Have you ever thought that maybe your problems with money go beyond hating to budget or not being able to save? Be it a pattern taught (or not taught) by your parents or slowly created over time through bad habits, it could be that your finances are to the point where you need therapy to get out of it.
There actually are disorders called “Money Disorders.” These disorders are categorized as both behavioral and substance abuse (addiction) disorders. I know, it’s just made up, right? I mean, people are just making this up because they don’t want to budget. Well, here are some common ways of talking about finances… how many of these phrases do you use to describe your money siutation?
- We live paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford savings.
- We make good money, I just don’t know where it goes.
- We don’t have the money to go.
- I never have enough money, maybe I should change jobs again.
- You pay this time, I’ll get you next time.
- We have wage garnishments and always need payday loans.
- My spouse handles all the money decisions, I don’t understand the money/budget.
- Why talk about paying down student loans? We will never be debt-free.
- We are always fighting and are always stressed and anxious over the finances.
- I feel guilty if I buy anything.
- The more we fight, the more I go out and shop.
- He used my credit to get the car/house.
- We are fine, we can figure it all out.
- I don’t know how we are going to make our bills this month.
- Over 50% of our income goes to debt.
- Our families always had money problems.
- Family asked me for money again, I couldn’t say no.
- I opened a second bank account that my spouse doesn’t know about.
- We pulled money out of savings/college fund again.
- We are about to lose our house, I don’t know where we can find the money.
- I feel like there is nothing to do but try to get another loan.
Seriously, if you heard someone describing their cigarette use with these words, you would call it an addiction or disorder if the denied the problem. Literally, the same words that we use to describe other mental struggles that need therapy, and frankly, the desperation most of us feel means we need at least coping and stress management therapy. We were right there with you guys, read about our journey here! I totally understand how desperate finances can make us feel. So when does it cross from struggling to needing help?
What Are Money Disorders?
Let’s look at some of the characteristics of money disorders as described in the book “Mind Over Money.” There are 3 main categories of money disorders – financial avoidance, money-worshipping and relational.
Financial Avoidance Disorders includes under spending intentionally under budgeting) and extreme risk-aversion (refusing to try something or make a change). This category also includes financial denial (refusal to think about money and your situation) and financial rejection (guilt) for any spending.
Money-Worshipping Disorders include workaholic (always working even if you don’t need the money, work becomes a place of escape), gambling (desperate quick-fix option), overspending, hoarding (provides a sense of safety having a stockpile) and compulsive buying (gives a ‘high’)
Financial Relationship Disorders includes financial codependency (needing people to need your money), financial incest (gifting money is the method of showing love), financial infidelity (hiding money or spending from a partner) and financial enabling (giving others money when you can’t afford it and is causing a hardship in other areas of your life)
Okay, I hear you, I can see the problem, so what do I do? First off, not everyone has a disorder or unhealthy relationship with money. Your struggle may mean that you just weren’t taught. If you see yourself in some of those statements, give yourself a good budget and 30 days recording every dollar you spend while trying to make some small adjustments (such as $100 less on food a month) to your budget. If you are able to self-regulate in this manner, you probably just need a little re-training. Read some good finance blogs (like this one!) and books.
However, if you find you are repeatably making excuses, hiding money, hiding from reality or you can’t stick to a budget, then you may want to see a therapist to help you work through your reasons and reteach you how to handle the money correctly. You will need to start being more honest and actually admit that you have a problem. Get an accountability partner and a financial coach who can help you learn more about finances and start on a payment plan and budget that can get you out of the problems you are in. Just a small shift in your mindset by getting rid of bondage and fear will allow you to began prospering more and will change your financial situation for the better.
Do you want more information on budgeting and breaking the mindest of being poor? Check out my other blogs on finances –
Remember, this blog is just my opinion, and is never a substitute to professional counseling.
Yes, I include affiliate links in all my blogs, it gives me the chance to stay home with the little one. I get paid a little each time you click and buy from the included links, but I only recommend products that I use myself. Thanks for helping our dream of being a full-time blogger come true! ~ Lydia Y-S.