Money Feelings

How does Money Make You Feel?

Most people would immediately say, “Good,” but does that reflect their true feelings when it comes to money?

The way you look at money, the way you feel about it, and the situations it creates, will determine your money habits until you can change your mindset about money matters.

A lot of what we’re saying in this article, we’ve said before, and I’m sure we’ll say it again.  It’s EXTREMELY important.

How do your Money Feelings Influence Your Behaviour?

Marketers use emotions to encourage behaviour that suits their purposes – that often don’t align with what’s best for you. Some feelings they regularly try to elicit include:

  • Entitlement – I deserve it!
  • Belonging – Everyone else is, so I have to!
  • Fear – I need to do what they’re telling me or I’ll miss out!
  • Hope – I can be that lucky someone!
  • Shame – Oh, I don’t have that, so I’m a lesser person…
  • Guilt – Those people have less than I do, so I need to give them what I have.

Money is a Tool

That’s all it is.

Money is the unit of measurement we imagine in order to value goods and services. Physical money in and of itself has little intrinsic value. It’s what money can do for us that causes the emotional reactions we have to different situations. 

Our financial situation causes us to feel and, if we’re not careful, dictate our behaviour.  

Setting Priorities and Goals Matters

What matters to you?

That’s it.

If you don’t have priorities, plans, and goals, your money will likely leave you as quickly as it arrives. It’s when you start planning that money can really have a positive and lasting impact on your life.

It All Starts with Budgeting


You’ve heard this before. It’s nothing new. We know you don’t want to read about budgeting. So we aren’t going to write much about it. Simply put, understanding your needs and wants is the first step to budgeting.


Necessities are things you must have to survive. In our society, money is a necessity. It’s the tool we use to pay for things that we MUST have in order to survive.

Things like:

  • Food and water in its most basic form
  • Shelter and Security
  • Clothing in its most basic form
  • Transportation
  • Community
  • Healthcare


These are the things we want to have. The things that make life easier or more convenient. Some common examples include:

  • Restaurants and Take-out, like that morning coffee and donut
  • Low-end entertainment such as streaming services and books
  • A sense of belonging, such as having an iPad because your friends have them
  • Electronics and gaming devices
  • Materials that support your hobbies and interests


These are the things that we want, but we know they are a stretch for us. For instance:

  • Expensive concert or sporting event tickets
  • A fancy car or boat
  • High-end fashion and jewelry
  • A grand vacation

Understanding your Own Behaviour

We encounter this all the time. The things we see people do – clients, friends, and family – that don’t make sense to us, but stem from an emotional response, not a rational act.


We see this all the time. People spending beyond their means or without a plan can get them into trouble.

Examples include:

  • Eating at restaurants they can’t afford.
  • Having a “Large Latte Factor” of frequent expenses adding up (thanks Michael Curtis for introducing me to this term – think how much take-out coffee every morning adds up).
  • People buying vehicles or homes they can’t afford.
  • People taking vacations or attending events because, “I deserve it!” or “My friends are going!”


When people know that they have something they need to plan for, but fail to do so. This is probably the most common thing that gets people into financial trouble. For instance:

  • I need to pay rent, but I want that nice car.
  • I need to pay my student loan, but I want to go on vacation.
  • I need to do my taxes, but I’m afraid of how much I’ll owe. (Don’t do this, we’ve seen very bad things happen to good people because of this…)
  • I want to go out and be social, so I’ll go to the bar instead of making my budget.  (I confess, I have done this before.)


Marketers love this! Encouraging consumers to make impulsive purchases is a sure way to profitability. Retailers study consumer behavior and design stores and sales campaigns specifically to encourage high-margin, unplanned purchases that create big profits for their clients. For instance:

  • Sale! (There’s a sale every day somewhere…  Is it really a sale?)
  • Limited time offer!  Act now before it’s too late! (Obviously playing on your fear of missing out on an opportunity – FOMO.)
  • Limited spots available, don’t miss out! (Again, playing on FOMO.)


We hate seeing people arrive at this point. Often, they think that declaring bankruptcy will make all their problems go away – but it won’t. Some common symptoms of hopelessness are:

  • I’ll always be poor
  • I’ll never be able to move out
  • I’ll never be able to buy a home

Keep in mind that this kind of negative self-talk makes it more likely that it will be true. Before giving up hope, dig into your situation. Understand what you have, what you need, and where you want to go. Do a household budget and truly cut out things that are not necessary.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way…


A negative mindset can evolve into absolute cynicism when it comes to money. That idea of, “Why bother?  I’m screwed no matter what I do,” has become more and more prevalent among people today – particularly young people who have a lot of opportunities to improve their lot in life – and more help through tax incentives than ever before. Don’t let yourself get to this place. It sucks and you definitely don’t want to live there.

Make the Right Choices

Don’t be a victim. Imagine how much time we spend watching TV, reading, or pursuing our interests. It takes less than a couple of hours to come up with a household budget. Is your peace of mind when it comes to money worth sacrificing a bit of leisure?

Do you have a household budget yet? What are you doing next?

Remember, Manage Your Money

Or someone else will take it from you…

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