“Money can’t buy happiness.” Unknown
Or, as the Beatles once put it, money can’t buy me love. We fight this expression daily, as emotions pervade our lives and cause us to ruminate on fears and futures of having, or not having, enough.
Money has no personality but reflects our feelings, values, and beliefs. This is why it’s become so intrinsically linked to our emotions – either triggering them or being affected by the emotions we’re feeling in the moment.
When it comes to creating and living in our wealthspace, we believe that money has the powerful ability to endow us with an irrefutable sense of freedom. We realise it’s not always about what money can do for us but how it makes us feel.
In a recent Forbes article, Ande Frazier highlighted three common emotions that are triggered by money.
With rising healthcare costs, inconsistency with wages, and debt plaguing many of us, it is easy to feel angry about working hard yet, not really getting anywhere. This anger spills out in our interactions with others, at work, at home and socially.
The pressure to keep up is overwhelming. And even if you are one of the ones who is rebelling against all of this, you still might experience fear of the unknown. What will happen if I work this hard and have it all taken away because of an unforeseen illness, death, or the loss of a job?
Shame is different from other emotions. Shame hits you in your gut. When you experience shame, you are making a decision about yourself, your worthiness. And it can often feel like you are exposed. Like somebody figured something out about you that you didn’t know or that you wanted to keep a secret.
Shame can manifest in a variety of areas of our lives, from family relationships, interactions with a love interest, to work performance. When it comes to money, however, shame is rarely part of the conversation.
And finally, we experience elation. We might be excited when we get that bonus we hadn’t expected or make it big on that recent stock purchase. Or when our neighbour tells us they “got a guy” who can guarantee double-digit returns on our money. But as many have figured out too late, when something sounds too good to be true, it often is. Elation, if not properly contained, can lead to overconfidence, poor judgment, and risky behaviour.
It’s helpful to notice and acknowledge the emotions that are linked to our finances because that’s an area that we can work on and bring under control. We don’t manage the markets and cannot change what’s happening to us; we can only change how we respond. If we start to feel an emotional response rising that will cause us to act in an unhealthy way, we can interrupt it, experience it, and let it pass without acting on it.