How Is Your Relationship With Money?

When I was coming up with a name for this blog, I kept thinking about how money is an integral part of everyone’s life (duh, right?). It’s used for almost everything that you can think of. My name searching led me the question of, “What is my relationship with money and how can I fix it?” Obviously, we all view money in different ways. Some people see it as groceries while others see it as the next Roth IRA contribution. Either way you look at it, we think about money every hour of the day. So, I want to know how you view your relationship with your money. Check out the categories below and see where you fit in!

The “Til Death Do Us Part” Relationship

Individuals who fall into this category have been great with money from the very start. They probably started out with a part-time job at the age of 16 and eventually bought their own car with cash. They spent their college years debt free because they worked their way through it and lived within their means. They began investing really early because they understood the power of compound interest. They have an amazing job and enjoy it every day. These individuals treat their money with great respect and will have a long-term relationship with it (because they will keep more of it).  Here are some common characteristics:

  • Net worth way above the norm
  • No credit card debt
  • Amazing credit score
  • Job they love (because it’s not always about money)
  • Ability to give, give, give

The “It’s Not You, It’s Me” Relationship

Individuals that fall into this category have an “on again, off again” relationship with their money. The probably had a part-time job in high-school because they knew it was important but spent most of the money on the movies and clothes. They went to a great public college because they knew they got more “bang for their buck” but used student loans to finance classes (and probably some pizza). They occasionally put money into an IRA when H&R Block reminds them to do so. They spend on their credit card and carry balances every once and a while. These individuals treat their money like a king some days and like a peasant others. Sometimes they save it and other times they spend it (on things that depreciate). Here are some common characteristics:

  • Net worth about average
  • Some credit card, student loan debt
  • So-so credit score
  • A job that pays good but sucks
  • Give, give, give to the credit card companies

The “Why Did I Marry You” Relationship

Individuals that fall into this category just can’t seem to hold onto their money. They probably had a job in high school but spent the money before it even hit their bank account (if they even had one). They accumulate things that have no meaning and depreciate in value. They went to an expensive college (or spent a lot of money on beer), racked up thousands in student loans, and probably graduated with a degree that had little meaning (if they graduated at all). They live paycheck to paycheck and float checks frequently. These individuals just can’t seem to hold onto their money. In other words, they can spend with it and accrue debt without it. Here are some common characteristics:

  • Ask “what does net worth mean?”
  • Many credit cards and all of them maxed out
  • If they got a car loan, it would be at 17%
  • A job that pays by the hour
  • Spend, spend, spend

So, where do you fit in? Can you think of any other “relationships” that should be mentioned?

10 thoughts on “How Is Your Relationship With Money?

  1. Wojciech

    I think I’m in pursuit of the “Till Death Do Us Part,” but not quite there yet. While I think I’m on my way to filling each of the five characteristics you mention, I can’t say that I meet all of them right now.

  2. MoneyEnergy

    Nice! I can probably see aspects of what I do in each of these categories. It’s good to think about money in terms of how we treat it. eg., do you just want to “get rid of it” vs. “hoard it” etc. etc. One thing’s for sure, though – you can never get a divorce or another partner!:)
    .-= MoneyEnergy´s lastest post ..6 Reasons Why The Price Of Gold Is Going Up =-.

    1. Adam Post author

      Thanks for stopping by! I love your comment about the divorce! Money will always be a part of our lives so we better learn to appreciate it and take care of it or we will have plenty of problems.

  3. Studenomist

    I would fall under “Til Death Do Us Part” Relationship. I have been a greedy bastard ever since I can remember to be very blunt with you. I had a paper route in grade 3 and started working part time consistently after grade 9.

    Don’t have a job I love yet because am still finishing up college.

    Definitely no credit card debt- not my style.
    .-= Studenomist´s lastest post ..How To Make Money Fast =-.

    1. Adam Post author

      If you’ve lived like that your whole life, I can guarantee you will find a job you love. You just seem to know what you are doing!

  4. Matt Kelly

    Insightful piece. In a class I teach I use these great questions, inspired by Your Money or Your Life. Answer them thoughtfully and honestly and they will give you some great insight into what money means to you.
    Who or what has influenced your major financial decisions?
    If you aren’t doing what you want in life, whose dreams are you fulfilling?
    When you think about your financial past, do you see any patterns?
    What financial advice from the past sticks in your mind today?
    What messages about money did you get as a child? How are these reflected in your actions?
    What does money mean to you? Power? Security? Sex Appeal?
    Have any life crises altered your thinking about money? How and Why?
    Have you ever felt poor or wealthy? How would you define poor or wealthy?
    How much time do you spend with popular media such as television, newspapers, magazines? How do these contribute to your view of financial situations? Your wants and needs?
    Who is your financial role model? Is there someone that you compare yourself to when it comes to money?
    What makes you feel “real” – that you really matter?

  5. Jill

    Some kind of “Will you take me back” or “I’ve made a big mistake” where you DID treat money poorly, but have made a commitment to doing better (and stuck with that commitment!)

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