We live in a society where money equals success. How easy is it to be driven by these things and perhaps to become a slave to money to the point where it takes on addictive qualities? You are never too young or old to learn about money, this is why we do these regular pieces for students, parents and our community.
So what is meant by money addiction? Is there such a thing?
When most people think of money addiction, an image of a gambling addict may come to mind, or someone who loves to flash their new designer outfit or their fancy car. But it may also be seen in less obvious signs -the ones that your friends, family, and maybe even you express.
The truth is, money addiction is at the root of under earning, overworking, compulsive shopping and spending, and even excessive saving.
Some things can just be bad habits, where we fall into traps around our money patterns, These are not necessarily being addicted to money, is it?
No, its not being obsessed with money, but rather that you have habits that evolve around money – things that you do that impact negatively on your financial health. These can include shopping – form of entertainment, living off credit cards, not budgeting, impulse buying, takeaways on a Friday night. etc. It can become part of your lifestyle to shop and spend when in fact there are better habits you can develop. It might not be an addiction – just a really bad habit that you have.
When you’re happy, you spend, when you’re sad, you spend – looking for solutions to deeper issues in the wrong behaviour!
Why is this so bad?
You might be wondering, “How bad can it really be to be an over spender or a workaholic? What real damage can it do?” But when you peel back the curtain and find out what is driving your need to earn, to save, to spend—you’ll find that money is the mask you’ve chosen for your unique internal struggles.
As with any addiction, these behaviors will only get worse over time if they are not addressed. They will have a snowball effect on your life.
A very common example that is becoming a cliché is the overworking bread winner and the overspending spouse —both finding ways to fill the void of intimacy in their relationship. Or the frugal senior couples who never treat themselves to a vacation but instead feel good only when spending on their children or grandchildren. These behaviors, as you can see, take many shapes and forms. And when something breaks down, whether it’s a relationship, or the health and wellness of a parent, the damage becomes very real.
Money addictions in all forms can ruin relationships, pollute careers, limit creativity, trigger depression, and tarnish integrity and self-confidence. Left unchecked, it can seriously drain the quality and happiness of your life.
Is it about being obsessed with money? Yes – part of it. It overshadows your life. When you are obsessed with money, you are constantly thinking about it: how you plan to get it, how you’ll spend it, how you’ll juggle it. You run numbers constantly in your head. You calculate money on the back of envelopes, trying to figure a way to manage what has become unmanageable. You check your investments all the time,. You spend hours scheming about things you want to purchase. Obsessed with investments and making the right decisions.
It’s similar to someone who goes on a strict diet, who gets extremely obsessive about calorie counting. This obsession begins to take a real toll when you can’t calm your thoughts, and it disturbs your sleep. Worries about money take up the emotional mental space that was once devoted to enjoying life and being with loved ones.
Are some people in denial over their money obsession?
Living in denial – If someone is living in denial, they tend to be vague about their money: their expenses, earning, and debt, how much money they have in their bank account. Hazy financial fog. You may be unaware of the real amount of credit card debt you owe or unable to clearly state your current bank account balance. You can also be in denial about how much money you need to earn to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.
Denial can also take the form of not having any financial goals in place, like a retirement plan or savings plan. You cope with your denial by telling yourself that a magical solution will appear to make things better.