Money is one of those weird things that we use on a daily basis, but rarely stop to think about. We often just think about how best to earn it, but when do we look beyond that?
Today, we’re going to dig into the depths of what money really means to us and how this affects our personal lives and the relationships around us.
Thanks again for reading, The Friendly Financial Coach is a Financial Literacy Coach that operates in Toronto. You can find out more here.
Our Money Meaning
So what does money mean to us? The textbook explanation is that money is a medium of exchange that is used to facilitate transactions. There are a couple of other definitions, but all of these definitions are sterilized of human emotion and really lack depth.
Instead, what we’re focusing on is what are our deep psychological connections to money. Maybe money offers you freedom or even, power of those around you. Whatever it is, understanding our money meaning gives us a deeper self-knowledge and helps us relate to those around us.
Often, our money meaning is partially programmed by the environment we were raised in. Maybe, we grew up in a controlling household and money enabled us to have freedom or maybe, our family encountered financial difficulties and now, money gives us stability.
Our money meaning will also change multiple times during our lives. We will be confronted with life events that will reframe our perspective. What was right for us in our early twenties will be much different than when we are supporting a family with children.
It’s also very likely that we have a mixture of money meanings. However, there will likely be a dominant meaning that often trumps your other beliefs.
The Most Common Money Meanings
Stability/Safety – For these individuals, money can be an anchor in life and yields a sense of stability and comfort. Life is very unpredictable and having money creates a sense of security. Conversely, unease and anxiety will arise when they lack the comfort of adequate money.
Typically everyone has this money meaning, but its affects can wildly vary amongst individuals.
Freedom! – For some people, having money allows them to do what they want to do in life. A lack of money will make them feel restricted, trapped and unhappy. Very often, these people want to have the ability to do what they want and can often be found adventuring the world.
Power/Control – This money meaning can be dangerous in excesses and when used in malice. Money to these people is a way to control their unpredictable world and in connection, the people around them. Unfortunately, relationships with these individuals can be very toxic and hurtful. Often, money can enable individuals in abusive relationships to control their spouse.
Appreciation/Altruism – Many individuals use money as a way to express their appreciation and support to those around them. Often, they will buy presents for others, donate to charities and more. To them, money is a physical representation of their beliefs and feelings.
Materialism – Loosely tied to freedom, these people get pleasure from buying material goods and services. Not having money gives them a sense of inadequacy that often arises from social comparison.
In excess, this money meaning can be detrimental to one’s personal finances. The pleasure that arises from materialism is often short-lived and can lead to an addiction that cannot be fulfilled.
So What Is Your Money Meaning?
Understanding what money means to you can help lead to greater self-knowledge and stronger interpersonal relationships. You’ll be able to understand why certain financial choices cause you to act in a specific way and help you make harmonious decisions. You’ll also understand why your partner acts in certain ways.
They will also allow you to help create a personal and realistic financial plan. When you utilize your money meanings you’ll be able to make choices that work for you and will more likely to stick to your plan. Also, it allows you to limit any negative money meanings that may put your finances at risk.
Thanks again for reading and I hope that you enjoyed the article. If you have any questions or comments, please comment below or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 647-289-0012.