Money Attitude – Your Money Psychology

Money is an important part of life, it affects us in all areas of our lives either directly or indirectly. Money affects our relationships, our career choices, education and so on, but what is even more of importance is our attitude towards money. How do you feel about money, what thoughts come to mind when you think about money, how do you use money… and most importantly why do you have the attitude? This is not so much about how important money is to you, but more about the underlying reason and emotions about money.

Psychology of Money
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What is Money Attitude?
We have believes and attitudes about everything of importance to us, we have an attitude towards religion, war, fashion etc. and of course we also have an attitude towards money. Money attitude is your beliefs about money; what does money mean to you, what does it represent? How do you feel about money? How much does money influence your non-financial decisions? Money attitude is your way of thinking about money.

How is Money Attitude Established?
Everyone has an attitude towards money, for some money is a central issue, for others money is just a tool, yet some use money to control things and people. How do we develop our money attitude? Is it a learned behavior and can we change it? As with many attitudes and behaviors money attitude is mainly a learned behavior (although psychologists will continue the nature vs. nurture debate), how you perceive money will heavily depend on your childhood and the environment you grew up in. Did your parents fight about money? Did a parent control the other with money? Did you have wealthy parents who lend you their credit cards? Your past experience and environment is the biggest factor to you money attitude, the good news is that money attitude is a learned behavior and what is learned can be unlearned.

Your Money Attitude
Given that money affects many areas of our lives it is important for you to have a good understanding of your money attitude. Have you ever taken some time to analyze your emotions about money? If not than this is the perfect time to analyze your money attitude, get a better understanding of your perception of money, how do you feel about money?

Why Care About Your Money Attitude?
Our emotions control most of our behavior, these can be desirable behaviors or undesirable. Many of the choices we make in life from marriage to careers and education all stem from our emotions. Making financial decisions is not any different than any other decisions we make in life; do you feel that it is important to show how much money you have? Maybe your parents grew up during the war and great depression and you have learned importance of saving for a rainy day. No matter what your money attitude is, if you want to have a better understanding of you finances, control your finances and make changes to your undesirable financial behaviors than you need to understand your money attitude.

Without understanding how you feel about money and where those emotions come from you will not be able to successful make changes to your financial life.

What is your money attitude? Have examined your believes and emotions about money? Has understanding your money attitude helped you with your finances?

7 Responses to Money Attitude – Your Money Psychology

  1. You bring up a great point that is often overlooked. Changing things with money isn’t just about doing the right thing, it is about believing in what you are doing. No matter what changes you make in your financial world, whether it be a do-it-yourself approach or with a financial planner, if you don’t believe in what you are doing it’s not going to help your issues with money. If you can first figure out what, where and how you developed your money issues, how could you possible overcome them? The truth is we all have money issues in some form or another. Success means overcoming your shortfalls about money.

  2. This is a great way of looking at how our psychology influences our finances. When I was between 11 and about 17, my father lost his job and invested his savings in a business that ultimately failed. With that money lost and no income, my family fell on hard times, but lived in a town where you don’t let other people know that you’re struggling. So they used credit cards to make it look like nothing happened. It’s taken them over a decade to recover from that period. And living through that, I think, shaped my “money attitude”. Back then I knew we were really broke and yet I saw my parents spend like nothing was wrong. So I guess it’s no surprise I did the same thing when I was on my own. It’s taking everything I have—a really conscious effort—to unlearn all that and develop a healthier attitude towards money.

    Great post!

  3. @ David- thanks for sharing your story, parents have a huge influence on how “money attitude”

    @EW-well said, finance is more of a mental game than anything else.

    @ Will patience and persistence well said!

  4. Great post Ray!

    This is one area of my life that I’m heavily focusing on. Cultivating an empowering belief system towards my finances (or “Money Attitude” as you call it) has been a struggle for me, but like you said, what was learned before can be unlearned and then re-learned in way that works for you.

    Through my experiences, it takes time, patience, persistence and an end goal, or “vision” if you will, in order to get whatever financial setbacks you may be experiencing.

    Thanks for writing this article. Stumbled and re-tweeted it.


    Will @ Cheap Date Ideas!

  5. I think you make some great points about having the right money attitude.

    But there are also other factors in your attitude that can also help contribute indirectly to changing your money attitude.

    For me, it’s finding minimalism.

    Being a minimalist, has made me rethink what I buy, because I don’t want to add clutter into my life and complicate it (you know, it costs a lot of money to move stuff too!)

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