In her book “The 9 Steps To Financial Freedom” Suze Orman gives an example of a man who had an experience with money at nine years old, that carried over into his adult married life, leaving him refusing to have a joint account with his wife. Why? Because his sister had stolen money he had been saving to buy a trampoline as a child. He held those feelings way into his adult life, affecting his financial decisions and his relationship with his wife.
Childhood experiences can translate into confusion, guilt, shame and mistrust related to money. Philosopher Jacob Needleman wrote in his book “Money and the Meaning of Life: “If only we would step back and look at the emotional and spiritual effects money has on us, the green stuff could serve the aim of self-knowledge and become a tool for breaking out of our mental prison.”
In order to understand the role of emotions, and money, we must first translate the word “emotion” into its definition of “feelings.” And just like feelings for people and situations in life go up and down, money can have that same affect. Those feelings connected to money, become an emotional attachment that can have a negative affect on our lives.
The following questions may reveal your thoughts, highs, lows, confusion, fears, anxiety and discomfort about money. These may not be new to you, but the underlying emotions you, perhaps, have chosen to ignore as it relates to your earning, handling and distribution of money:
1. Are you uncomfortable accepting money from your spouse?
2. Do you feel every time you get paid, you have to buy
something for yourself because you worked hard and you
3. Does your spouse have to give an account to you for every
4. Does spending money make you happy but after it’s gone, you
5. Do you feel angry when you shop and don’t have enough money?
6. Do handling large sums of money make you feel anxious,
uncomfortable, or fearful?
7. Do you feel powerful, high, and confident when you have
money in your possession?
8. When you receive your paycheck do you feel disappointed?
9. After you spend money, whether for dinner, or something
else, does it make you feel guilty, undeserving?
10. Are you afraid to handle your own money; checking account,
Whether you answered a clear “yes” or you struggled to resist the rollercoaster of thoughts and feelings in and out of your mind, there just might be something to this idea of an emotional attachment to money.
Watch for Part II: How to Break Free of Your Emotional Attachments to Money.
Keep the Faith,