Have you ever asked yourself why you are not able to manage your money? What’s your excuse? Is it that having money makes you feel powerful and untouchable, or lack of it makes you feel stupid and small? Does not having money make you feel inadequate? Do you have a hate or love relationship with money? Read on to find out where you stand.
Different people have different relationships with money. Some love it, others hate it. Some have it, others don’t. Some simply love the life money gives them, others despise their lives of struggles without money. But like it or not, money is a necessary evil. While you may hate every aspect of your finances, you know you have to deal with it. While dealing with aspects of finances such as taking up insurance or writing a will may be unpleasant because they remind you that someday you are going to die, you don’t have a choice than to think about that.
Some people say unashamedly that they hate money, but few have valid reasons other than that lacking money makes them have a hate relationship with it. Others say money is dull, while still others think talking about it is boring. But whatever you say about money, there are plenty of things to like about money and this is why the majority simply love it. They are willing to die for money, to risk their lives and family for money, or steal or get involved in corrupt deals to have money. So, what are the reasons that make majority of people, you included, love money?
You like having money. Having enough money to live not necessarily lavishly but comfortably gives you a feeling of safety. What is enough depends on where and how you live, in other words, your lifestyle. Once you know there is enough money in your bank account to pay for rent, put food on the table, pay school fees, and meet all your other expenses, you can sleep peacefully at night. This will not be the case if you sleep not knowing where your next meal will come from.
You like the security money gives you. Having enough of an an extra stash of bank notes to buy a new dress, change your phone, go out for dinner, help a needy relative, or travel upcountry to visit your sick parents makes you feel even more secure. This is why you save for a ‘rainy’ day but can only do that if there is some left after you have paid all your bills.
You like the choices money gives you. Having money allows you to explore the things you want to explore, see the places you want to see, do the things you want to do, have some fun, drive your dream car, and live in a home and neighbourhood you like. Money also allows you to support the people who are important to you – to help your children go to good schools and get involved in extracurricular activities that require money, or pay hospital bills for your ailing parents. Money also lets you go back to school to improve yourself and get you out of uncomfortable situations, for example, bail yourself out of a traffic offence, or leave an abusive marriage in which you don’t feel respected or loved. It’s true that in many of these situations an all-important ingredient is having the courage to act in your own best interests or in the best interests of the people you love. Once your courage is readied, though, money gives you the keys to the car to help you move on.
You like spending money. Admit it! You do. At least most people do. Research shows that the act of shopping brings on a rush of the same chemical that comes flowing into our brains when we make great achievements, are happy, or fall in love. In other words, buying something, particularly something you really want, actually makes you a little high with the ‘feel-good’ hormones. Women, are particularly big shoppers, not just of clothes and cosmetics, but also of bigger items such as household equipment and technology gadgets. This is why most manufacturers design things, including cars and phones, with women in mind.
You like spending money – on yourself. It’s always been acceptable to provide for the other members of your family but not for yourself. These days, though, particularly when you earn a bigger share of the household pie, you may like spending money on yourself and it is accepted. It’s okay to admit that you love spending money on yourself, especially money you have earned. Once you realise that there is enough money to take care of yourself as well as the rest of your obligations and family, you understand that a little self-indulgence from time to time is perfectly fine. You treat yourself to luxuries such as jewelry, fine clothes, spas and beauty treatments – you are spending your money on yourself and this is great to reward yourself.
You like giving money away.Charitable organisations, churches, community development projects and needy people base their pitches on all that good you can do to their mission or cause. And most of the time they are absolutely right. The act of giving – particularly the act of giving money away – actually makes you happier. Giving money away, when you have it is chicken soup for the soul. This is why majority of people with money like helping those in need unless they are too selfish.
You like earning money. It’s okay to admit this, too. When someone gives you money to do a job, it means, in the simplest terms, that someone believes you are worth that money. It makes you feel good because it’s validation, which provides an automatic, instantaneous boost for your self-esteem. This is not to say that every person be in the salaried world, or wish for more money. There is nothing more fulfilling than working hard and making good money out of your sweat. This particular advice is great for women who think that it’s unfeminine or aggressive to be overly ambitious to want to make more money. We should all want the money we get to be a true reflection of our qualifications, experience and hard work. No more, no less.
Why the hate for money?
If you agree you that you like all these things that money can buy or money is about, then you need to think hard to come up with what you specifically don’t like about money. It could be the effect money sometimes has on people. Perhaps you have a close friend who has come into loads of money – got a huge promotion, sold his company for a bundle, married into wealth, won a lottery, or mysteriously became rich overnight. Then all over sudden she ditched you and got herself a slew of new friends, took up golf, joined expensive clubs, went into designer clothes and shoes, and stopped having time for you. Then you think, “If this is what money does to people, then I don’t want it.” The truth is the person was never a real friend. Real friends don’t let things like economic status come between them. When one person can’t afford to do the same things as the other person, real friends take a no-cost walk in the park or foot the bill themselves.
Perhaps you are afraid if you come into too much money you won’t like how your inner circle of friends will start to treat you. There are people who keep their wealth status as a secret, afraid their friends may start to view and treat them differently or come up with various demands and they don’t want to lose those friends. Maybe you are fearful of the difficulties and hardships lack of money can cause. If you grew up in a household without enough money to pay for life’s basic needs – food, shelter, transportation, or school fees – this hate relationship with money is certainly possible. Not having enough money for life’s basic comforts can certainly cause unhappiness.
May be you are wound up about frequent fights that are caused or revolve around money. Perhaps your parents argued about money, or even divorced over money. Or maybe you have been in a relationship where finances were a big cause of strife. That’s not unlikely – it happens all the time. We know that money is the number one cause of fights in marriage. If you bore the brunt of money squabbles, it’s understandable that the word money itself would cause the short hairs on your neck to stand at attention.
Or maybe, more likely than all of those other reasons, what you hate is the work involved in making and managing money. You may feel inadequate, or pressured, or stressed-out trying to perform those tasks that make money or enable you manage it properly. Maybe you feel dealing with money is overwhelming. Many people feel intimidated, overwhelmed, and infantile when facing the prospect of coming up with a game plan for their money that will get them from point A to B. Even going through a bank statement to verify all the entries can send some people over the edge. It can make them feel out of control. Money is estimated to be the number one cause of stress in adults.
But, hate it or not, money is a necessary evil so start a love relationship with your money now and see the happiness it will bring you.
Published in February 2014