when feeling negative emotions
3) Overspending / Compulsive Buying – You have an irresistible need to spend.
Excessive spending proves to alleviate anxiety, loneliness, and a way to feel included in one’s socioeconomic class. Yet, when they’re done spending, those negative feelings surface again, thus paving the way for another spending spree. Some people create social groups around spending and feel connected to their peers as well as the sales people. Some people spend to make sure they look like they’re keeping up with trends so they won’t be seen as poor. And some people become addicted to online spending to relieve boredom.
- Short-term spending distracting focus from long-term goals
- Consistently carrying credit card debt
- Visiting shopping websites to fill time
- Leaving stores with many more items in shopping cart than planned
If you’re suffering from any of these financial disorders, there are plenty of resources, support groups, and professionals to assist you as you help yourself. Feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to share strategies that make sense for your unique situation.
The next article in this Money Disorder series will be released in November, 2016. Thanks for reading!