Updated 15 January 2014

Do you have a money personality?

If you think money can buy real happiness, you have fallen for one of the biggest misconceptions in modern society. A financial psychologist talks about 'money personality'.

People do not only have a physical self, an emotional self or social self, but also a financial or money self.

This “money self” is an integral part of our behaviour repertoire and it influences our interaction with money. In other words, your money personality is a determining factor when spending money, argue financial psychologists from International Psychology Solutions.

Most people do not realise to what degree their financial behaviour is affected their money personality and also what effect it has on the satisfaction they gain with regards to the money they have.

There is an inseparable bond between the subconscious feelings and emotions with regards to money and the way in which money is obtained, saved, spent or invested.

Read: Cash concerns can stress you out

Money doesn't satisfy emotional needs

Some of the basic needs which people try to satisfy with money are typical survival (safety and security), power (to be in control of yourself and others) and love (the need to belong). In the long haul it is not possible to satisfy something internal with something external. This is one of the misconceptions of modern society.

Using money as the vehicle to understand our inner needs does not give us the answers. We cannot unfold and satisfy a basic internal need externally. We often project our personal problems onto money and then money serves as the concrete item which we use to find a solution.

Money becomes the emotional ball which people use to satisfy an internal need. Unfortunately money is not the wonder cure. It might have a short-term impact on people’s emotions, but does not address long-term insecurities, loneliness and dependence.

Gain insight into yourself

Attitudes towards money influence our behaviour, aspirations and emotional responses towards ourselves, our families and friends.

If you understand your money personality, it will help you to gain insight into to what degree you respond emotionally towards money and it will give you insight into what degree these responses impact your financial well-being, financial success and failures.

If you do not understand what inhibits you to obtain money, then you will be a “money victim” forever. You will never attain your financial goals if you do not know what you want out of money.

If you are not prepared to change your financial behaviour, then your money status quo will linger on.

Healthy money self-image

You have a healthy money self image when you know yourself and how money affects you. You also have a healthy self image when you like the way you deal with money.

The money style which you have developed defines the amount of money which you currently own, the amount which you save, the joy you get when you use money. This unconscious money behaviour will stay static until there is a conscious decision to obtain more insight into your money behaviour and a concerted effort is applied to modify the unacceptable behaviour.

Once you are conscious about your money style, you will learn which financial personality traits are positive and which are negative.

Money alone has no meaning. It only becomes meaningful when we project value and meaning onto it.

(Health24 & Investment Psychology Solutions, updated January 2013)

(Picture: woman with money from Shutterstock)


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