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The Psychology of Money

Here are three key things to know about the psychology behind our personal relationships with money:

* Emotion plays a huge role.
* Anxiety and avoidance create a vicious cycle.
* Psychologically, you can’t entirely escape your family and your past.

The most important emotions in relation to money are fear, guilt, shame and envy. It’s worth spending some effort to become aware of the emotions that are especially tied to money for you because, without awareness, they will tend to override rational thinking and drive your actions.

How to harness money emotions?

Emotion isn’t all bad. It tells you what you’re passionate about, what really matters to you. It makes you feel alive. Anxiety isn’t all bad either. Mild to moderate levels of anxiety are motivating. Harness them to tackle what you need to face and know that you will feel better when you’ve done so.

The key is self-awareness. Much of our emotional world is unconscious. But it’s not that hard to access if you know what to look for and have a blueprint for the kinds of emotions and family stories that can influence your personal relationship with money.