5 Ways Your Toxic Relationship With Money Is Hurting You

relationship with money
Last updated Mar 2, 2020

Do you have a toxic relationship with money? Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about people’s relationship with money. It fascinates me that everybody has drastically different relationships with money. Like your relationship with other people, your relationship with money forms at a young age.

Maybe your parents were relaxed about money and never talked about it, and you never really thought it until you became an adult. Or on the flip side, maybe your parents were always talking or stressing about money to you.

Perhaps you had parents that taught you how to save and invest and how to grow your money. All of these experiences combine to shape your relationship with money from a young age. Which type of relationship are you?

Relationship types with money

Overall, you might fit into one of the categories here. But the primary warning sign of a bad relationship with money is one thing: if money frequently causes a lot of stress in your life.

Toxic relationships with money

The “Love-hate” relationship

  • You spend money as fast as you make it
  • You go into credit card debt to buy things that you don’t need
  • You don’t think before you buy something
  • You’re continually regretting items that you purchase and feel guilty after wasting money
  • No matter how much money you make, you can never seem to get ahead.

The “Please don’t go” relationship

  • You’re always obsessing about money, and fear that you don’t have enough.
  • You might make a good living but are always in fear of not having enough money.
  • You are scared to spend any money, to the point where you feel you miss out on the good things in life.

A healthy relationship with money

The “Healthy and balanced relationship.”

  • You have enough money to be able to afford the lifestyle you want comfortably.
  • You save money for a rainy day and have a dedicated savings plan.
  • You use your money to maximize your happiness.

5 ways your relationship with money is hurting you

  1. Limiting your option
    • Maybe you’re in a job that you hate, but because you can’t save money, you limit your options by not being able to quit and pursue something else.
  2. Giving you terrible stress
    • Money problems weigh on you like a thousand-pound anvil. You can try to struggle to get out of it, but you won’t.
    • If you’re always in debt or fear of running out of money, you will never be able to relax. It’s a 24 hour, seven days a week type of stress.
  3. Drowning you in debt
    • In severely adverse cases, you can drown yourself in debt.
  4. Making you feel bad about yourself
    • Like a toxic relationship with a person, money issues can affect your self-esteem
  5. Stressing your relationships with others, who won’t understand what you’re going through

Getting from toxic to healthy

Like any relationship, to get the desired results, you’re going to have to work hard at it. And just like a person, it’s the same approach. It’s about being honest, communicating precisely what you want, and trying your hardest to improve. Thankfully, there are countless tools you can use, ranging from books to finance apps.

Sometimes, you can find yourself overdoing it and being so into saving money that you stop experiencing all the good things in life.

Here are a couple of ways to get to a better relationship with money

  1. Track everything
  2. Be accountable
  3. Get a relationship improvement buddy
  4. Make a budget, and stick to it
  5. Use all your accounts right

Final thoughts

If you’re in a toxic relationship with money, don’t fret. Sometimes it takes a bit longer and more work, but if you have the right mindset, you can have a healthy and loving relationship with money.

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<a href="https://wealthawesome.com/author/christopher-liew/" target="_self">Christopher Liew, CFA</a>

Christopher Liew, CFA

Creator of Wealth Awesome

A Canadian CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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