Published in the Journal of Financial Therapy, Money Beliefs and Financial Behaviors: Development of the Klontz Money Script Inventory the authors study “the psychological issues related to money that may be contributing to individual and family problems” (Klontz, Brad et al). Here are four belief systems they find and how they can impact an individual’s personal and financial wellbeing:

Money Avoidance – those who have money avoidance typically believe “money is bad or that they do not deserve money. For the money avoider, money is often seen as a force that stirs up fear, anxiety, or disgust” (Klontz, Brad et al). They find the following habits of the money avoider:

  • Worry over credit card usage or over-drafting an account
  • Self-sabotage their financial success (often unconsciously)
  • Avoid spending on utilitarian or necessary items
  • Spend or give money “in an effort to have as little as possible in their control”(often unconsciously)

Money Worship – people who fall in this category feel that money will somehow save them in the end. That is the ultimate goal or legacy, and that it will fix any and every problem. You know the saying, “more money more problems.” There is often short-term excitement associated with an increase in money, but in the long-term “increases in income have been found to be associated with increases in distrust and depression” (Diener & Seligman, 2004). 

Money Status –  here we have the usual “my self worth is dependent on my net worth” midset. This is not true abundance. Those who can buy anything and anyone they want often has a very large gap in their heart. So they keep buying, keep manipulating in an attempt to fill that gap. The sad truth is that until they realize that their own self-worth as a human being is not dependent on the amount of money they have, that gap will remain and true abundance will never be obtained. Klontz’s article finds that “being over-concerned with financial success, and being materialistic has been associated with lower ratings of well-being (Tatzel, 2002), lower levels of self-actualization, vitality, and happiness, and higher levels of anxiety, physical symptoms, and unhappiness” (Kasser & Ahuvia, 2002).”

Money Vigilance – Klontz finds that those in this category have “ alertness, watchfulness, and concern about money, and the sense that one must be heedful of pending trouble or danger” (Klontz, Brad et al). Being aware of what you’re saving and being frugal can be beneficial money habits. However, when there is excessiveness of these traits, and there is anxiety and the tendency to be hyper-aware of a “pending financial danger keeps someone from enjoying the benefits and sense of security that money can provide”(Klontz, Brad et al).

These are just a few categories Klontz and his peers used in their study, but I can say that these are not one-size-fits-all habits. People can have contradicting and very conflicting patterning around money. It all depends on the messaging we received in our childhood and the experiences we have lived and are living now.

So why does your relationship with money matter?

Because your relationships matter.

Because your creativity and vision matter.

Because your happiness matters.

Becuase your financial success matters.

Because your goals matter.

Because YOU matter.