Do You Have a Toxic Relationship With Money?

Zulay Gonzalez
May 20, 2021
Do you have a toxic relationship with money
Zulay Gonzalez
May 20, 2021

We all have lots of relationships to deal with in our daily lives. Some of them are happy and healthy relationships with people who make us feel happy and secure. But others are the kind of relationships we dread to have, where we feel insecurity, jealousy, and shame. The same happens with money.

Money is an essential part of our lives, whether we want to accept it or not. Money moves the world, and ultimately it moves us, too. The way we feel and behave towards money is what shapes our relationship with it. It can be either healthy or toxic.

Is it important to have a good relationship with money? Well, yeah! If you want to have financial success (like we all do), your behavior towards money will boost or tank your efforts. How do I know if I have a good relationship with money? Well, keep reading to find out!

healthy vs toxic

Healthy or Toxic?

To understand our relationships, whether we talk about people or money, we have to take a moment to think about who we are and what we want. Knowing ourselves is the key to finding out what kind of relationship we have with money.

You can start by asking yourself (and answering with honesty) these questions:

  • What comes to your mind when you think about money? Do you think about problems or solutions? Stress or relief? Happiness or worries? Work or freedom?
  • Do you feel excited about your paydays, or do you dread them? Do you believe you make enough money to cover up your expenses (and even indulge in a guilty pleasure or two)? Or do you feel the coins lacking in your pockets?
  • Does a rush of excitement overwhelm you when you buy something new? Or does a rush of guilt, shame, and regret takes over you?

It doesn’t take an expert to recognize the signs of a healthy relationship: feeling at ease with money in any circumstance, being grateful for having enough to pay your debts, feeling excited and accomplished when you finally buy something you want (even if is not extremely necessary).

On the other hand, the signs of a toxic relationship with money might not be as obvious: feeling jealous when others have more than you, feeling guilty or ashamed if you have more or less than others, being fearful of not having enough to pay your debts, regretting every time you buy something.

healthy or toxic

How to Improve Your Relationship With Money

Acknowledging the kind of relationship you have with money is the first step to improve it. Once you have that settled, you can start working on changing your beliefs about money. They are to blame for our limited mindset about how we can earn it and spend it and for our toxic relationship with it.

Here are the most restrictive beliefs we have about money and how we can change them:

1. Money is the ultimate goal. 

At one point, we all have thought that if we had more money, we could solve all our problems, right? So, we assume money is the ultimate goal. But money is not a goal; it’s the tool we use to achieve a goal. Therefore, we need to think about what we want and what will make us happy (rather than just money), and use that to set our goal. Once we have defined our goals and priorities, we can start spending accordingly. We can use our money to really accomplish something, not on mindless expenses.

moneys is the goal

2. Wealth is just for the lucky ones. 

Wealth doesn’t happen overnight, and winning the lottery is just a stroke of luck. Most wealthy people will tell you wealth didn’t just happen for them; they created their own opportunities to earn money. They worked hard and made sacrifices. Don’t expect to become a millionaire living from paycheck to paycheck.

3. Money is for being spent.

Yeah, it feels really good to go to a fancy restaurant or to buy the newest smartphone. But if you ever want to be wealthy, you need to save and invest your money appropriately. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life or treat yourself occasionally. However, your expenses have to be aligned with your financial goals, and sometimes that means living frugally.

Improving your relationship with money is a long process. You can start making small changes to your behavior and build up from there. Don’t see money as your enemy (it isn’t your lover either). Like most things in life, you need to find a balance to have a healthy relationship. Remember, money is just a tool: it shouldn’t control your life.

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